A gang of burglars are being hunted by a combined task force from three police forces after they raided their 200th house – in less than three MONTHS.
Cops have upped the reward to £10,500 for information leading to the conviction of the gang, who have averaged an astonishing two burglaries a day since their crime-wave began in September.
The group, who are now thought to be responsible for more than 200 raids across the South East of England, have stolen an undisclosed sum of property, jewels and cash – and are being hunted by Surrey, Sussex, and Kent Police.
It is thought that one group of up to a dozen burglars are involved in 59 offences in Sussex, 24 in Surrey, 113 in Kent and nine in London since September 16.
Last week there were 18 burglaries committed in Sussex that are being linked to the group along with four in Surrey and 22 in Kent.
On each occasion the offenders have driven to their victims’ homes in a silver or dark car, usually an Audi or BMW, before breaking in at the back of the properties and stealing cash, jewellery and electrical items.
The thieves are believed to be using cars fitted with cloned number plates.
Detectives are also urging residents to help them catch those involved by dialling 999 immediately if they see people acting suspiciously near their homes – in particular if they notice potential offenders with silver Audis or BMWs.
Detective Chief Inspector Richard Clay of Surrey Police, who is leading the investigation, said: “There are detectives from across the south east working to catch those involved but we need the public’s help.
“The key to identifying the people responsible may come from residents living near one of the victims.
“They may have seen the thieves escaping in their silver car or could have seen people acting suspiciously over the weekend.
“I would also urge people to continue to be vigilant in their areas and to tell us if they see anyone who is acting unusually near their homes.
“If something sticks out as suspicious to you, please tell us so we can investigate – it could be the break that we need to catch those involved.”
Sussex Police, Kent Police and Surrey Police have each contributed £2,500 to a reward to help catch the offenders – and Crimestoppers are offering a further #3000 reward if the information comes through them.