RAIDERS who have been ransacking the homes of Asian families in search of gold struck again this week, making off with jewellery of priceless sentimental value.
Thieves have been breaking into houses across Swindon over the past couple of months in order to cash in on the soaring market value of the precious metal.
Detectives were already hunting a gang suspected of carrying out an earlier string of thefts before two homes were hit on successive days.
Burglars struck on Tuesday at a house in Queen’s Drive, Park South, stealing £1,000 of jewellery, including wedding and engagement rings.
An unspecified quantity of cash was also taken in the raid, which took place between 2.30pm and 8.30pm.
Another home was hit between 3pm and 4.45pm the following day in Sedgebrook, Liden.
The householder returned home from work to find the lights on and the upstairs rooms ransacked.
The raiders had also searched the loft before making off with a significant quantity of gold jewellery with huge sentimental value, a spokesman for Wiltshire Police said.
Detective Sergeant Mark Smith, of the Priority Crime Team, said: “The householder is very upset.
“The burglary had a significant impact because the jewellery was of such sentimental value.”
The thieves are believed to have made off over playing fields at Liden Primary School and onto the street via the school’s driveway.
Police are appealing to passers-by and parents who may have seen anyone acting suspiciously around the time of the afternoon school run.
The burglaries this week bear similar hallmarks to the earlier spate, during which six homes were targeted.
One of the previous victims was an 82-year-old woman bedridden with a serious illness, who was shocked to find a man in the bedroom.
The intruder and an accomplice stole thousands of pounds from a wardrobe in her bedroom. Police released an e-fit of one of the suspects at the time.
A victim of one of the earlier raids expressed his shock at hearing of the latest thefts.
He said: “It feels like your stomach’s being ripped out.
“I felt sick just looking at what they had done to my home and I felt like I couldn’t protect my family.
“It’s an invasion of your privacy and it doesn’t go away.
“At night I have images of them in my house because after it happened I could see where they had gone, such as going from one cupboard to another one before pulling out the contents and putting it on the bed. I can’t get over it at all.”
Anyone with information about the raid in Queen’s Drive should contact PC James Button, of the Priority Crime Team, on 101 ext 760373. For the Sedgebrook theft contact PC Gareth Snoad via 101 or at firstname.lastname@example.org