Worthing man with Samurai swords arrested after Shoreham and Lancing burglaries

A ganged of armed men broke into two houses within 20 minutes of each other, police have said.

A Sussex Police spokesman said at around 11.10pm on Monday (March 11), three men smashed down a door to a property in Surry Street, Shoreham, and used 'knives or swords' to threaten and assault the occupants. A mobile phone was stolen.

Sussex police

Sussex police

Around 20 minutes later, said the spokesman, three men matching the same description, with the same weapons, smashed down the door to a property in Hayley Road in Lancing.

The occupants were again threatened and a small quantity of cash and a mobile phone was stolen, the spokesman added.

Police described the suspects as a white man in his late teens or early 20s and two black men in their late teens to early 20s - all dressed in dark clothing.

A blue Volkswagen Caddy van seen in the area around that time is also of interest to police.

Investigating officer, 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.”

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, said police.

The spokesman said: "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."