Leicester family's heartbreak over gold jewellery raid
A family has been left heartbroken after burglars raided their home and stole jewellery which had been handed down through three generations.
They were among eight victims in the past 10 days whose homes have been targeted by intruders looking for Asian gold.
Police say this is a higher number than they would expect for the period.
The force is to distribute thousands of crime prevention leaflets in the affected neighbourhoods, including Spinney Hills, Evington, Belgrave and Rushey Mead, in the next few days.
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A member of the family, whose home in Westmeath Avenue, off Goodwood Road, in Leicester, was targeted, said: "It's been a devastating experience. It's hard to describe because we are still picking up the pieces.
"A lot of the items were of such sentimental value to us because they had been handed down through the generations from my grandmother to my mother to me.
"I have been reading about other burglaries and also the places in Leicester where people have had gold chains snatched from them and it is all very sad.
"The people who commit these crimes must realise what impact their actions have on people.
"It may only take a moment for them to do what they do, but the impact on their victims is massive.
"If anyone knows anything at all that may assist the police, please help us."
The intruders forced their way into the family home through its front door between 11.30pm on Saturday, October 20 and 2am the next day.
They ransacked the bedrooms before they found the jewellery, some designer clothing and a large amount of cash.
Det Constable Louise Osborne said: "This is a particularly upsetting crime which has left the family traumatised.
"Asian gold jewellery from several generations has been stolen and is irreplaceable."
Police are also posting 10,000 greetings cards, which also carry a basic crime prevention message, through doors in the Rushey Mead and Belgrave areas to tie in with the forthcoming Diwali celebrations.
Photograph all items of jewellery individually and keep the photos safe.
Register your jewellery for free at www.immobilise.com
Buy a small safe and fix to a secure surface.
Where possible use a bank or safety deposit box.
Lock all windows and doors when asleep and when out of the house. Also, leave some lights on when you are out or buy a timer which will switch lights on and off at intervals.
Contact Det Con Osborne on 101 about the burglary or Crimestoppers, which is anonymous, on 0800 555 111.