Raiders steal £½m of gold and cash from Asian homes in 6mths
CRIMINAL gangs targeting Asian households have stolen more than £500,000 worth of gold and cash over the past six months, police have revealed.
Officers have advised communities to be vigilant after a number of high value housebreakings across the country.
Since April, police said there have been 35 reports of break-ins to properties in
Glasgow, Paisley, Renfrew, Ayrshire and Edinburgh, resulting in more than £500,000 worth of jewellery and cash being stolen.
They are urging people who keep valuable gold items or cash in their homes to ensure they are stored safely out of sight, and that their properties are ‘robustly secured’.
Officers are also asking communities to look out for any suspicious activity in their local area, with break-ins generally happening between 11am and 11pm.
Last month, an 11-year-old girl was threatened when armed thieves stole jewellery and cash from a property in Ardrossan, Ayrshire. The 46-year-old mother of the girl, who cannot be named to protect the child, said the robbers struck while she had gone on an errand for less than an hour.
She said: ‘My daughter didn’t want to go out. She’s very mature and I was only going for about an hour.
‘She phoned me right after it happened. She said: “Mummy, phone the police. They took everything.” They told her to keep quiet and don’t move while they took everything.’
The mother-of-one, whose husband was out at the time, came from overseas to Scotland 14 years ago to seek a better future.
She added: ‘I was on my way home when it happened. These people are very quick and know how to open doors with a screwdriver or a card.
‘Four or five men with masks came into the house. They took presents, documents, passports and cash.’
In March, gold jewellery worth more than £27,000 was stolen during a break-in in Bathgate, West Lothian.
Detectives believe the crime was linked to a robbery in nearby Armadale on the same night, when Asian gold jewellery was also taken. The homes in Bridgend Park and Mallace Avenue were broken into between 7pm and 9pm.
Detective Inspector Kevin Gilmour, said: ‘While the numbers we’ve seen occurring over recent times are much lower than two years ago, I want to again reassure the public we are doing everything to bring the perpetrators to justice.’
High-profile gold and jewellery thefts led to Police Scotland setting up investigation ‘Operation Suitcase’ seven years ago.
‘Mummy, call the police’