BURGLARS are targeting the homes of North Ayrshire businesses owners in what police say could be linked to a national crime gang.

The family homes of business owners, believed to be mainly of Asian descent, are being raided by burglars with “links to organised crime”.

North Ayrshire Police Chief Inspector Brian Shaw says the callous criminals strike when they know the home owners will be out of the house and at their place of work.

In the last week police say there have been two attacks at the homes of Asian business owners while they were at work. One happened in Kilwinning where the thieves made off with a large sum of money and jewellery and the other incident happened in Ardrossan but nothing was stolen.

CI Brian Shaw said the incidents could be linked to a national operation by organised crime gangs.

He said: “We are aware of house breaking at premises in North Ayrshire and there could be a national link to serious and organised crime. We are liaising with the national team. Our investigation is being led by CID under Detective Inspector Mick Carr.

“There is no definitive link, however similar methods are being used and we are linking with colleagues.”

One Irvine businessman said he has heard of attacks on Asian families, but this is the first time he has known it to happen in North Ayrshire.

He said: “Ive read these articles about Asian houses being targeted in the paper and online but this is the first I’ve heard of it happening in North Ayrshire

“Police will be doing their best, there are way too many crimes in society and not enough funding which these burglars know and we become an easy target for them.

“I have no idea why they are targeting Asian families.

“They must be finding it easy during the day while they are at work.”

If you have any information please contact police on 101.