Detectives are appealing for help to solve seven violent and high-value burglaries across Surrey, Kent, Sussex and Thames Valley thought to have been committed by a lone offender with specialist skills.
Officers believe he might be ex-services, or military due to his levels of preparation and his commanding nature when committing the crimes. On each occasion he has used violence and the threat of a sawn-off shotgun to take jewellery and other items.
Dates and locations of burglaries:
- 12 November 2014 - Kingswood, Surrey
- 21 January 2015 – Maidenhead area, Berkshire
- 13 January 2016 – Chichester area, Sussex
- 22 November 2016 – Sevenoaks area, Kent
- January 2017 – Maidstone area, Kent
- 24 April 2017 – Virginia Water area, Surrey
- 26 October 2017 – Kingswood, Surrey
- Confident man, comfortable operating alone
- Might be away from home regularly for extended periods of time
- Has income that is disproportionate to their job or means
- Has specialist knowledge and skills – potentially ex forces or similar
- Uses a sawn-off shotgun and violence to threaten victims
- Appears to be aware of the house layout, who’s at home and location of safes/valuables
- Watches the properties before committing the burglary
- Stocky/muscular build
- Around 6ft tall
- South of England accent
Can you help?
If you know who this man is, or you have any information which could help the investigation then please get in touch with us. You can:
- Call 101 and ask for Surrey Police regardless of your current location
- Tell the call handler you're calling with information regarding Op Prometheus
- Email OpPrometheus@surrey.pnn.police.uk
- If you aren't comfortable speaking to police, you can anonymously contact the independent charity Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111 - they never ask your name or trace your call.
This is CCTV from the rear of the property in Maidenhead. You can see the suspect take the sawn-off shotgun out of his bag then enter the house. The video has been cut to when the suspect then leaves the property after committing the burglary.
Information from the investigation team
Detective Inspector Dee Fielding from Surrey Police, speaking on behalf of Surrey, Sussex, Kent and Thames Valley Police Forces, said on Wednesday January 31:
“We have had a brilliant reaction from the public to our appeal with more than 100 emails and phone calls coming into our dedicated email address OpPrometheus@surrey.pnn.police.uk and through our contact centre.
“I would also like to thank the media for their help in publicising this case which will hopefully bring an offender to justice. The public are key in helping with our enquiries and I would urge anybody with any information to get in touch.
“We will now get to work on assessing the information and see how it impacts on the future of the investigations being carried out by ourselves and our colleagues at Kent, Sussex and Thames Valley police forces.
“At this stage it is too early to say what other cases may form a part of our enquiries, however will be keeping an open mind and we will keep the public updated as we progress.”
Speaking on behalf of the four forces, Detective Inspector Dee Fielding from Surrey Police said on Tuesday January 30:
"Each of these burglaries have been extremely distressing for the victims involved.
"We do not believe this to be the work of an opportunist burglar, but someone who has specialist knowledge and skills - possibly ex-forces or from a similar background, both due to the way he has behaved and the circumstances of each incident. The burglaries all appear to be the work of someone who is confident, commanding, who knows exactly what they are doing, and who is incredibly decisive in their actions.
"On each occasion unnecessary levels of violence have been used in addition to a firearm, which he has used to threaten the victims. Several of the victims were tied with cable-ties.
"He has worked quickly and appears to have a knowledge of who is in the home at the time of each attack, the location of safes, and the layout of the property. We have evidence that he was watching several of the houses prior to the burglaries, sometimes for weeks at a time.
"More than £1M worth of property has been taken in total including irreplaceable heirlooms, some of which have little to no monetary value but are hugely sentimental to the victims. However, this investigation is primarily driven with the aim of preventing any further harm coming to anybody else by identifying and bringing a violent and dangerous man to justice.
"Whoever is responsible for these incidents may seem to have cash or income disproportionate to their job, they might also be travelling frequently, or away for long periods of time without explanation. If you are aware of someone who fits the description and profile, or someone who is behaving suspiciously - we urge you to get in touch with us immediately.
"If you have information about any of the individual incidents please come forward. We are particularly keen to hear from anyone who may be able to help identify this suspect. If you have any information you think can help, please do get in touch."
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