Five Thousand pounds reward

A reward of up £5000 is offered this week in the latest twist to a hunt for violent thieves who terrorised the occupants of two homes in East Sussex last November.

A reward of up £5000 is offered this week in the latest twist to a hunt for violent thieves who terrorised the occupants of two homes in East Sussex last November.

 

Detectives disclosed the reward, put up jointly by Sussex Police and the independent charity Crimestoppers, as they also released an E-fit of one of the suspects who attacked 77-year old Mr William (BIll) Skipper in his own home during one of the attacks. The reward is for information which leads to the arrest and conviction of person or persons responsible for one or both of the attacks.

The investigation links the violent burglaries in Hadlow Down on November 6 and Ditchling on November 19. Cash was taken in each case together with shotguns in the latter crime. On each occasion elderly occupants were left shocked and shaken and in the Hadlow Down case Mr Skipper was badly beaten.

Detectives also seek to contact anyone who saw a blue/grey VW estate, registration R277JDU, in the Ditchling area on the evening of the latest offence, Thursday November 19 . It was seen parked just a short distance from the scene in Common Lane just before the offence and was subsequently found burnt out by the side of the A281 at Henfield;

Detective Inspector Dave Wardley-Wilkins of Sussex Police Major Crime Branch is leading the enquiry. He said: "These are two very serious incidents. We have linked them due to a number of common factors, including the type of people targeted and the methods used by the offenders. We believe they targeted the addresses in expectation of finding substantial amounts of cash.

"Incidents such as these are rare - they were not random attacks. There is no need for the public at large to be alarmed. These crimes may have happened three months ago but we are still on the case.

“We ask people to continue to be vigilant and report suspicious sightings of people or vehicles in rural areas. Police officers and PCSOs have been active in patrolling and visiting people who they think would particularly benefit from crime prevention advice.

''I have no doubt that someone knows who is responsible for these attacks. Anyone who saw anything suspicious in the vicinity of the attacks, who thinks they may recognises the subject of the E-fit, or who has any other information about them, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem, is asked to contact us via 0845 60 70 999, quoting Operation Otham. You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111."

The reward is for information given to Crimestoppers which leads to the arrest and conviction of person or persons responsible for one or both of the attacks. Rewards can only be claimed by calling Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Rewards cannot be claimed if giving information via their online form.

Carolyn Collard, Chair of Sussex Crimestoppers said: "People should feel safe in their own homes. We must not let these despicable criminals get away with traumatising people and stealing their treasured possessions and cash. We urge the public to pass on any information they may have on these crimes to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. No one will know you called."

 

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