Five arrested in hunt for South East burglary gang

Burglar picking a lock Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Police believe a 12-strong gang has carried out more than 200 burglaries

Five people have been arrested on suspicion of being involved in more than 200 burglaries in the south east.

Cash, jewellery and electrical items have been stolen in break-ins at the rear of homes in Kent, Surrey, Sussex and south London.

The arrests were made after two homes in Midhurst and West Chiltington in West Sussex were burgled on Tuesday.

A police helicopter helped search the area for suspect vehicles. The arrests were made in Billingshurst.

Changing gang

A 24-year-old man from Sidcup, south London, a 29-year-old man from South Ockendon in Essex, a 20-year-old man from Billingshurst, West Sussex, and a 16-year-old boy and a 28-year-old man from Reigate in Surrey have been bailed until 21 February.

Police believe a gang of up to 12 burglars is responsible for the break-ins but the gang members used may change with each burglary.

Crowborough, Crawley, Haywards Heath, Horley, Redhill, Smallfield, Sevenoaks, Tunbridge Wells and Maidstone are among the towns targeted by the burglars.

In London break-ins have taken place in the Bexley, Orpington and Croydon areas.

A 41-year-old man and a 37-year-old woman arrested in Essex in November have been bailed until 30 January.

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