Sidmouth targeted by raid gang

PUBLISHED: 14:15 29 May 2010 | UPDATED: 14:01 18 June 2010

DETECTIVES are investigating five burglaries in the Sidmouth area which are being linked to a string of raids across Devon and Cornwall.

DETECTIVES are investigating five burglaries in the Sidmouth area which are being linked to a string of raids across Devon and Cornwall.

The spate of offences all happened in the early hours of Wednesday and an unknown quantity of cash was stolen.

Thieves targeted Holmesley Nursing Home, the Radway Cinema, Mount Pleasant Hotel, Oakdown Caravan Park and Putts Corner National Caravan Park in the night-time raid.

The incidents are being linked to a previous burglary at Sidmouth Nursing Home in April, as well as thefts in Seaton, North and South Devon, and Cornwall.

The large criminal gang are targeting rural premises, such as nursing homes and pubs, and have taken cash and cigarettes among their haul.

A police spokesperson said: "The offenders, we believe, come outside of the force area and are travelling criminals.

"No one has yet been arrested. We are liasing with other forces in relation to intelligence which is currently being co-ordinated."

He added that they are not issuing descriptions of the culprits but they believe the offenders are all men and they have a getaway vehicle.

It is thought thousand of pounds have been pillaged during the burglaries, which began in April and stretch into the double figures.

Investigating officer Detective Sergeant Alex Dawson said: "This type of targeted crime series is rare in Devon and Cornwall, and we are confident these criminals will be caught.

"We are working with colleagues across the country and are gathering information on these individuals.

"However, we also need the public's help, both in terms of following crime prevention advice and also notifying us of anything they see untoward."

The raiders force entry into properties and business owners are being advised to check their buildings are secure.

Advice includes making sure CCTV and burglar alarm systems are in working order and if people notice anyone acting suspicious to call 999 immediately.


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