Birmingham murder: Suspect released without charge

Last Updated: Monday, January 16, 2012 - 21:32

London: One of the two persons arrested in
connection with the twin murder of Indian-origin Avtar Singh
Kolar and his English wife Carole Kolar in Birmingham was
on Monday released without charge, the police said.

The person released is a 41-year-old, who was arrested
yesterday, while a 24-year-old suspect remains on police bail
in connection with the investigation codenamed Operation
Tiler.

The West Midlands Police launched the investigation on
January 11 after the bodies of Carole, 58, and Avtar Kolar,
62, were found inside their home address in Handsworth Wood by
their son Jason, who is a serving officer with West Midlands
Police.

Following post mortem examinations, it was confirmed that
the couple died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head.

Both had been struck a number of times.

The reward of 10,000 pounds put up by crime-fighting
charity organisation Crimestoppers continues to be available
to anyone providing information that leads to the arrest and
conviction of the persons responsible for this crime.

One of the "significant" lines of police investigation is
that the couple`s house may have been targeted by gold thieves
who have struck at several places in Birmingham in the recent
past due to the rising price of the yellow metal.

Asian - and particularly Indian - families are known to
save and regularly buy gold and ornaments as per tradition.

There was almost one burglary a day in the couple`s
neighbourhood in Handsworth Wood, last year, according to Home
Office statistics.

On Friary Road, where the couple lived near the Handsworth
Golf Course, four properties had been burgled over a 12-month
period, reports from Birmingham said.

Detective Superintendent Richard Baker, who is leading the
investigation, said gold theft was regarded as a "significant
line of inquiry".

Gold prices have risen in the credit crunch and Asian gold
is the purest available.

The police said there had been a spate of gold thefts in
Birmingham and the region in recent weeks.

One jeweller in Birmingham said he feared being targeted
by gold thieves so much that he had stopped displaying
jewellery.

The owner, who did not want to be named, told the local
media that said he had been robbed five times in four years,
including one incident where he was followed to his house and
physically attacked.

A former police officer in Birmingham told the Birmingham
Mail that he believed the Kolar couple might have been
targeted for their jewellery by a thief who had stolen from
other homes in the area.

He said: "In my experience burglars in this area target
people for cash and especially jewellery because they are both
easy to move on.

"If you are a jeweller in Birmingham`s Jewellery Quarter
and someone walks in with a handful of gold chains, you have
no way of truly establishing where they came from".

He added: "Asian families are particularly at risk from
this sort of crime because, rightly or wrongly, it is assumed
that Asian families - and in particular Indian ones - will
have lots of jewellery.

"Thieves believe this will often be high quality 24-carat
gold, so it is very attractive to criminals".

An Indian-origin couple living near the Kolars` house said
they were attacked outside their home recently.

Sorakhsha Ram, 49, said that soon after after she met her
husband, Kashaw, in their driveway two thugs jumped out of a
car and demanded their car keys.

The robbers attacked him when he refused and threw his
keys into a neighbour`s garden.

PTI



First Published: Monday, January 16, 2012 - 21:32

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