Detectives are hunting a gang of travelling thieves after a spate of high-value burglaries in Newcastle.
Officers in Northumbria Police's Central Burglary Team have launched an investigation after five similar burglaries were reported in just five days.
The first burglary took place between 6.30pm and 8.40pm last Thursday (March 14) when intruders broke into a home on The Crest in Dinnington.
After ransacking the property they made off with a haul of jewellery believed to be worth more than £50,000.
Detectives launched an investigation but there have since been a further four burglaries across Newcastle.
Three houses were targeted on Friday evening where thieves raided a house at Windsor Court in Brunton Bridge and houses on Cragside and Oakhurst Drive in Heaton.
And on Tuesday evening occupants of a property on Brighton Road in Gateshead disturbed a gang of intruders who fled empty-handed.
Detectives believe the five burglaries are linked and have asked the public to be on guard against the "sophisticated" gang of travelling thieves.
Detective Chief Inspector Paul Knox said: "I want to reassure residents in Newcastle that specialist detectives are investigating these burglaries.
"There have been some very high value items stolen and many of them are of great sentimental value to their owners.
"We are keeping an open mind as to whether the same people are responsible but these burglaries are very similar in nature.
"The items stolen are predominantly high value jewellery while the burglaries themselves have been committed in the same way.
"We believe that the gang have Irish accents and we think they have been using a dark car, potentially a Mercedes C-class, during the offences.
"They are not believed to be from the area so if you see a group matching their description checking into hotels, B&Bs, caravan sites or holiday homes then please get in touch.
"If you have seen anything suspicious in your local community, or think you may have seen these men, then call police.
"You are the eyes and ears of police on the ground and if you see something that causes you concern then please give us a call."
The incidents being investigated by detectives at the Central Burglary Team include:
- Between 6.30pm and 8.40pm on Thursday at The Crest in Dinnington.
- Between 7.30pm and 8.35pm on Friday at Cragside in Heaton.
- Between 6.30pm and 8.40pm on Friday at Oakhurst Drive in Heaton.
- Between 6.40pm and 6.55pm on Friday at Windsor Court in Brunton Drive.
- At about 10pm on Tuesday at brighton Road in Gateshead.
If you have information you believe could assist the investigation then you should call police on 101 and ask to speak to the Central Burglary Team or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
You can also report online at www.northumbria.police.uk/contact or email firstname.lastname@example.org.