Police are hunting gangs of house thieves who have stolen more than £600,000 worth of gold jewellery from Asian homes in Scotland. Homeowners have reported 44 burglaries in the Glasgow area since July.

Officers believe the crimes, in areas such as Newton Mearns and Robroyston, are linked. Cash has also been taken during the thefts.

The thieves are thought to be targeting valuable jewellery often given as wedding presents or handed down as heirlooms among Asian families.

Detective Inspector John Morrison, of the Community Investigation Unit, said: "We believe that these homes are being targeted as it is only jewellery and cash that is being stolen.

"We also believe that these crimes are linked and we are following a number of lines of inquiry in relation to them.

"We would always urge anyone with high-value jewellery and large amounts of cash not to keep them in the house and to take the relevant security measures.

"If you have to store it in your house, store it securely and out of sight such as in an anchored safe."

Last month police in Fife said Asian homeowners in the area had suffered at least 10 break-ins over a few weeks with thieves targeting jewellery and cash. Two homes in Kirkcaldy and Glenrothes were hit on the same night in November.

DI Paul Dick said: "Once again we have seen homes being broken into with the intention of stealing Asian gold from homeowners."