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Monday, October 19, 2009

US robbers targeting Indian homes for gold

Washington: Police in the US have found a disturbing trend of Indian-American homes being targeted by burglars for gold, which guarantees the robbers of better money, thanks to the soaring price of the precious metal, rather than traditional electronic items. 

    Since high quality gold jewellery—of 22 carats or more—is found mostly in homes of Indians in particular and South Asians in general, the police say the robbers have increasingly started targeting such homes, a media report said. 
    The Washington Post said several cases of burglars breaking into Indi
an homes and making off with gold have been reported in neighbourhoods in and around Washington, which has a sizeable Indian population. 
    "The burglars are discerning. They have taken 22-carat pieces but left behind sterling silver and well-crafted costume jewellery. They have sifted through floor-length 
gowns lovingly stored in closets and plucked every custom-made sari threaded with gold worth thousands, disdaining saris worth only hundreds,'' the report said. 
    Last Thursday at least three such cases were reported in Loudoun county, Vir
ginia. Burglars broke into six Indian homes in Fairfax too. Another 16 burglaries between January and August were reported in Reston, Centreville and Fair Oaks, the daily said. 
    It added that unsolved crimes mirrored a pattern of 93 burglaries in Houston, 37 in central Illinois and several near St Paul, Minnesota. 

    Police had yet to figure out how the burglars identified homes with large gold caches, the paper said. Victims and police had eliminated obvious links like churches, temples, or even grocery stores where they could have been tracked, it added. AGENCIES 
Gold prices prove a draw for US robbers 
Washington: Police in the United States have uncovered a trend of burglars targeting Indian and South 
Asian homes and making off with gold jewellery, which guarantees better returns than electronics in the current economy. 
    "There is targeting due to gold prices. That's how we are talking about it, rather than ethnicity,'' said Mary 
Ann Jennings, police spokeswoman in Fairfax county, Virginia state. 
    Raman Kumar, whose house was burgled recently, said the thieves took away a gold statue of Lakshmi while left other electronic items including 
laptop. "Here is the thing: If you know our customs, you know we carry a lot of gold,'' he said. 
    The Post said thieves operate with a notable precision, not only in choosing houses but also on sorting the take. "Vindhya Kommineni lost her most expensive saris made for her wedding, her wedding rings and a sterling dinner set 
that included gold inlay as part of an October 6 burglary that was one of two that day on a block in Fair Oaks. Not all of her gowns were taken, nor were all of her silver utensils,'' the daily said. AGENCIES


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