"the homeowners have been left devastated"
Multiple Scottish Asian homes have had £200,000 worth of gold and other expensive items stolen after being broken into.
Between Saturday, August 21, 2021, and Tuesday, August 31, 2021, there were 14 separate robberies across the country.
These took place in Beith, Bathgate, Stranraer, Cambuslang, Paisley, Steps, East Kilbride and Glasgow.
According to police, the robberies are connected.
Gold jewellery, watches and similar items worth a combined total of £200,000 were snatched from each of the homes that were targeted.
Police Scotland have now launched ‘Operation Suitcase’ in response to the break-ins.
Investigations are ongoing to determine who is responsible for them.
Officers are especially keen to trace a grey Cupra Ateca car seen in the area of each incident and was most likely the vehicle being used by the suspects.
Detective Sergeant Allan MacInnes from the Community Investigation Unit in Govan, said:
“As a result of each of these incidents, the homeowners have been left devastated at the theft of their belongings and we are pursuing a number of lines of inquiry as we look to identify the culprits and trace the stolen items.
“We would ask that anyone who remembers seeing any suspicious activity in the affected areas between 21 and 31 August, or who can help us locate the grey Cupra Ateca and its occupants, contacts police immediately.
“In addition, anyone with any other information relevant to our ongoing investigation should also get in touch.”
The police also advised how Scottish Asian households can safely keep high-value items in their homes.
“Preventing housebreaking and reducing the numbers of those affected by such crimes is a top priority for Police Scotland and the public have a vital role to play by ensuring their valuables are stored safely and out of sight and that all doors and windows are secured appropriately when left unoccupied.
“We would also recommend that those choosing to store significantly valuable items within their home invest in robust security measures such as safes, alarms and motion-activated lighting.
“In addition, where possible we encourage the use of safety deposit boxes out-with your home address, or if this is not a viable option, then please consider using a safe storage option, which is approved by your insurer.
“A range of useful crime prevention advice is available on our website by visiting www.scotland.police.uk.”
Anyone with information which may be helpful can contact Police Scotland on 101, quoting incident number 2747 of Wednesday, August 25, 2021.
Alternatively, Crimestoppers can be called anonymously on 0800 555 111.