With the price of gold at a record high, thieves are increasingly targeting the valuable commodity, The Associated Press reported.
While Federal Bureau of Investigation does not keep statistics on theft specifically involving gold, police officers offered anecdotal evidence that robberies were on the rise. Gang members struck at least six Los Angeles gold stores in June and July, overwhelming security guards and grabbing what they could before fleeing.
Certainly the surging gold prices motivated these people to want to do these smash-and-grabs, Los Angeles police Lt. Paul Vernon told the AP. They are not trading what they steal at the market value of gold. Even if they get it half that, they are making a pretty penny.
In July, robbers shattered a window at the Sterling Hill Mining Museum in New Jersey and pilfered gold nuggets worth about $400,000. There are also reports across the country of an uptick in thieves who yank gold jewelry off of women while the women are distracted.
We've never seen this, Oakland police Sgt. Holly Joshi told the AP.
The surging price of gold is not the only incentive. Gold is also relatively easy to melt down and resell, making it more difficult to trace.