A BRIDE had more than £10,000 of jewellery stolen in the run-up to her wedding, as thieves seek out high quality Indian gold.

Crooks broke into the woman's house in Carlton Avenue, Southend, to steal arm-fulls of the precious jewellery.

Police believe it has now become a favourite among thieves because of the high carat of the gold.

The woman, who did not want to be named, said much of the jewellery was 24 carat and she had been planning to wear it for her wedding.

It is common for brides at Indian weddings to wear expensive jewellery from their family during the celebrations.

She said:”If you can sell Indian gold you can get a fortune, especially with the amount taken from me, and pure silver as well.

“But I’m more bothered about the sentimental value. "

The jewellery was stolen overnight on January 4 after the along with a long sum of cash which had been given to the woman as part of her engagement.

They also took the spare key to the owner’s black ‘N’ reg Volkswagen Golf and returned the following night to drive it away.

She is advising other people to take photographs of their jewellery to help police trace it if it gets stolen.

Sgt Ian Hughes, of Southend police, said:"The theft of Asian gold is something that's been occurring up and down the country, because it's quite good quality gold. "

Anyone with information should call police on 101.