Burglar raiding homes around England believed to be 'ex-soldier'

The man has stolen £7million from homes accross  Berkshire, Kent, Surrey and Sussex and is believed to be an ex-soldier with  'specialist knowledge and skills'

(Photo: Surrey police)
(Photo: Surrey police)

A violent burglar behind a terrifying string of raid is believed to be a highly-professional soldier with a "commanding nature"

The man is believed to have carried out seven violent £1m raids with military-style planning.

He has been spotted on CCTV stakes out homes for weeks, while plotting the owners’ movements. He knows the exact layout of the Home Counties properties, Surrey Police said.

His most recent raid was at Kingswood, Surrey, in October last year.

The soldier also subjects his victims to a shocking amount of violence in a bid to get as many as their prized possessions as possible.

Victim Susan Morris, 61, said: "He knew exactly how hard to hit me."

She was alone at her home when he struck.

Morris said the raider kept asking her for more jewellery during the raid in October at her home in Kingswood, Surrey.

"He hit me three times on my face, it was very painful, I couldn't believe the blows kept coming," she said.

She was later found by her husband tied up with cables and hiding in the bedroom.

Morris said at one point she could not get a ring and bracelet off, and added: "I actually thought 'he's going to cut my finger off'."

Susan Morris was found by her husband, Stephen
Susan Morris was found by her husband, Stephen

Describing the thief, she said: "I would say he spoke well, he had no accent, he didn't have bad grammar, he's an intelligent man, he knows how to assess the situation and carry this out."

Susan suffered a broken jaw, bruising to her face and lost a tooth.

Police believe the burglar could be ex-military because of his levels of preparation, and his "well-spoken, intelligent" language and manner, but they have said he could be a current member of the armed forces or law enforcement.

Detective Inspector Dee Fielding, of Surrey Police, said: “Each of these burglaries have been extremely distressing for the victims. 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 similar.

“On each occasion unnecessary levels of violence have been used in addition to a firearm, which he used to threaten the victims, who have then been tied up.

“He has worked quickly and appears to have knowledge of who is home at the time of each attack, the location of safes and the layout. This leads us to believe he has planned the attacks with a great level of detail and prior knowledge.”

An appeal has now gone out from four police forces after raids across Berkshire, Kent, Surrey and Sussex were reported between November 2014 and October 2017.