Community fears as more Crawley Asian households burgled
Police need to ‘up the ante’ to solve a spate of burglaries targeting Asian households, a community leader has warned.
He said people were scared to leave their homes after five more homes were hit in Langley Green late last week.
Thieves are targeting high-value jewellery kept as heirlooms in Asian households, with around 20 incidents in the past few months.
Bharat Lukka, trustee at the Gurjar Hindu Union, Apple Tree Centre, Ifield, said concerned residents had inundated the centre with calls and letters.
He said: “Some really serious actions need to be taken. It is almost certain someone is watching these homes. Some couples have gone out for 20 minutes, they’ve come back, and that’s it. They know which homes to target and at which times. That’s the worrying factor, particularly for older people.”
More than £100,000 worth of jewellery has been taken in the thefts, which occur when residents are out.
Men of Asian appearance, purporting to be cavity wall insulation salesmen, have preyed upon homes in Broadfield, Tilgate, Langley Green, Pound Hill, Gossops Green, Maidenbower, Furnace Green and Southgate, according to police.
Two people were arrested in connection with the crime spree in September but this has not put a stop to the more recent incidents taking place late last week.
Mr Lukka said more action was needed to tackle the thieves.
He said: “The police need to up the ante with patrols, it’s really gone on for too long. If this is to do with police cuts then it’s really naive to be cutting patrols at the cost of the people. We have two large religious festivals coming up – are police going to be extra-vigilant during these times?”
A day care centre at the Apple Tree Centre has seen dwindling numbers as the elderly stay at home.
Mr Lukka added: “When people become a prisoner in their own home it gets worrying. I know no-one has been attacked but you feel like you’re watching your back. Lets hope the police will listen and do something about it.”
Sergeant Jim Collen, neighbourhood policing team, said: “We can confirm a number of new offences in this series during the past week and we are very much aware of the anxiety this is causing in the local community. The investigation recognises that this is a problem that goes beyond our own Sussex borders and in addition to the dedicated investigative resources being put into this issue, we are sharing important information with other forces in the region and with the Metropolitan Police Service.”
“We have continued to offer crime prevention advice and community briefings in both English and a number of other languages and this work is continuing alongside local authority partners. We have met with a number of community representatives this week and will continue to do so to ensure that people are kept as fully informed as possible without compromising the investigation. It is our intention to hold an open community meeting in the near future to ensure that we reach as many people as possible.”
If you have any information about the burglaries call police on 101 serial 0555 of 28/09.
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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