As Jewelry Thefts Rise, South Asians Lose More than Just Gold

A recent uptick in robberies has put the community on notice.

GettyImages-1164771280 gold jewelry
A customer holds gold ornaments during the launch of a showroom in Mumbai, India in 2019 (Himanshu Bhatt/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Allana Akhtar


July 24, 2023


6 min

Fashion designer and socialite Rachel Roy said she had a “complicated” relationship with her late Indian father. Still, she painstakingly designed a ring encrusted with the gemstones he collected for her during his life. She left the ring at her California home on the evening of July 5 when she stepped out for a business meeting. Her home was empty for over two hours; her youngest daughter was away at a sleepover.

When she returned shortly after 10:00 p.m., she immediately sensed something was amiss. She realized what she thought was music she had left on was the sound of shattering glass and two people running out of the side entrance of her house. Thieves had stolen designer handbags and over 100 jewelry pieces, including a diamond chain. But what devastated Roy the most was that her beloved ring was gone.

“I’ve lost the ability to pass it down to my children,” Roy said. “That bag of gemstones that he had been collecting his lifetime for me, now it’s all gone.”

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