A GANG of thieves is targeting homes across Eastbourne – with more than a dozen being hit recently.
Police are hunting a group of young men who are suspected of carrying out 15 burglaries since the start of September, mostly in the Old Town and Upperton areas.
Each of the burglaries follows the same pattern, with a stack of small items taken from the homes during the day.
Eastbourne Police believe the thieves are keeping tabs on local properties in order to strike while the owners are out.
Some of the burglaries have taken place in a window of opportunity of less than an hour – with some homes burgled while individuals or families pop out.
Among the most recent incidents was the theft of two digital cameras, a silver iPod classic and a pair of mobile phones from a home in Charleston Road.
That took place at around midday on Friday, October 21, days after a stash of jewellery was stolen from a house in Glendale Avenue.
On that occasion, the thieves got away with two gold rings - one with diamonds, the other opals.
Police say they are confident of tracking down the culprits, who officers believe are working in a group, but say that in the meantime locals should take extra care to keep an eye open for anything unusual going on.
Detective Constable Gary Baker, of the East Sussex Priority Crime Team, moved to reassure locals.
He said, “We are making active enquiries and patrols have been stepped up.
“But we would like to hear from anyone who has seen suspicious activity in the area and also remind residents to continue to keep their homes secure, even if out for a short while.”
Eastbourne District Commander, Jayne Dando, echoed his comments, adding, “It can also help if owners tell neighbours, who they trust, when they are going to be away so they can keep an eye on their property.
“A good way to make sure your home does not look vacant is by having light switches and radios on timers, cancel things like milk and newspapers and don’t advertise your up and coming holiday on Facebook.
“People should be vigilant and also keep an eye out for their neighbours as well.”
Anyone with information about any of the burglaries, or who may have been approached to buy any items which they believe could be stolen, should call 0845 70 999.