Gold-hunting raiders target Asian familiesBy Mike Pyle
October 19, 2012
Raiders have targeted at least seven Asian families in Winnersh and Earley hunting for gold and jewellery, with five houses ransacked in two days.
Families are being warned to make sure their homes are not a ‘pot of gold’ and police have issued posters urging them to store their jewellery in a safe or a bank safety deposit box after the raids in the last few weeks.
One victim, whose home in Reading Road, Winnersh, was broken into, said: “We went out and they must have been watching because we weren’t out for long and they went in straight away.
“They only got to searching through the bedrooms but it’s clear they were after specific things – they ignored laptops which were out in the open and had emptied out my wardrobe.
“It makes you feel sick to think about it and very vulnerable.”
He added: “I was on my way back about 15 minutes later and there was a black BMW in the road outside which started beeping its horn. I didn’t think anything of it.
“I know now they must have been keeping watch and the burglars had opened the windows upstairs so they could hear the warning.
“They’d got in around the back. They must have made sure the neighbouring house was unoccupied too because they got in through their gate and then came over. The UPVC panel at the bottom of the back door had been smashed – I don’t think they wanted to make noise so they didn’t break the glass.
The thieves took a watch, sunglasses and gold bangles.
In a spate of burglaries last year Asian families were targeted in Earley and Woodley.
Colombian Roberto Tascon-Grisales was jailed in connection with the thefts in February.
Officers are urging Asian families, who often keep expensive gold and jewellery at home, to store valuables in a bank or safe and not to advertise them.
Other tips suggested are to make sure gold is valued professionally and insured to its value and that houses are alarmed.
Also take photos of your jewellery and keep an inventory.
Ensure you leave the lights on timers and make sure your safe is up to British standards.