AN ELDERLY couple returned home on Saturday to find they had been robbed of almost £50,000 after thieves stole their life savings and treasured jewellery.
The Fongs found their home in Gracemount, Edinburgh, where they have lived for almost 25 years, had been wreaked in the break in on Saturday.
The couple stored their cash in an ‘old fashioned’ way, and a safety deposit box containing £20,000 in cash at least £25,000 in jewellery had been stolen.
Among the stolen items were several pieces of 22-carat gold and jade jewellery.
The couple – whose first names have not been revealed – are said to be heartbroken following the crime.
According to their grown-up children, the Fongs fear the house was targeted as it was close to the celebration of Chinese New Year.
Their son, Darren Fong, who lives nearby, said: “They can’t sleep at night now. My mum is absolutely devastated.
“They worked all their lives and my dad only retired last year. Now he’s going to have to go back to work.
“They have lost a lot of money and sentimental things.”
He said his parents only had a few hundred pounds left.
Lesley, the Fongs’ daughter, said: “There have been a lot of break-ins in particular with the Chinese community, but most people don’t report it because they are too frightened.
“Many of the things that are sentimental to our family have been taken, including five thick chains, two pendants, a bracelet, a jade Buddah necklace and a Jesus cross.
“A lot of the pieces have been passed down from my grand father. Dad’s chain was engraved with his name.
“My dad came over here in 1968 and he only retired last January at the age of 65.
“It is an old-fashioned way of keeping money, not to trust banks, but I did not know they had that much.”
She continued: “My parents feel they’re not safe in their own home now. They’ve no money left so we’ve paid for CCTV cameras, alarms and sensors.
“My mum is so upset she won’t go out.
“[Monday was] Chinese new year and we thought that they were perhaps targeting Chinese families because they know they come together.
“The Year of the Dragon is meant to be lucky, but we’ve had a terrible start.
“We’re remembering that at the end of the day our parents are still here, and that’s the main thing.”
A Lothian and Borders police spokesman said; “Police are investigating a break-in to a property in St Katherine’s Crescent on Saturday, where a five-figure sum of cash was stolen, along with a significant amount of jewellery.
“The break-in happened sometime between 3.30pm and 11.30pm, and we want anyone who was in the area, who noticed any suspicious activity, to contact police on 0131 311 3131 or Crimestoppers on 0800555111.”