JACKSONVILLE, ONSLOW COUNTY - The owner of a Chinese restaurant in Jacksonville says he and his family were robbed at gunpoint, and the robbers even pointed a gun at his 3-year-old daughter.
Fang Shu Lin, 37, has owned and operated Empire's Chinese and BBQ for nearly 15 years. He said the robbers were in his restaurant just hours before they robbed him at his home on Aug. 11.
"They know I've got a restaurant, I promise, and they said, 'Is all the money here, is all the restaurant money here,' They know I have a restaurant," said Fang.
Fang said he had worked at the restaurant all day on Sunday, Aug. 10. Fang thinks the robbers came in and ordered food at his restaurant toward the end of the day to plan the armed robbery.
Fang said the robbers followed him to his house after closing.
At about 12:45 a.m. on Aug. 11, five black males, armed with guns, entered his home, Fang recalled. Their faces were covered and they wore gloves.
Fang said three of the men went upstairs to search for cash, while the other two held him and his family at gunpoint.
"Two guys controlled it with a gun. Everybody's on the ground with their hands," said Fang.
Fang broke down when he said one of the men pointed a gun at his young daughter.
"My 3-year-old daughter, they, they see-- there with a gun to the baby till my wife gave them the money," Fang told NewsChannel 12.
No arrests have been made in this case, but the Jacksonville Police Department is continuing to investigate.
The Attorney General's Office said several Asian restaurant owners have been attacked and robbed while returning home from work. The crimes date back to December. The attacks happened across nine counties, including Beaufort, Craven, Lenoir, Onslow and Pitt Counties.
State investigators are partnering with local law enforcement agencies in hopes of solving the crimes.