An elderly Asian couple from Hampton, who were targeted in their home by burglars have revealed their terrifying experience to help warn Londoners to protect their family gold, especially during the festivities of Navratri and Diwali.

A couple in their late 70s and early 80s, who do not wish to be identified, were targeted in their home by a gang of thieves earlier this year.

At around 8:30 pm on Saturday, February 24, the couple were both watching television in their home, when they heard some banging coming from the hallway. The 77-year-old woman went to investigate and found four male suspects in the hallway.

One of the suspects pushed her back into the lounge and made her sit down. One male threatened her with a chisel by holding it against her neck and demanded to be shown to their ‘Asian gold’, whilst the others took the 82-year-old man upstairs whilst they searched the house for jewellery.

Before leaving the property, the four masked men, all in dark clothing, stole a quantity of jewellery and cash valued at £1260. This included; wedding rings, necklaces, bracelets, and bank cards.

No arrests have been made and enquiries continue.

The 77-year-old female victim of the burglary, said: "These men came in through our open kitchen window and threatened my husband and I. They turned our house upside down and stole our jewellery, including my much loved wedding ring. I would urge everyone to store their jewellery away from their home and properly secure their doors and windows.”

During the last financial year there were 1,891 burglaries involving Asian victims, during which 6,369 items of jewellery were stolen, valued at nearly £9m.

The main point of entry for these burglaries was via the front door, followed by the patio door or via a window.

Intelligence continues to show organised criminal networks are increasingly involved in lucrative 'family gold theft' which affects many families including those from Asian, Jewish and Maltese communities across various locations in London.

Burglars use various tactics and have even been known to rip up floorboards, remove bath panels and removes safes.

Met Police advice people to photograph valuables, mark jewellery with traceable liquid, consider installing CCTV and burglar alarms, avoid storing jeweller in bedrooms and ensure that a safe is one that cannot be removed.

The festival period tends to see a spike in this type of crime largely due to more jewellery being worn as communities travel across London to different venues - whether temples or to other people's homes.

The Met Police has continued to step up its efforts to tackle gold thieves through ‘Operation Nugget’, which seeks to drive down the numbers of offences and bring more perpetrators to justice through a series of different initiatives.

Detective Constable Lisa Keely said: "Gold will continue to be highly desired by criminals due to the speed and anonymity with which it can be exchanged for large sums of cash.

"These pieces of gold and jewellery are not just valuable possessions, they are also of great sentimental value, and if stolen, would have a huge impact on owners.

"Our proactive measures to tackle these crimes has seen reductions in offences, however there is more to be done.

"As part of this work, we urge Londoners to take action to safeguard their gold and jewellery by following our simple crime prevention advice."

Anyone with information about the crime mentioned above is asked to contact Detective Constable Lisa Keely, based at Kingston Police Station, on 101. If you do not want to give your name you contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

To find out more on how to protect yourself and your property visit: