Burglars are ‘targeting Asian community’s gold heirlooms’
PROFESSIONAL burglars are using high-powered stolen cars to steal valuable gold from the Asian community, police have warned.
Asian family heirlooms are often made of expensive high-purity gold and commonly kept and displayed in homes.
Officers from South Wales Police have been meeting with members of the community at the Santan Dharma Mandal and Community Centre in Splott, Cardiff, to give advice on how to reduce the risk of being targeted.
The warning comes after a 26-year-old was recently jailed for three years following a police operation targeting suspects in high-value gold theft cases.
Detective Inspector Lloyd Williams said: “There’s a trend of burglaries which involve high-value gold, and a lot of the victims are from the Asian community.
“If you see expensive cars with multiple people in them driving slowly and looking around acting suspiciously, then ring us. We need to know that.”
Operation Violet Everest recently targeted suspects in high-value gold theft cases, and officers arrested eight people and seized 17 vehicles.
Superintendent Jay Dave said: “We want to convict more so we can cut the head off.
“These type of burglaries can spread through word of mouth, so if the ‘boss’ is away then those lower down are less likely to do it.”
Police believe that the current method used by the burglars is for three or four suspects to enter an unoccupied house by breaking a back door or window, before conducting an “untidy” search for jewellery in the first floor rooms.
The suspects then flee the scene in a powerful stolen vehicle with false number plates.
Police said their intelligence shows the gold is often taken to illegal traders and then smelted down to be sold again.
Officers believe that the problem is UK-wide, with suspects often travelling from afar to target certain houses.
Suspects will often wear facemasks or balaclavas and clean the scene with bleach to avoid leaving forensic traces.
Speaking to the community, police recommended removing high-value jewellery from homes and placing it with a bank or safedeposit company.
Luke Wall, 26, was jailed at Cardiff Crown Court in January after he admitted stealing cash and jewellery worth thousands of pounds in a string of burglaries.
The court heard that Wall took 24-carat gold Indian jewellery during one incident and 22-carat gold rings and a necklace worth around £2,000 in another burglary.
Edward Mitchard, defending, accepted his client had an “extensive” criminal record but said there were no previous convictions for dwelling burglary.
Judge Richard Twomlow noted “very valuable” property was taken.
Wall, from Wentloog Road in Cardiff, admitted burglary and attempted burglary and was jailed for three years.