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Robbers seize golden opportunity to steal precious metal; big guns hired for protection
LOS ANGELES (AP) ' After a summer of brazen attacks on gold stores, parts of downtown Los Angeles now look more like a militarized zone than a commercial corridor.
The gold fever that has driven prices to an all-time high is also fueling a crime spree in the precious metal. Police nationwide are seeing an uptick in robberies and burglaries related to gold prices, which peaked at $1,891 an ounce last month, up more than $600 from a year earlier.
The FBI doesn't keep numbers for gold thefts but local police departments have plenty of anecdotal evidence of a spike.
Dozens of women have had their necklaces snatched in daylight attacks, burglars are targeting gold in homes and robbers in New Jersey even cleared out a mining museum's irreplaceable collection of nuggets.
Watkins can be reached at http://twitter.com/thomaswatkins