LEXINGTON, SC (WIS) - Reports on robberies and reports of suspicious activity are affecting members of the Midlands Indian community.
On Monday, many people with Indian heritage remain on high alert as Lexington County authorities investigate at least two costly home burglaries.
Photos are being circulated on social media showing two women apparently dressed in Indian style clothing and driving a blue car. Descriptions of these women have been reported to the sheriff's department, as possible connections to the robberies, but have not been established by investigators.
It started with a low-quality security video that might not seem worth a second glance for many who see it shows troubling images for members of the Midlands Indian community.
The video shows what appears to be two women wearing Indian clothing walking up a driveway and ringing the doorbell at a home said to be in the Hunters Mill Road area of West Columbia.
The women are possibly the same two spotted in a Lexington neighborhood on Wednesday, wearing Indian "garb" and reported as suspicious to the Lexington County Sheriff's Department.
That report was filed a few days after investigators were called to a home in the Clearwater community near Highway 6 where a man was held at gunpoint and tied up with belts after surprising a burglar inside the house. The burglars made off with more than $75,000 to $100,000 in gold jewelry.
The Clearwater community burglary followed yet another burglary north of St. Andrews Road the previous day that netted the thief as much as $10,000 in jewelry.
All the crimes happened at the homes of South Carolinians of Indian descent.
"We don't know that they're connected, we don't know that they're not. Right now, we're in the early stages of our investigation and part of that is to see if they're connected in some way," Captain Adam Myrick, spokesman for the Lexington County Sheriff's Department said.
No one was injured in any of the reported incidents though the victim in the Clearwater break-in said he was still unnerved by having a gun held to his head.
He also said it is well known among their people that they have been for targeted for years because Indian culture values gold jewelry. That belief was supported by a Google search that listed dozens of similar robberies in nearly every part of the country.
One witness has told investigators about a bright blue Honda sedan.
"We did take a call about that, Captain Myrick said. "We are looking into it."
A picture of the Honda was taken in the neighborhood where the women ringing doorbells were caught on camera.