Sellers and keepers of high-value gold jewellery in the Eastbourne area are being urged to think carefully about security following several burglaries in which such items have been targeted.
Frequently of the highest purity - usually 24 carats - such jewellery is often handed down as a family heirloom, and consequently it also has great sentimental value. Sadly, recent months have seen at least six incidents in Eastbourne in which gold has been stolen.
On 10 July a property in Wannock Road was broken into and £2,100 worth of gold jewellery was stolen following a thorough search. The next day more than £10,000 worth of jewellery vanished after a house was burgled in Burton Road.
On 22 July £60,000 worth was stolen from a property in Staveley Road while the owner and his children were attending a mosque for prayers.
On 5 September a shop and living area in Seaside were burgled for gold jewellery, and on 10 September entry was forced to a property in Cade Street where a hidden cache of gold was found and stolen.
Most recently, Tuesday (24 September) saw a daytime burglary in Kings Drive in which £100,000 of high-end gold jewellery was stolen, and it is thought at least some of the thefts may have been linked.
Detective Constable Elliott Lander said: "We are working hard to investigate these crimes and bring the offenders to justice. We are also liaising with communities to provide crime prevention advice and support."
Ways in which people can help to safeguard themselves against becoming victims include:
* Not telling others about valuables kept at home or discussing such things in public
* Finding an insurance policy which fully covers the loss of high-value jewellery
* Not relying on drawers, cupboards, wardrobes, beds or lofts as hiding places
* Investing in an insurance-rated safe securely bolted to the wall or floor and hidden from view
* Installing closed-circuit television (CCTV) and alarms
* Registering details of valuables with www.immobilise.com
* If a dealer, be alert to anyone offering gold for sale in suspicious circumstances
* The websites www.securebydesign.com and www.soldsecure.com offer further information on approved security products, and https://www.sussex.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/ provides more advice
If anyone is seen acting suspiciously, please call the police immediately on 999. Anyone with information about thefts and burglaries can pass details online by ringing 101 or by contacting the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.