Woman held over Sussex and Surrey hospital key thefts

A woman has been arrested on suspicion of stealing keys from hospital patients and then entering their empty homes.

Sussex Police said the arrest followed thefts from hospitals in Crawley and Redhill and burglaries in Horsham and Crawley.

The 48-year-old was held in Canvey Island, Essex, on Tuesday after police released CCTV images of a suspect.

Detectives said she was also arrested on suspicion of absconding from prison and theft.

She has been remanded in custody.

On 7 November, police said the home of an elderly woman in Albery Close, Horsham, was burgled.

Earlier, the homeowner's bag had been stolen while she was visiting St George's Hospital in south London.

Later that afternoon, at 16:25 GMT, a woman had her bag snatched while visiting Crawley Hospital.

Police believe the thief then went to the victim's home in Burwash Road, Furnace Green, and used the stolen keys to enter the property.

Detectives also have also linked the incidents to the theft of a 98-year-old woman's purse from East Surrey Hospital in Redhill, Surrey.

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