Asian Businesses Targeted; Owners Fight Back

SOUTH SACRAMENTO -- Residents of predominantly Asian neighborhoods in South Sacramento say they've seen too much violence and police agree.

"Yeah it does seem like over the past several months we've seen an increase in these types of crimes -- namely robberies. Particularly robberies of people in front of their homes," Officer Matthew McPhail with the Sacramento Police said.

So much so, that numbers of people are refusing to visit or shop at businesses in Sacramento's Little Saigon after the sun goes down.

"Regarding the news on TV I see, it's much better to go in the daytime. One mistake, it can cost your life," one shopper agreed.

Dissatisfied with Sacramento Police Department's response to the crime trend, a community group -- one who's members may be armed -- has now sprung up. They will respond to calls for help, and patrol on their own.

Police say, they're not taking that as a criticism.

"I actually see it a little bit differently. I see it as an engaged community. And they are searching for a way to solve these problems. And that ultimately what our responsibility is, is to work along side this community," Mcphail said.

Sacramento PD isn't even discouraging members from arming themselves for the purposes of defending their own homes.

"There is a long-standing and well protected right for people to protect themselves," Mcphail said.

But he said that right doesn't extend to carrying a concealed weapon without a permit, or using that weapon with the discretion of a vigilante.

"There's an inherent safety issue that exists, not only for our officers, but for those individuals if our officers aren't sure who they are and you have an armed person arriving on scene, there's a risk there that it would just simply be better for our officers to have to encounter those individuals," Mcphail said.