The Capital Region’s Indian community is taking action this week after some say thieves are targeting their neighborhoods.
Police confirm a string of burglaries at Indian households in the Capital Region over the past year and another just last month.
Leaders at the Hindu Cultural Center in Albany are now working with the Colonie Police Department to raise awareness and educate Indian families about why burglars may be targeting their homes and how they can protect their families.
“It was seven families I know, a couple of them right in Clifton Park, and two in Latham, and four in Delmar,” explained Chandra Sekhar, former president of the Albany Telugu Association.
Colonie Police say they are investigating a January burglary at an Indian household on Verdun Street.
They're trying to determine if it is connected to the larger pattern in the Northeast of burglars targeting Indian households and stealing jewelry during work hours.
“Most Indians wear real gold, 22 karats, like on my fingers, each one is probably close to $5,000 on each finger,” Sekhar said.
Telugu Association President Ram Lalukota and Sekhar tell us a lot of families bring their fine jewelry and family heirlooms to the US from India.
“It's valued and some of them are more sentimental too because from the beginning of marriage they get it from the family,” Lalukota.
With the price of gold hitting some all-time highs over the past year, Lalukota and Sekhar believe thieves are taking advantage of their cultural traditions to make a big profit.
“They come and they know that this neighborhood has a lot of Indians, so they watch, and they take their time, who is going in and who is going out, and that's what they're targeting,” Sekhar explained.
Lalukota and Sekhar are bringing in a crime prevention specialist and an insurance consultant to talk with community members at the Hindu Cultural Center Monday at 450 Albany Shaker Road at
They say the doors are open to anyone who wants to learn more about how to protect their homes and families.