VANCOUVER -- Shirali Patel and her family are picking up the pieces after crooks broke into their home Monday morning.
"All of our costume jewelry, that's not real or part of a set, was laying scattered everywhere," said Patel.
But missing was $40,000 worth of electronics, handbags, antiques, and jewelry, but not just any jewelry.
"It's passed on, not only mother to daughter, but sometimes son to wife," said Patel. "It's a tradition thing that you see in a lot of cultures."
Patel, who is East Indian, said her mother is having an extremely difficult time with the loss.
"These are things that can't be replaced," she said.
Sadly, the heartbreak is being felt by others. Back in March an Indian family in Beaverton was robbed of more than $100,000 in jewelry. According to Patel, two other families, near her Vancouver home were also targeted.
"You can't go back to India and say I need this jewel again," said Patel.
She learned the hard way. She is now offering advice to her Indian friends.
"Get a bank safe."
Vancouver police said they were considering proposing an ordinance to require cash-for-gold businesses to better document buys. Right now, buyers are required to see a photo ID and hold items for 30 days.
If you have any information about these cases you are urged to call authorities.
KGW Reporter Wayne Havrelly contributed to this report