“Last summer more than 50 women were targeted for their jewellery in street attacks in the city”

Local gangs targeting Asian families for gold may have been behind the murder of the retired businessman Avtar Singh-Kolar and his wife Carole found dead in their home in Birmingham last week, police suggested on Monday as a third person was arrested on suspicion while a man held on Sunday was released without charge.

A 24-year-old man arrested last week is on bail.

Police did not give details except confirming that a 37-year-old man was arrested at a local address.

The arrest came as detectives investigating the double murder, said they were not ruling out the possibility that the couple may have been victims of “gold-hunters'' in view of a spate of attacks on Asian families for gold valuables in recent months as gold prices have shot up.

“Gold prices have risen in the credit crunch and Asian gold is the purest available, making it particularly valuable. Birmingham has seen a spate of such burglaries and robberies, peaking last summer when more than 50 women were targeted for their jewellery in street attacks in the city over just a month,'' said the Mail Online.

The Kolars were not known to have possessed significant quantities of jewellery but police suspect the attackers may have thought that like many Asian families they did.

It was not known whether any gold was missing from their home.

Forensic investigators remained at the property as police again appealed for information.

“Birmingham is rightly proud of its diverse community. Those communities can help us find out who has done this by coming forward with information at this crucial time,'' said Detective Chief Superintendent Steve Jupp.

Pauline Hadley of Crimestoppers, a charity which has announced a £10,000 reward for information that might help in tracking down the killers, said: “This is a vile crime where two people have been murdered and their family and community have been left in shock. Those responsible for this must be brought to justice.''

Kolar (62) and Carole (58) had been married for 40 years and had four children, one of whom Jason (37) is a serving police officer prompting speculation that it might have been a revenge attack by someone with a grievance against the police. The couple's bodies were discovered last Wednesday when Jason went round to their home after failing to contact them on phone.

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