Surrey Police are investigating two aggravated burglaries that took place in Redhill and Coulsdon on Wednesday 15 July, in the late evening, and which officers believe could be linked.
At both houses the occupants were threatened, before the burglars made off with items.
Police are appealing for information.
Elmwood Road, Redhill
Surrey Police said of the first incident: “At around 10pm in Elmwood Road in Redhill, five burglars broke into a house, demanded watches and gold jewellery, and threatened the occupants with a hammer.
“No-one was seriously hurt.
“They took a Tag Heuer watch, an engagement ring and various pieces of gold jewellery. A pot containing loose coins and the car keys for a BMW X5 has also gone missing since the burglary.”
The men were described as being in their late 20s to early 30s, and wearing balaclavas, hooded tops and gloves. They spoke with Irish accents, and one had “very vivid” blue eyes.
The police also said yesterday (22 July) that a 26 year-old man from Redhill had been arrested on suspicion of attempted burglary, as part of their enquiries. He has been released from custody, but remains under investigation.
Broad Walk, Coulsdon
Surrey Police said of the second incident, which also took place on Wednesday 15 July: “At around 11:45pm four men who had their faces covered broke into a house on Broad Walk in Coulsdon and stole cash and jewellery after threatening the occupants.
“No-one was hurt.
“A fifth man was seen in a car outside.”
Incidents could be linked
Detective Sergeant Kerry Akehurst said: “Incidents such as these are shocking because they are rare.
“We want to reassure residents that we are doing all we can to identify and find those involved.
“We do believe that these two reports may be linked and are following a number of lines of enquiry.
“We’ve already made significant progress in terms of our investigation, such as making an arrest in connection to the first report, but I’m still keen to hear from anyone who saw anything suspicious in either of these areas.
“Please contact us as soon as possible. Anyone with any concerns can speak to one of our uniformed officers patrolling these areas.”
Anyone who witnessed anything suspicious in the area around either burglary at the time of the offence, or with any other information which could assist the investigation, is asked to contact Surrey Police quoting reference number PR/45200073645 via webchat on the Surrey Police website, online reporting form, or by calling 101.
Alternatively independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.