Police appeal after 26 break-ins across Horsham district


Residents are being urged to look out for suspicious people near their homes after a series of burglaries across the Horsham district.

Since August there have been 26 break-ins at towns and villages across the district that detectives believe have been committed by the same people.

The offences began in August in Storrington but have spread to Coolham, Henfield, Steyning, Horsham, Pulborough, Bramber, Billingshurst, Kirdford, West Chiltington and Ashurst as well as Petworth in the Chichester district.

The thieves have escaped with jewellery, cash and unusual household ornaments.

The most recent burglaries happened in Pulborough - one in Harborough Close on 24 October and two in Plantation Way on 28 October.

The victims have included people that have gone on holiday and elderly residents whose homes have been targeted within days of them moving into care homes.

Sussex Police launched Operation Magpie to tackle burglary across the county.

Katy Wood, from the Operation Magpie team, said: “We believe the offenders could be cold-calling at homes to try to work out who is in and whether they are likely to have valuables.

“We think they are then returning when no one is home - perhaps because the residents have told them they won’t be there - and breaking in.

“We urgently need the public’s help to identify who is responsible so we can arrest them.

“Don’t let cold callers into your home and please report anyone acting suspiciously in your home or nearby to us immediately. Please consider fitting an alarm if you don’t have one, fit timers to your lights so they do on when you are not there and make sure you leave your home secure.

“If you see someone behaving oddly at a neighbour’s home call us - we would rather come out for a false alarm than miss the chance to arrest a burglar.”

The burglaries have taken place at:

Heather Way, Storrington

Brooks Green Road, Coolham

Thakeham Road, Coolham

Broomfield Road, Henfield

Kings Barn Lane, Steyning

Church Road, Horsham

London Road, Pulborough

Rambledown Lane, Pulborough

Nyetimber Copse, Pulborough

Harborough Close, Pulborough

Maudlyn Park, Bramber

Grove Street, Petworth

A29, Billingshurst

Petworth Road, Kirdford

Morris Way, Pulborough

The Hollow, West Chiltington

Nutbourne Lane, Pulborough

School Lane, Ashurst

Hawthorn Way, Storrington

Hawthorn Way, Storrington

Melton Drive, Storrington

Birch Way, Storrington

Harborough Close, Pulborough

Plantation Way, Pulborough

Plantation Way, Pulborough

If you see or hear a burglary taking place call 999 immediately.

Residents are also being encouraged to register their items on the world’s largest property database so that if they are stolen, they can be reunited with the owners - and so the offenders can be prosecuted.

You can register your property in just a few minutes by visiting www.immobilise.com. To watch a video about Immobilise and how it works, visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XZ66WEER_c.

Follow the ongoing burglary campaign on Twitter using the hashtag #LightLockList.

If you have any information about the Horsham district burglaries email 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk quoting Operation Cowley, call 101 or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.