Home Invasion Sets Punjabi Community on Edge

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In addition to Mondays' home invasion robbery of a Punjabi home, community members say there have been many other crimes.

Kerman area farmer Kuldip Kalaka said, "It's mostly stealing, they know when they are not home, but as he said there are robberies too. In broad daylight they force their way in and ask for money and jewelry."

Kerman Police say Mondays' home invasion was the first robbery of this type in years. But community members say there have been at least three in recent months. Kalaka believes the criminals are after gold. He notes gold jewelry is an Indian tradition. But he said it would be wrong to assume Indians have gold in their homes.

Most of those who came to city hall. Like Nirmal Siduh want more police protection. "They should be like hiring more officers or patrol more."

Kerman City Manager Ron Manfredi tried to assure the residents the city was on their side, and suggested some steps the Punjabi's could take themselves.

"Let's look and talk to you about setting a neighborhood watch up, lets' talk about securing your home and let's talk about maybe how you handle your valuables."

But that was not the advice those who came to City Hall wanted to hear. Many said they were unsatisfied with the city's response and they plan to step up demands for more and better police protection.

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