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Thieves Target Indian-Americans for "High-Quality" Gold

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As the price of any commodity rises, thefts of said commodity generally increase.

But alpha-seeking thieves have discovered a sure-fire way to beat the traditional robbery market:

Go after Indians.

Sgt. Jeff Swadener of the Fremont (California) Police Department tells The Bay Citizen's Scott James that "Indian-Americans [are] known for owning high-quality gold of 20 and 22 karats," making them "lucrative targets."

To Indians, explains James, "The precious metal indicates prosperity, is a means of savings, and some gold jewelry can signify a woman’s marital status. It is a common wedding gift in many Indian cultures. Thieves, it appears, have learned of these traditions, leading to a rash of robberies throughout Silicon Valley’s Indian-American communities in recent months."

Home invasions have been on the rise too, as Indian families "inadvertently advertise" easy scores to enterprising burglars who know they traditionally leave their shoes outside the front door.

“No shoes, no one home,” Sgt. Swadener told James.

Interestingly, reports of Indians being robbed for their gold have made the rounds before.

In 2009, the Washington Post highlighted a growing trend in the D.C. area, with Indian households being relieved of their gold in "a months-long series of daytime break-ins."

"The burglars are discerning," wrote WaPo's Mary Pat Flaherty. "They have taken 22-carat pieces but left behind sterling silver and well-crafted costume jewellery. They have sifted through floor-length gowns lovingly stored in closets and plucked every custom-made sari threaded with gold worth thousands, disdaining saris worth only hundreds."

One victim admitted, "If you know our customs, you know we carry a lot of gold."

Which is something their countrymen know, as well:

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