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Extortionist targeting specific businesses, police say

  • Story Highlights
  • At least 12 Chinese businesses in Atlanta-area counties have been threatened
  • Callers threaten owners' lives and then demand thousands of dollars
  • Police are investigating the threats and don't think anyone has paid the caller
  • Next Article in Crime »
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ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- A dozen Chinese business owners in the Atlanta, Georgia area have been threatened with violence by someone who is trying to extort thousands of dollars from them, police said.

The business owners say their lives are being threatened by an anonymous phone caller who is demanding as much as $200,000, CNN television affiliate WGCL reported.

The owner of a Chinese herb store said she received a call from a person demanding $20,000. When she said she did not have the money, the caller said he would kidnap someone or send someone to the hospital, the affiliate said.

Another owner was threatened with the death of a family member and damage to the business.

"They are so scared," said Charlene Fang, a spokeswoman for some of the business owners told WGCL.

Police reports show that the caller has threatened at least 12 Chinese businesses in several Atlanta-area counties. A dentist, doctor, accountant, acupuncturist and insurance agent have been targeted.

Police are investigating the threats and don't think anyone has paid the caller, the affiliate reported.

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