Asian gold worth £200,000 stolen in string of raids on homes across Scotland

An organised crime gang targeting Asian gold is believed to be responsible for a string of high-value housebreakings during a ten day crime spree across Scotland.

Friday, 3rd September 2021, 11:36 am
Updated Friday, 3rd September 2021, 11:37 am

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Crooks have have stolen gold jewellery and watches worth more than £200,000 in a spate of break-ins at 14 addresses.

In a 10-day spree starting on August 21, properties were targeted in Bathgate, Beith, Stranraer, Cambuslang, Paisley, Stepps, East Kilbride and Glasgow.

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More than £140m worth of Asian gold jewellery has been stolen in the UK over the past five years.

Gold jewellery is often bought as a wedding gift in British Asian families and passed down through generations.

Detectives hunting the raiders want to trace a gunmetal grey Cupra Ateca car, believed to have been in the area of each crime and which is being used by the suspects.

Police Scotland officers are investigating the linked crimes as part of Operation Suitcase, launched in response to a significant number of Asian homes being broken into and high-value gold and other expensive items being stolen.

Detective Sergeant Allan MacInnes said: “The homeowners have been left devastated at the theft of their belongings and we are pursuing a number of lines of inquiry as we look to identify the culprits and trace the stolen items.

A grey Cupra Ateca similar to the motor detectives the crooks are using.

“We would ask that anyone who remembers seeing any suspicious activity in the affected areas between August 21 and 31, or who can help us locate the grey Cupra Ateca and its occupants, contacts police immediately.

“In addition, anyone with any other information relevant to our ongoing investigation should also get in touch.”

He said the public has a “vital role” in helping prevent crime by storing their valuables safely out of sight and ensuring all doors and windows are secured when the home is empty.

DS MacInnes added: “We would also recommend that those choosing to store significantly valuable items within their home invest in robust security measures such as safes, alarms and motion-activated lighting.

Asian gold worth £600,000 was stolen in a series of break-ins in Glasgow in 2017.

“In addition, where possible we encourage the use of safety deposit boxes outwith your home address, or if this is not a viable option, then please consider using a safe storage option, which is approved by your insurer.

“A range of useful crime prevention advice is available on our website by visiting www.scotland.police.uk.”

Anyone with information on the incidents can contact Police Scotland on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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