City businessman beaten and robbed in own home

Hillpark Grove, where the robbery took place
Hillpark Grove, where the robbery took place
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A CITY businessman was subjected to a four-hour robbery ordeal as a gang of thieves attacked him and ransacked his home, it emerged today.

The group restrained the 48-year-old man, reported to own several businesses in the Capital including tartan souvenir shops and newsagents, while they searched for valuables.

The Evening News understands the robbers escaped with jewellery worth more than £10,000 following the raid on the £1 million property in Hillpark Grove in the early hours of Sunday morning. The victim, who was beaten by the group, did not require medical treatment but was “badly shaken up” and suffered some cuts and bruises.

He was too upset to speak when contacted by the Evening News.

Police would not be drawn on how the gang gained entry to the property, located in an estate dubbed “Millionaires Row” by locals, and there is no description of the suspects.

Detective Sergeant Neil Spowart, who is leading the investigation, said the victim, who was alone at the time of the robbery, has suffered a “traumatic experience” and up to six robbers had been involved.

“At this point in time we’re not exactly certain what the motivation behind this has been,” he said.

“Normally people breaking into houses get in and out as quickly as they can but this was prolonged assault.

“There’s been a number of [robbers], which is unusual, and they have spent a decent amount of time in the house, which is also unusual.

He added: “The victim’s been restrained by these males whilst a search was being carried out on the house.

“Because of the shock and trauma he’s had we can’t exactly determine how long that’s been.”

Two bootmarks were yesterday visible on the door of the home and paving outside was damaged. A locksmith’s van was parked on the road outside.

DS Spowart said police were appealing for homeowners with external CCTV to get in contact in case their footage contained vital information that could help with the investigation.

He said because the house was located in a cul-de-sac there were only a few roads available to the robbers making their escape.

A resident, who declined to be identified, said there had been a visible spike in police activity in the area since the weekend robbery.

A police spokesman said: “Inquiries are at a very early stage, and we are appealing for anyone who may have been in the area any time between 2am and 6am on Sunday morning, and who may have seen something suspicious, to get in touch with police.

“Anyone with any information that can help can contact Lothian and Borders Police on 0131-311 3131.”

Police sources today said reports naming the victim as Bindi Singh were wrong.

Police have refused to speculate on suggestions that the thieves were hunting for Asian gold, which is said to be of a higher purity than western jewellery.

david.mccann@edinburghnews.com