Gold, jewellery and savings stolen as councillor's home ransacked while he's in meeting

Burglars made off with thousands of pounds worth of jewellery and cash in a raid on a Walsall councillor’s home while he was at a meeting.

Burglars made off with thousands of pounds worth of jewellery and cash in the raid. Photo: Waheed Rasab
Burglars made off with thousands of pounds worth of jewellery and cash in the raid. Photo: Waheed Rasab

Waheed Rasab feared the crooks were still inside when he got back to his house in Brookhouse Road to find the front door had been smashed in and the property ransacked.

A number of Indian gold pieces were swiped including four bangles, three rings, four earrings and a necklace, most of which was given to his wife Musarat Rasab on their wedding day in 1987.

They also made off with £800 cash saved for their young grandson, four bottles of perfume given to Mrs Rasab as birthday gifts and two jackets.

He said the incident was made worse after police failed to attend on the evening it happened despite him telling them he believed the raiders were still inside.

But he added he was touched by the response of the community, lead by the large Park Hall Neighbourhood Watch group, who rushed to support them.

Councillor Rasab said his wife has been ill and living in fear as a result of the incident.

Councillor Waheed Rasab's smashed front door of his Walsall home which was burgled. Photo: Waheed Rasab

West Midlands Police said they are investigating the burglary, which took place on November 9, and added officers were originally deployed to go to investigate but were diverted to another incident once it was confirmed the offenders had gone.

Two other attempted burglaries happened on the same night but police said they are not treating them as connected at this stage.

Councillor Rasab said: "At first I thought they were still in the house. I parked up and came running in shouting for my wife thinking she was still in but she wasn’t.

"I ran back out as I feared if they were still inside, they might have a gun or a knife. I was afraid. I shouted and alerted the neighbourhood.

"I wasn’t out and about enjoying myself, I was fulfilling my council duty. People say, ‘what do councillors do?’ We give our family time, our business time, our free time and we go to the council house.

"If there had been no meeting, I would have been with my wife at home and we’d have been sitting in my front room and there would be no burglary taking place. They would have seen my car and us.

"I was doing my public duty as a councillor and what I got was broken into.

"My wife lost her jewellery and money saved for her grandchild. It is heartbreaking."

Councillor Waheed Rasab in front of his boarded up front door. Photo: Gurdip Thandi

Councillor Rasab said he has been contacted by residents over the number of burglaries and car thefts which happen in the area. Last year, his daughter’s car was broken into.

He said: "People don’t feel safe in their own homes. We need more police and a quicker response.

"It is worrying that people don’t go out of their homes as they have this fear their property is going to be broken into.

"Sadly, I rang the police and they didn’t turn up until the next day. What we need is more policing and a quicker response. And when these burglars are caught, we need tougher sentences.

"I don’t blame the police, it’s a resources issue and I fully understand that. But the public don’t see it that way.

"They want a police presence and for them to come. I sit on the Police Crime Panel, I am raising it.

"I had tremendous support from the community, the Park Hall Neighbourhood Watch What’s App group and there were 100 people outside my house in no time when it happened.

"I’m speaking up not just myself but for everyone who is suffering. A lot of people are scared.

"I’m urging people to report every crime to the police so they can have a track record and look at it."

Burglars ransacked Councillor Waheed Rasab's Walsall home. Photo: Waheed Rasab

Neighbourhood Watch chairman Amit Verma said: "Waheed’s incident was very sad because the guys who came here weren’t your average opportunist burglars.

"It was planned towards the area in general. They hit three residents in the same area.”

A spokesman for West Midlands Police said: "Officers were asked to attend the incident straight away, but were diverted to another emergency after we were told that the burglars were no longer at the scene.

"We visited the person who was burgled the next day. An investigation is ongoing.

"As the nights get darker we typically see a spike in burglaries.

"Our investigation team are looking at a number of break-ins in the Walsall area, but we’re not treating them as linked at the moment.

"Detectives from Walsall are currently working with investigators in Sandwell and Birmingham to help identify and catch burglary suspects.

"Our local neighbourhood officers are doing more patrols at times when most burglaries are happening.

"We’re also using marked and unmarked police cars to deter, prevent and identify potential burglars.

"If you have any information about burglary or people acting suspiciously in your area, let us know. We will take action."

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