JEWELLERY worth more than £30,000 was stolen from a house in Broadway in the latest of a spate of burglaries in the Vale.

Homes across Evesham, Pershore and surrounding villages have been targeted by thieves, with thousands of pounds worth of items taken in a series of burglaries over the last few weeks.

Police say there have now been about 35 burglaries across the Vale since the start of November – a much higher rate than they would usually expect.

Detective Inspector Stuart Murphy, of West Mercia Police, said: “We are doing all we can to stop the offences, including putting extra officers out on patrol across the area in marked and unmarked vehicles, checking any suspicious vehicles.

“Our officers have been pursuing other leads and we are looking at not just local offenders but suspects from across the country and we are working with other police forces.”

The latest burglary happened in Broadway on Friday, January 17, when burglars broke into the house in Lifford Gardens at 7.30pm by climbing on to a conservatory roof at the back of the house and forcing open a window.

Items stolen include a gold ruby and diamond ring worth £5,000, an 18-carat gold Omega de Ville ladies watch worth £2,530 and a silver Gucci watch with diamonds worth £2,000.

It follows break-ins at four homes in Evesham and Pershore over the New Year period including a home in South Littleton, near Evesham, where nearly £6,500 worth of electrical equipment was stolen.

Police are also linking two burglaries in Bredon which took place during the second week in January and in both cases the offenders entered the homes from the back gardens.

Det Insp Murphy said police efforts are paying dividends.

"Our efforts have seen six people charged with burglaries in the Vale who are all currently in prison on remand and awaiting appearances in court. One more has been arrested and is on police bail," he said.

Following a public appeal, Matthew Schramm, aged 32, of Newlands, Pershore, was jailed on Monday for 20 weeks after pleading guilty to two burglaries in Pershore.

Det Insp Murphy called on the public to help catch other crooks.

“We need local people to let us know about anything suspicious, no matter how small, that they have experienced,” he said.

“Someone called us last week in the early hours about three people acting suspiciously in Pershore. Officers attended, stopped a van nearby and the three occupants were all arrested for going equipped to commit catalytic converter thefts.

“While the Vale is generally one of the safest places to live, especially in the villages, everyone still needs to do the basics and make sure their homes are locked up when they are out of the house.

“Most burglaries are carried out by opportunistic thieves who are looking for the easiest targets, so protect your home by leaving lights on when you are out or set a timer switch to turn your lights on when it gets dark.”

Evesham Mayor Mark Goodge said he was concerned about the recent spate of break-ins.

“I’m anxious to see it sorted out as soon as possible and get the perpetrators caught,” he said. “ I know the police are working hard to catch those responsible.”