OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Approximately 50 home invasion robberies have targeted elderly Asian families in the Oakland Hills, and they may be connected to a small group of criminals, according to law enforcement sources. The I-Team's Dan Noyes has obtained internal police memos that we can't show to protect the sources, and that information has helped us track down some of the victims.
This is one of the home invasions listed in police documents obtained by the I-Team: On Monday, an 80-year-old man and his 69-year-old wife were caring for their two grandchildren when robbers broke into a second-floor window.
Their daughter told the I-Team, "One man was downstairs with my parents, you know, keeping an eye on them, while the other one was upstairs, trying to get into our safe, ransacking, you know, our closet, our bedrooms, looking for valuables."
The men held the couple at gunpoint for nearly 40 minutes -- a terrifying ordeal.
The daughter said, "During this time, my mom was trying to rush them out of the house by saying, 'Hey, you know, someone's going to be home soon. My son-in-law is going to be home from work soon. So we need to hurry up and get what you need.' You know, she offered them cash and said, 'hey, if what you're looking for is cash, here's cash, but just take it. Please don't hurt any of us.'"
The criminals got away with $10,000 in cash and jewelry.
The family has had three other attempted home invasions, and with each one, they take a new security precaution -- the fence, the cameras, the dog.
Their German Shepherd, now 11 years old, didn't stop the criminals this week.
DAN NOYES: "What's his name?"
WOMAN: "His name is Felix."
DAN NOYES: "Felix, you gotta do your job, pal."
Officials at the Oakland Police Department will not provide anybody to talk on-camera about these issues, saying it's part of an ongoing investigation. But privately, sources tell Dan Noyes they are upset about this crime spree continuing, and they want the story told.
The sources gave us a copy of an internal advisory that says, "OPD has series of approximately 50 212.5" -- or first-degree robberies -- "targetng Asian homes (mostly elderly couples) in the Oakland Hills Area."
We have also seen police memos detailing each of the incidents that, investigators say, appear to be connected -- committed by the same small group of criminals.
This cinematographer named Tony had his front door pushed in two weeks ago, just before 4 a.m.: "I mean, it was very loud. It was like an explosion. We thought, I don't know if something crazy happened or on the street, but it was coming from inside the house."
Tony tells us one of the robbers chased him up the stairs with a knife, and he barricaded the bedroom door while his wife called 911: "We were just terrified. We were just screaming at the top of our lungs, hoping someone will hear us."
The police arrived within minutes, but the criminals got away with $40,000 in camera gear. The I-Team told him about the police alert that criminals are targeting homes owned by Asian families.
Tony answered, "It's already with Asian hate crimes, and everything was already hard to exist as an Asian in this community. And now it sounds even harder, you know?"
We spoke with other victims who are on the OPD list of recent home invasions. They declined to be interviewed for fear of retaliation, but they want the information to get out, hoping someone knows who these guys are and calls the police.
INTERACTIVE: Take a look at the ABC7 Neighborhood Safety Tracker
If you're on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live