Gold mine for thieves

Central Leader - - News - By Janie Smith

The ris­ing price of gold is mak­ing jew­ellery an in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar tar­get for thieves.

It’s a trend Glo­ria As­plin has ex­pe­ri­enced first hand.

The Green­lane res­i­dent had two rings taken from her dress­ing ta­ble when a thief climbed in through the bed­room win­dow while she was in the house on March 14.

Nor­mally they would be kept in a safe, but Mrs As­plin had friends com­ing over and knew she would be at home so she left them out.

They were stolen be­tween 7pm and 10.30pm.

“We didn’t hear a thing,” she says.

One was a di­a­mond ring bought in Hong Kong and the other was a fam­ily heir­loom re­cently given to her by her mother.

She says she can live without the di­a­mond ring, but is dev­as­tated by the loss of her mother’s jew­ellery.

“Claim­ing in­sur­ance is not go­ing to get back what you’ve lost. It’s my mother’s ring I’m up­set about. I’ll never get an­other one.”

Thank­fully Mrs As­plin had a home video with her mother wear­ing the ring so she was able to pro­vide a pic­ture of it to po­lice.

It was made from a but­ton that her mother was given as a child and it turned out to be set in gold, so she had it made into a ring.

It fea­tures a red dome-shaped stone in yel­low gold.

“I was just so proud to have it. Peo­ple who steal th­ese things don’t un­der­stand. It’s just so sick re­ally.”

Mrs As­plin says she would be happy to buy her rings back if she could find them.

Mt Welling­ton se­nior sergeant Brett Hjorth there has been an in­crease in bur­glar­ies in the past 18 months, with the In­dian com- mu­nity be­ing tar­geted for its 24 carat gold jew­ellery.

He says it’s hard to gauge how much jew­ellery is be­ing taken be­cause not all in­ci­dents are re­ported to po­lice.

“Some we know about are vast in terms of dol­lar value.”

He says cases like Mrs As­plin’s are op­por­tunis­tic crimes.

Po­lice are keen to hear from any­one who has had jew­ellery stolen, es­pe­cially dis­tinc­tive pieces that can be iden­ti­fied.

Easy tar­get: Glo­ria As­plin had her rings stolen from her bed­room.

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