Residents who own large amounts of jewellery are being urged to ensure it is well-protected.
The warning by police comes after burglaries in Newcastle where tens of thousands of pounds worth of Asian gold and jewellery have been stolen.
Officers believe the thieves are specifically choosing their targets because of the high value of the items.
Newcastle west acting Inspector Pinner Rana said: “In many families of Asian heritage there is a strong traditional emphasis placed on gold and jewellery and some of the items that we have seen stolen are not only of significant financial value but also of great sentimental value, having been passed down from generation to generation.
“These unscrupulous criminals do not care about that, all they see is gold and jewellery that they can quickly steal and sell on.
“We are advising anyone who lives in the west end of Newcastle and who owns large quantities of Asian gold to consider storing it somewhere away from their home. Options include storing it in a safety deposit box at a secure location or at your bank, speak to your local bank to see what is available.
“If you do keep jewellery in your home then invest in a good quality safe that is secured to a wall of the floor and always keep it locked.
“Make sure that windows and doors are locked at all times, even when inside the home, and are of a good standard and fit for purpose. Make sure any alarms and security lights that you may have fitted are working.
“Please keep an eye out for anyone who is hanging around neighbourhoods, streets, homes and that looks suspicious. These recent burglaries have happened during the day when people have been out at work and if you see someone hanging around houses and that looks suspicious, day or night, then please ring us and report it.”
Anyone who has concerns or wants advice can contact police on 101.