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Fremont Police Say Soaring Gold Prices Make South Asians A Target

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A man handles gold chains at a jewelry shop. (Noah Seelam/AFP/Getty Images)

A man handles gold chains at a jewelry shop. (Noah Seelam/AFP/Getty Images)

MikeColgan20100909_KCBS_0410r Mike Colgan
Mike Colgan, who has worked in Bay Area radio for more than 40 year...
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FREMONT (KCBS) – With gold selling for more than $1,600 an ounce, a South Asian tradition of wearing gold jewelry has made them a target for thieves, Fremont police said Friday.

An Asian Indian family held up at gunpoint as they returned home from a trip on September 11 is just one in a series of recent robberies and burglaries apparently driven by soaring gold prices, said Det. Bill Veteran with the Fremont Police Department.

“When they came back from the airport, they were confronted by two men,” Veteran said.

Their home was ransacked and the thieves made off with $20,000 in jewelry.

“At this point, we’re not sure if they were there to burglarize the house or if this family was in fact targeted,” Veteran said.

KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:

Rakesh Verma, who owns Kumar Jewelers, said wearing gold is a part of Indian culture, a tradition embraced by both men and women.

“Everybody compares gold to prosperity,” he said, adding that displaying signs of success was hardly unique to South Asian cultures.

“It’s everywhere. You’re wearing gold, and people say yes, you have something to show for it, just like driving a Mercedes,” he said.

Det. Veteran said any homeowner with a lot of valuables should consider investing in a safe, or rent a safe deposit box outside the home to guard against theft.

“If you’re going to keep valuables in your house, make sure that they’re secured,” Veteran said.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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