NEW BERN, CRAVEN COUNTY - The owners of a Chinese restaurant in New Bern say two gunmen stole thousands of dollars from them during a home invasion, and police are still searching for the robbers.
Dana Kwang and her husband --with the help of their 13-year-old son-- operate Chinese Express on Neuse Boulevard.
But at about 10:40 p.m. Friday, after the three had just returned home from work, two gunmen came inside, Kwang told NewsChannel 12.
Kwang said one gunman put a gun to her back and covered her mouth while the other robber pointed a gun at Kwang's 13-year-old son.
The two gunmen then took a bag containing about $2,000 from the family, Kwang said. In addition to the money, the bag also contained Kwang's U.S. citizenship certificate, her son's birth certificate, the family's social security information, and their passports.
Kwang said the gunmen also took her purse and cell phone before leaving. The robbers later tossed the phone to the ground.
Kwang said she and her family were not injured. Her 13-year-old son, Gary Li, described the robbers as a white male and a black male-- both wearing dark beanies, white bandanas over their faces, and dark clothing. Their approximate ages were unknown.
Kwang said the robbers can keep the money; she just wants her family's personal documents back.
No arrests have been made. Anyone with information can contact the New Bern Police Department at 252-672-4100.
Prior to Friday's armed robbery, there had been about 20 violent home invasions across Eastern Carolina in which Asian restaurant owners were victims, according to the Attorney General's Office.
The victims --which included men, women and children-- were restrained, physically assaulted, and robbed as they were returning to their homes from work, investigators said.
The attacks date back to December, and happened across nine counties, including Beaufort, Craven, Lenoir, Onslow and Pitt Counties.
Several local law enforcement agencies have joined together to offer an $8,000 reward. Those with information are asked to call 1-800-276-4533.