AN elderly couple have been robbed of more than £50,000 after their home was ransacked for their life savings and jewellery.
The Fongs, who have lived in Gracemount for nearly 25 years, returned home on Saturday evening to find rooms trashed and the cash missing from a bedroom.
A safety deposit box containing nearly £20,000 had been raided and several items of 22-carat gold and jade jewellery pieces valued at around £25,000 had been taken.
The elderly Chinese couple’s daughter and sons, who live just minutes away from their parents, said their parents were “heart broken” and had been left with only a couple of hundred pounds.
Darren Fong explained that his parents had worked every day of their lives to save the bundle of money, but that his father would now have to go back to work.
He said: “They can’t sleep at night now. My mum is absolutely devastated.
“They worked all their lives and my dad only retired last year. Now he’s going to have to go back to work. They have lost a lot of money and sentimental things.”
The couple’s daughter, Lesley, said she had not realised her parents had that much money in the house.
She said: “There have been a lot of break-ins in particular within the Chinese community, but most people don’t report it because they are too frightened.
“Many things that are sentimental to our family have been taken, including five thick chains, two pendants, a bracelet, a jade Buddah necklace and a Jesus cross. A lot of the pieces have been passed down or given as wedding gifts. Some of the pieces were from my grand father. Dad’s chain was engraved with his name.
“My dad came over here in 1968 and he only retired last January at the age of 65.
“It is an old-fashioned way of keeping money, not to trust banks, but I did not know they had that much.”
Lesley said she and her brothers had now chipped in to buy extra security measures for the home.
She said: “My parents feel they’re not safe in their own home now. They’ve no money left so we’ve paid for CCTV cameras, alarms and sensors. My mum is so upset and she won’t go out.
“Today [Monday] is Chinese New Year and we thought that they were perhaps targeting Chinese families because they know they come together. The Year of the Dragon is meant to lucky, but we’ve had a terrible start.
“We’re remembering that at the end of the day our parents are still here, that’s the main thing.”
A police spokesman said: “Police are investigating a break-in to a property in St Katharine’s Crescent on Saturday, where a five-figure sum of cash was stolen, along with a significant amount of jewellery.
“The break-in happened sometime between 3.30pm and 11.30pm, and we want anyone who was in the area, who noticed any suspicious activity, to contact police on 0131-311 3131, or Crimestoppers on 0800555 111.”
Man disturbs hooded housebreaker in kitchen
A SHOP assistant who investigated a banging noise in his kitchen found himself confronting a burglar who had climbed through his flat window.
Ryan Harkness was in bed when he was awoken by sounds from the kitchen of his ground-floor flat in Castle Terrace, off Lothian Road.
The 23-year-old said: “I came in and saw this guy wearing a hoodie standing next to the window. We’d left the latch open and he obviously took the opportunity. I shouted at him and he shouted back in what sounded like Romanian or Albanian. I’ve visited Albania so I’m familiar with the dialect.
“He climbed out back through the window and was gone.
“It was worrying because you don’t know if they are carrying a weapon or what they are going to do.”
The housebreaker, who is described as being in his late 20s to late 30s, 5ft 8in to 5ft 9in tall, slim and wearing dark clothing, escaped empty-handed.
A police spokesman said: “Police responded to Castle Terrace at around 2.40am on Saturday following a report of an attempted housebreaking.
“Anyone who was in the area at the time and saw anything suspicious is asked to come forward.”