Five questioned over hundreds of burglaries after police pursuit through Billingshurst

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Five people who police believe may have been involved in more than 200 burglaries were arrested following a police pursuit in Billingshurst yesterday evening (Tuesday January 13).

A police helicopter and patrol cars were deployed after two homes were burgled and a carjacking took place in West Sussex.

Officers were alerted at 7pm after homes in Heathfield Park, Midhurst, and Nyetimber Copse, West Chiltington, were broken into.

The suspects drove off in a stolen Volkswagen Golf, a Sussex Police spokesperson said.

However, they used the vehicle to force a 27-year-old woman and a 17-year-old girl in a Ford Focus to stop their car on the B2133 in Billingshurst.

The Ford Focus was abandoned in West Chiltington Lane, Billingshurst, and a number of people were seen to run from the car, police said.

Five people, including a 20-year-old man from Billingshurst, were arrested shortly after, and are being questioned on suspicion of being involved in more than 200 burglaries across the south east.

Also arrested were a 24-year-old man from Sidcup in Greater London, a 29-year-old man from South Eckendon in Essex, a 16-year-old boy, and a 28-year-old man from Reigate.

A spokesperson for Sussex Police said: “Detectives from Sussex, Surrey, Kent and the Metropolitan Police have been working together to try to identify and arrest a group of people suspected of carrying out break-ins in all four force areas since September.”

Detective inspector Dave Wardley-Wilkins said: “We need to speak to anyone who saw the Golf or the Focus being driven in or around Billingshurst last night or anyone who saw men running from the Focus after it was abandoned.

“We also need to find anyone who saw people acting suspiciously in Heathfield Park, Midhurst, and Nyetimber Copse, West Chiltington, yesterday.

“Five people are being questioned about a large number of burglaries across the region but we will need the public’s help. If you know anything at all that could help us, please get in touch.”

Anyone with information can email quoting serial 889 of 13/01, call 101 or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.