Reuniting owners with stolen jewels

Some of the recovered jewellery
Some of the recovered jewellery

Detectives are trying to reunite burglary victims with jewellery stolen from Sussex and throughout the south east.

Police have been working closely with the Asian community in Eastbourne and further afield following a spate of burglaries in which hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of jewellery has been stolen.

Under the name of Operation Minnesota, a dedicated team of detectives in Sussex has been investigating the burglaries from homes where large amounts of jewellery is stored, for example for religious festivals.

They have been out in the community to talk to victims and those who have concerns and giving advice about how they can try and protect their property and keep it safe from potential thieves.

Detectives have now recovered jewellery some of which is believed to have come from the series of thefts and advertised it on the Sussex Police website in an effort to trace the losers.

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Detective Constable Graham Leaney said, “The expensive items that were stolen we believe were disposed of quickly and sold for their gold value.

“The thieves have discarded the less expensive pieces. Some of this has been found at beauty spots, in hedgerows and bushes by members of the public, and handed in to local stations. It is these pieces that we have advertised so that the owners can come forward and reclaim their stolen jewellery. So far four victims have come forward in Sussex. But the burglaries haven’t just been committed locally.

“Some of these items may be costume jewellery but they have significant personal value to the losers. We have been robust in policing the affected areas and the series of burglaries has ceased locally. However we would want the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity.”

Eight people have been arrested for theft.