London: A prominent jewellery shop owned by an Indian-origin businessman in the British city of Leicester has become the latest victim in a spate of burglaries in the town with a large South Asian population.
Belgrave Road, better known as ‘Little India’ And Leicester`s `Golden Mile` due to the large number of jewellery shops there, has witnessed several burglaries in the recent
past, leading to major losses and upgraded security by the business community and the police.
Besides jewellery shops, homes owned by Indians and Asians have also been targeted across Britain, prompting the police to issue special guidelines to the community.
Last night, four masked men armed with hammers forced
their way into Ram Jewellers, smashed glass display cabinets
and escaped with gold bangles and rings.
Company director Mahul Visram, said he "heard the loud
bang on the front door when they hit it with the big hammer".
"We have a door entry system and the glass in the door
is tough, but they still got inside. Fortunately, nobody was
injured," he said.
Visram activated a security device which filled the room
with thick smoke, reports from Leicester said.
Ratilal Govind, a Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator in
Belgrave, said police patrols had passed the shop minutes
before the raid.
"I got a phone call just after 6.20 pm and rushed
straight down. I saw the sledgehammer in the road and glass
everywhere this was a professional job," he said.
It was the first armed raid in the area since Kampala
Jewellers was targeted in September, the reports added.
In that incident, masked robbers snatched more than
30,000 pounds worth of gold and jewellery before being chased
off by the owner, Rajesh Pattni.
‘Reacting to the latest burglary, Local councillor
Manjula Sood said it will "send shock waves through the
"We`ve gone a long time without having an incident such
as this and hoped it was behind us. I will be taking it up
with the police and seeing what else we can to do protect
jewellers and businesses and people who live in the area."?
Detective sergeant Paul Lambert of the Leicester
police said the investigation "is in its very early stages and
the quantity and value of the items stolen is not yet known."
Amidst a spate of robberies for gold items in homes
belonging to people from the Indian subcontinent, the police
have issued specific crime prevention advice that urges
members of the community not to keep gold items at home, among
Such robberies have been reported from various parts of
Britain, particularly from places with high concentration of
the Asian community that traditionally saves and stores gold
in their houses. These include parts of London, Reading,
Leicester and Birmingham.