Armed gang smash their way into two West Sussex homes and steal mobile phones

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A gang armed with knives or swords smashed their way into two homes during a spree of burglaries. 

The break-ins happened within 20 minutes of each other in Shoreham and Lancing, in West Sussex, on Monday night. 

Police are appealing for witnesses to contact them. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Police are appealing for witnesses to contact them. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Three armed men smashed down a door to a property in Surry Street, Shoreham, at around 11.10pm. 

They used knives or swords to threaten and assault the occupants before stealing a mobile phone.

Just minutes later at 11.30pm three men, matching the same descriptions with the same weapons, smashed down the door of a property in Hayley Road, Lancing. 

The occupants were threatened, and a small quantity of cash and a mobile phone were stolen.

The suspects have been described as one white man in his late teens or early 20s, and two black men in their late teens to early 20s. They were all dressed in dark clothing.

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Police also are interested in a blue Volkswagen Caddy van that was seen in the area around the time of the incidents.

Detective constable Rebecca Hopkins, said: ‘The occupants of the two addresses concerned were thankfully not hurt, but were understandably left shaken, having been confronted by three unknown men brandishing weapons in their own homes.

‘We believe these were both isolated incidents aimed at targeting a particular individual, who is safe. We do not believe there is a cause for concern in the wider community.

‘We have arrested one person in connection with our investigation, however we are still seeking to identify a further three suspects and we are seeking information regarding the blue van spotted in the area at the time.’ 

READ MORE: Elderly woman died from heart attack after men broke into her home – National 

A 40-year-old man from Worthing was arrested on suspicion of aggravated burglary and possession of an offensive weapon (two Samurai swords) in a public place, and has been released under investigation pending further enquiries.

Anyone with any information is asked to report it online or call 101, quoting serial 1624 of 11/03.

Alternatively, you can visit the Crimestoppers website or contact the independent charity anonymously on 0800 555 111.

For advice on how to protect your home and your belongings from burglary, visit our crime prevention page.