Armed intruders hunted after family held hostage in house raid

A gang believed to be behind a spate of burglaries in an affluent London suburb are being hunted after smashing their way into a house and holding a family hostage.

Four men, wielding crowbars and hammers, forced their way into the gated property in Cookham Dene Close, Chislehurst, at around 6pm on Monday March 5, CCTV shows.

The suspects, described as white, of stocky build and speaking with Irish accents, threatened an elderly man and children with violence while demanding money and jewellery.

One victim managed to call a family member, who alerted police, prompting the raiders to stuff jewellery into a teenage girl's school bag and escape in a silver Mercedes.

The intruders, said to be in their mid-20s and wearing matching Converse All Star-style trainers, baseball caps and puffer jackets, are thought to be behind a number of burglaries in the south-east London area.

Separate footage showing a gang stealing a safe in Keston, near Bromley, about five miles away, on February 21, was also released by detectives.

The thieves dragged the safe, filled with watches and jewellery, through the property in Forest Ridge, before loading it into a car boot.

Detective Constable Ben Briselden, from Bromley Burglary Squad, said: "This was a terrifying burglary where a family were at home enjoying their evening and were threatened, and attacked, by four men who then stole their most valued possessions, which were of great sentimental value.

"We would urge anyone with information about this burglary to get in touch as soon as possible."

If you have any information call Bromley Burglary Squad on 07795 334919 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.