1. ITV Report

Newborn baby threatened by gang of burglars

Police are investigating a series of thefts around jewellery Credit: ITV News Central

Police investigating a spate of burglaries in Birmingham say a newborn baby was among those threatened by a gang of thieves. Officers investigating 28 crimes in the spate are appealing for help to catch the offenders, who are suspected of a series of raids where the victims have been attacked in their own homes.

West Midlands Police say jewellery worth tens of thousands of pounds has been stolen from homes across Birmingham in recent weeks, with many victims threatened by violence by the gangs. One victim was struck with a metal bar, and others have been hit with fists. No one has been seriously injured.

Officers say in one incident in Balsall Heath on the 8th November, a gang forced a front door open, telling the family to go into a bedroom.

They picked up and threatened to harm a newborn baby if the location of money wasn't revealed. Knives were also held to the throats of women in the house.

In another case in Small Heath on the 21st November, a gang armed with screwdrivers took off a victim’s jewellery and squirted his hands with cleaning fluid.

Areas where burglars have struck include:

  • Balsall Heath
  • Erdington
  • Small Heath
  • Winson Green
  • Kitts Green
  • Hall Green
  • Edgbaston
  • Alum Rock
  • Four Oaks.

Break-in's have happened in locations at:

  • Smethwick
  • Yardley
  • Saltley
  • Washwood Heath
  • Hall Green
  • Tyseley
  • Bordesley Green
  • Hodge Hill
  • Ward End
  • Moseley
Police are investigating 28 crimes in connection with this spate Credit: ITV News Central

“The spate we have seen recently is a real concern for me and we are doing everything we can to identify the criminals responsible. We’ve got a dedicated taskforce which is which is working on this literally 24 hours a day.

We’ve got a lot of good lines of inquiry, and in the areas where these offences have happened, there’s a commitment to carry out special patrols, in conjunction with Central Motorway Patrol Group officers and dog handlers.

It’s also very important that residents do as much as possible to protect their property. Asian traditions have always placed a strong emphasis on jewellery, it plays an important role in many religious festivals as well as significant family occasions, with many items handed down through generations.

These are not just highly valuable possessions; they are also of great sentimental worth and are a huge loss to their owners if such jewellery is taken.

We’re issuing a warning to people owning valuable gold jewellery and urging them to take simple steps to protect it. We believe these criminals scope areas for homes that could be potential targets, I ask people to be aware of individuals or vehicles in their area acting suspiciously. If you are in any doubt, call police.

Any information will help with our investigations into identifying and bringing those responsible for these burglaries to justice."

– Detective Inspector Dave Keen, West Midlands Police

A 27-year old man has been arrested on suspicion of robbery in connection with a raid on a home in College Road in Moseley. He remains on bail.