Barking family falls victim to �100k Asian gold raid

A family has been left shaken and scared following a burglary in which �100,000 of gold was stolen.

Balvinder Mahil. 38, of Upney Lane, Barking, is now warning others to be more vigilant as she struggles to come to terms with the invasion that frightened her so much she could not leave the house for weeks.

The 38-year-old, who was burgled just after Christmas, finally feels able to talk about the incident which saw not only her and her husband’s jewellery stolen, but also her mother’s, father’s, mother-in-law’s and her sister’s gold.

Having accepted that the likelihood of recovering any of the gold is small, her biggest worry is for the safety of her family.

She said: “It’s the fear that’s the worst thing.

“Those people went through all my stuff, which was thrown everywhere. I know it’s gone and we’re not going to get it back.

“We were all shaken up about it. We don’t feel safe in our own home. I did not leave the house for two or three weeks. They could do it again. But we have got to carry on.”

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Balvinder left her house for just two hours on the day of burglary, but it was enough time for thieves to get in.

When she returned she found her bedroom was a mess and her most valuable items of jewellery were missing.

The family has house insurance, but the jewellery itself was not insured. The fact she had kept the gold in her home safely for 16 years, until the burglary on December 28, without any safety precautions added to the shock and disbelief.

She said: “They took gold worth �100,000. They took no money – just all the gold.

“They knew exactly what they were going to take. They left all the fake gold.”

A spokesman for the police confirmed the incident had taken place and referred to previous warnings about an increase in thefts of Asian gold in the borough.

Det Ch Insp Lee Barnard of the Barking and Dagenham burglary squad said: “Burglary is not just about a loss of valuables, the effects can be devastating for the victim and can last for years.”

He advised owners to photograph their gold in order to help police identify any items in case they are stolen, or to invest in a safe.

n If you have information concerning the theft or sale of Asian gold call your Safer Neighbourhoods Team, Barking and Dagenham Burglary Squad on 0203 275 1045 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.