Protecting the Family Jewels
In the Atlanta area and other parts of the country, gangs have targeted Indian-American families, breaking into their homes and stealing high-quality jewelry. Readers would be interested to know that one such gang leader from New Jersey received a 20-year prison sentence last month.
Superior Court Judge Charles Delehey handed down the sentence to Miguel Ortiz, 43, at Burlington County Courthouse in Mount Holly, according to PhillyBurbs.com.
“Man’s quest for gold is nothing new. Some have acquired it by digging for it, others by stealing it,” Delehey said. “Here, they are sinister, analytical, methodical, and by a stroke of wrongful good luck, they learned how to locate the gold, not at the end of the rainbow, but in the homes of Indian-Americans. Mr. Ortiz and his fellow burglars are skilled and experienced in their craft.”
How skilled they were should give Indian-Americans pause—and convince them to store their precious gold and other jewelry in a safe place. Ortiz and his crew used Internet searches and phone books to find homes owned by people with Indian names such as Patel, Gandhi, and Singh. After calling the homes to make sure no one was home, they broke into the homes by prying open back windows and doors.
Ortiz was convicted of nine burglaries, including one in which he and his accomplices stole 100 pieces of jewelry, which they later pawned for more than $60,000.
Compiled and partly written by Indian humorist MELVIN DURAI, author of the novel Bala Takes the Plunge.
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