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Indian jewellery store looted in Britain

Leicester, June 9, 2010: A gang of masked robbers raided an Indian jewellery store on Belgrave Road and decamped with valuables worth thousands of pounds Tuesday. They are yet to be caught, police said.

Five masked men drove in a van to the front entrance of Alankar Jewellers, hurled a large piece of concrete stone through the glass door, threatened the staff and ransacked the display cabinets before driving away.

The raid lasted barely a minute or two and the staff were too terrified to call the police. The security cameras did not give any clues to police as the faces of the attackers could not be identified. The van was later found burnt in another neighbourhood of the town.

Belgrave Road is popularly known as the Golden Mile for its rows of jewellery shops and the area itself is called "Little India", populated as it is mostly by Indian immigrants.

Alankar Jewellers is one of the first Asian businesses to be set up in this area. Shop owner Bihesh Pala said: "It’s horrible what these people have done to us. We don’t yet know how much these people have taken."

Owner of neighbouring Ram Jewellers, Mahul Vishram said they were feeling vulnerable in recent months because of the spurt in the price of gold. "The price of gold is very high. The businesses know that and the criminals know that," said Vishram.