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Robbers Target LA Jewelry Stores, Wearers As Gold Prices Soar

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(credit: Ann Summa /Getty Images)

(credit: Ann Summa /Getty Images)

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A resurgence in the price of gold is fueling a rash of robberies at Southland jewelry stores — and police warn the trend is unlikely to slow anytime soon.

Six stores in Los Angeles selling gold items were robbed between June and July this summer, including one incident where LAPD officers arrested four men with hammers outside a jewelry store on August 22.

Two elderly women using walkers were also recently robbed of their gold jewelry in Little Tokyo.

LAPD Lt. Paul Vernon told KNX 1070 business anchor Frank Mottek that if you enjoy wearing gold, you may want to conceal any “bling” when out walking in certain neighborhoods.

“Depending on where you’re walking around, that’s certainly a consideration for your own personal safety,” said Vernon. “People shouldn’t have to worry about that and I hate to tell people to do it, but it’s a decision that everyone has to make on their own.”

Vernon advised people to walk with a partner or in groups if they choose to wear gold around their neck or on their wrist.

Retailers are also at risk from the crime spree, Vernon said, urging any gold sellers to invest in security guards and surveillance camera systems to ward off potential robbers.

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