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Departments : In the Hood

The Tiny Rascal Gang: Big Trouble

This violent Cambodian street gang can be found in most parts of the country.

January 01, 2000  |  by Investigator Al Valdez

Tattoos are commonly seen on TRG members, as well as the popular shaved head.  The most common tattoo is "TRG," but the three dot- and five-dot tattoos have also been noted.  The clothing styles vary depending on where the TRG gang is located, but commonly seen is Hispanic gang styles of dress.

In 1996, national TRG gang membership was estimated to be over 2,000.  That figure is sure to be low, especially when African-American, Caucasian, Filipino, Hispanic, Hmong, Korean, Laotian, Samoan, Cambodian and Vietnamese TRG gang members have been contacted.  During criminal investigations, Cambodian TRG gang members have been misidentified as Hispanic gang members by civilian witnesses.  Inaccurate and under reporting have also played a role in the underestimation of the gang population.

At one time, Asian street gangs had no formal ritual to establish membership.  Another sign of Hispanic gang influence is seen in the methods that TRG uses to formally establish membership to their gang.  The method may vary from individual to individual.  For example, if you are well liked and have a history of supporting the gang, especially by participating in criminal activity with other gang members, you are "walked in."  In other words you are just formally recognized by the gang as an official member.  It would not be uncommon for one or more TRG gang members to act as sponsors, especially those who were crime partners.

The other common method used for membership is the "jump in."  A prospective member has to fight two or three gang members for a specified time.  The fight is symbolic, as it is supposed to show whether or not the prospective member has the heart, attitude and guts to back up the gang.

Females get in the same way or can join the gang by being "sexed in."  The prospective female ahs to have sex with a number of gang members in order to be recognized as a member.  Many times, females will choose this form of gang initiation because it is the least violent.  Sometimes the number of sexual partners is determined by rolling dice.  Sexing in a female gang member has become more popular in the last couple of years for many street gangs.

Criminal Activity

TRG is monetarily motivated.  Any criminal actions that will bring in money to the gang member or gang are utilized.  The gang has been involved in extortions, home invasion robberies, robberies, burglaries, auto thefts, assaults, drug sales, attempted murders and murders, and has been known to issue death threats toward peace officers.  At one time it was believed that TRG gang members had access to military C-4 explosives and grenades.

Uniquely, TRG members from different parts of a state of from outside the state will work together as a team to commit a crime.  A July, 1995 home invasion robbery in Sacramento, Calif. ended up with two members of a Vietnamese family being killed and third wounded.  Sacramento law enforcement was able to identify the four TRG gang members who were involved.  One was from Portland, Ore.  The other three were from California.

This inter- and intrastate cooperation helps solidify the TRG gang and can make field investigations difficult.  More recently, intelligence information showed that TRG members are maintaining a working relationship with the Asian Boys, another Southeast Asian street gang based in California.  These two gangs have connections to the Ghost Shadows, a New York-based Chinese gang operating on the West Coast.  It appears that the TRG and Asian Boys are receiving weapons from the Ghost Shadows in exchange for services at prostitution and illegal gambling locations.

You can expect some more unique relationships to form as the gang members grow up.  Narcotics sales, prostitution and illegal gambling will continue to draw Asian street gang members to a more sophisticated criminal life.  Be safe!

Al Valdez is an investigator with the Orange County (Calif.) District Attorney's Office and author of the book, Gangs.  He is a regular contributor to POLICE.

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Tags: Street Gangs, Asian Gangs, Tiny Rascal Gangsters


Comments (4)

Displaying 1 - 4 of 4

against them @ 2/3/2014 10:57 AM

i hate these people beacause of the asian gangs my big brother is gettin into trouble. they ruined his life. they took my amazing older brother and turned him into trouble.one day i will change this. i hope you people realize what you have done to this world. people shouldnt have to run for lives when they try to quit and do better. i hope you all suffer. all thge gangs out their. go to hell!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

still against them @ 2/7/2014 10:05 AM

so i am going to continue. my older brother belongs to the tiny rascals asian gang. he is on the run for his life. he came home to do better.they want to kill him now. i hate all gangs as much as i hate thr tiny rascal asian gang. maybe i joined a gang but im doing good.one day.........you will all suffer the ones who started these gangs. murder....violence......hardcore drugs... you are all fucked up!!!!!!go to hell.....and suffer. and you will suffer.......i will make sure of tghat.

selena @ 5/22/2014 1:20 PM

i hate you all!!!you all make me so angry!!! yes im going to hunt down all those niggas who got my brother involved!!! one by one. make you all suffer! you will all live in misery and or spend the rset of your lives in hell!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ouR gang oR dont bang @ 6/23/2014 5:03 AM

ya'll shut yo TRap. R'z ON MINE, EVERYBODY KILLA

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