Published: 18:44, 17 December 2019
| Updated: 18:44, 17 December 2019
Seven suspected members of an organised crime group have been arrested in connection with the theft of £500,000 of Asian gold.
Police think the gang is responsible for more than 100 burglaries since last year, 40 of which specifically targeted the precious metal, some at addresses in Chatham.
Asian gold is a broad term used to describe jewellery held by south Asian families often handed down through generations.
Today officers from five forces - Kent, Wiltshire, Bedfordshire, Hampshire and Thames Valley - worked alongside the Met and Suffolk to make the arrests.
Three men, aged 48, 56 and 40, were arrested on suspicion of money laundering at an address in Grittenham, Wiltshire.
Four men, aged 56, 26, 35 and 30 were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to burgle at a location in Winchester, Hampshire.
A total of £26,000 in cash was also seized along with seven caravans and two vehicles believed to be stolen.
The arrests are linked to those carried out at addresses in Suffolk and London on Wednesday, October 16 where seven people were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit burglary – all remain on bail.
DS Andy Furphy, who has overseen the operation, said: “We know burglary has a devastating impact on those who are targeted and can leave people feeling extremely vulnerable in their own homes – the place they should feel safest.
“We will continue to work very closely with other forces to identify anyone involved in this kind of organised criminality and support those who find themselves victim to these offences.”
More by this authorJess Sharp