Asian Communities Warned to Stay Alert as Gold Burglaries Surge – South Asia Time

Asian Communities Warned to Stay Alert as Gold Burglaries Surge

 May 14, 2024  

London — Police have issued a stark warning to Asian communities across the UK following a significant rise in burglaries targeting family gold, with hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of precious metal stolen since the beginning of the year.

Thieves have been specifically targeting Indian, Pakistani, and other Asian households, with recent incidents coinciding with the Hindu spring festival of Akshaya Tritiya, traditionally a time when families invest in gold. The modus operandi of the thieves includes making random cold calls to homes, possibly as a reconnaissance tactic before executing targeted burglaries.

Nottinghamshire Police’s 2020 warning about suspicious phone inquiries targeting Asian families seems prescient in light of the recent surge in gold-related burglaries. Hampshire, Dorset, and Surrey police have collectively reported 31 such incidents since January, amounting to an estimated £200,000 in losses. Additionally, areas with well-established Asian communities such as Slough, Maidenhead, and Windsor have emerged as hotspots for such crimes.

Law enforcement agencies are particularly concerned about the upcoming wedding season, as affluent Asian families often store significant amounts of gold at home. Chief Inspector Matt Paling of Hampshire Police emphasized the sophistication of these criminal operations and urged communities to remain vigilant.

The skyrocketing value of gold, reaching record highs in recent months, has only exacerbated the issue, making it an even more lucrative target for thieves. Victims like Preeti Nayyar, whose home was burglarized in March, have experienced firsthand the trauma and financial loss inflicted by these brazen criminals.

To combat this rising trend, authorities are advising families to secure their gold in safer locations such as banks or safety deposit boxes and to invest in home security measures like CCTV cameras. However, challenges remain, as stolen gold is often melted down or sold anonymously, exploiting gaps in existing legislation governing the gold trade.

As communities grapple with this escalating threat, cooperation between law enforcement and vigilant citizens becomes increasingly crucial in safeguarding against such targeted crimes.