Up to 40 people have begun late-night patrols in Northampton following a spate of burglaries targeting Asian families for valuables.
The men have, for the last three nights, taken to the streets in the St James, Dallington and Spencer areas of Northampton where they have sat in cars looking for potential burglars.
They said they were unarmed and would call the police if they witnessed a burglary.
However, members of the group have vowed to challenge people if they think they are acting suspiciously, but said they would never attack them.
The makeshift patrols have been set-up following a spate of burglaries, predominantly targeting Asian families in Northampton, over the past six months. Police said the raids were part of a national problem, which had coincided with the price of gold going up.
Chief Inspector Fay Tennet, head of community safety, called for calm. She said: “Clearly, we would never advise people to take the law into their own hands, and urge people to remain calm and call us on 999 if any crime is taking place.”
However, some men have now become so concerned they are understood to have given up late-night jobs and shifts to stay at home for extra security.
Men in Asian communities often give their wives expensive gold as wedding gifts. Residents fear burglars have become aware of this and are now targeting families in the Bengali, Pakistani and other communities, both night and day.
Azizul Khan, who lives in Dallington, said he and a number of his neighbours had now “had enough”. He said some members of the community had lost faith in the police.
He said: “There are going to be about 15 to 20 of us sat out every night in our cars in the Spencer area. If people look suspicious we will approach them. We will not attack them or do anything silly like that. We are not armed, but we will call the police if there is anything suspicious going on.”
Last week, the Chron revealed how one couple had seen about £20,000 worth of gold and jewellery stolen during a raid. On Tuesday, two homes in Merthyr Road, Dallington, were burgled, while a third failed raid targeted a house close by in Dallington Road. Police were set to meet the community tonight.