Have You Seen This Van?

Police investigating the burglary of a house in Shipley, near Horsham, are considering a possible link with a distraction burglary in Tarring, Worthing in early October.

On both occasions, victims mentioned two men with a white van with ladders on the roof and a photo has been issued of the van involved in the Tarring incident.

The burglary in Smithers Hill Lane, Shipley, happened between 12.30 and 1.50pm on Sunday, October 16. Intruders had gained entry to the property and an untidy search was made inside. A large quantity of jewellery and antique items were stolen, including necklaces, earrings, rings, silver items and antique cutlery. Many of the items were of considerable sentimental value to the family from whom they were stolen.

It has since emerged that two men in a white van called at the house on September 30 and walked uninvited into one of the downstairs rooms. They were both tall. The first had heavy limbs, was of fit build, with dark curly hair and light craggy skin. The second had a thin face and dyed blond hair.

The descriptions and the van are very similar to those reported at a distraction burglary in Alfriston Close, Tarring, on Wednesday, October 5. Two men called at the house and tried to persuade the householder to pay for sealing guttering. They refused, but paid a small amount to have gutters cleared. Later, it was discovered that between £100 and £200 had been taken from a bedroom.

One of the men was described as white, 6' and in his 30s. The second was described as short and thin and aged 25-30. 

Detective Constable Chris Merryfield-Day said: "Thanks to the quick-thinking of a local witness, we have a photo of the van involved at Tarring and we are working to identify the owner and its movements. While the van wasn't seen around Shipley on the day of the burglary, it or a similar one was spotted just over a fortnight before and we would like to hear from anyone who may have seen it or indeed, been targeted by the suspects themselves, even if unsuccessfully."

If you have any information please click here to report quoting serial 786 of 16/10 (Shipley) or 575 of 05/10 ((Tarring). Alternatively, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppersanonymously on 0800 555 111.

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