Follow Sussex Police Media Centre

Man arrested in connection with high value robbery in East Sussex village

News   •   May 08, 2019 17:59 BST

A man has been arrested after a large quantity of cash and jewellery was stolen during a robbery in rural East Sussex.

Two masked men are reported to have forced their way into a house in Fontridge Lane, Etchingham, shortly after 9.15pm on Monday 29 April.

The two occupants of the house – a man and a woman – were alerted to the disturbance at the back door and challenged the intruders. During this, the man was punched to the face, and both occupants were bound on the floor using cable ties.

A search of the property was made, and the offenders got away with jewellery including watches, bracelets and necklaces – with a total valuation into the high hundreds of thousands of pounds – and approximately £20,000 in cash.

Detectives have since released images of some of the items stolen, and are continuing to appeal for anyone with any information about the incident to come forward. No items have been recovered at this stage.

The offenders also stole a black Range Rover from the address, which was found burnt out shortly afterwards in nearby Church Lane.

Inspector Jon Gillings, of Hastings Investigations, said: “Following extensive enquiries, we arrested a 56-year-old man from Tonbridge in Kent on suspicion of robbery. He has been released on conditional bail until 31 May, pending further enquiries.

“At least one suspect remains outstanding and we are still appealing for anyone with any information about the incident to come forward.

“Specifically, we would like to hear from anyone who may have seen these valuable items of jewellery, or been offered them for sale.”

A CCTV image of two suspects has also been released.

Investigator Martin Mann said: “We are hoping this image – although it doesn't clearly show their faces – might jog memories of people who might have been in the area at the time.

"We believe this to be a pre-planned and targeted attack on a couple who were left understandably shaken following the incident. They are receiving the support they need at this time.”

Insp Gillings added: “We are also keen to hear from anyone who saw anyone or anything suspicious in the area around the time of the offence, or in the days leading up to it.”

The first suspect is described as black, about 6’, in his mid to late 20s, of stocky build, wearing black gloves, black trousers, a black hoody, and blue and white Nike Air Max trainers.

The second suspect is described was described as white but is believed to have been wearing gloves and his face was covered, wearing a black hoody, black tracksuit bottoms and a balaclava, and carrying a large knife.

Both suspects spoke an English accent.

Anyone with any information is asked to report it online or call 101, quoting Operation Peartree.

Alternatively, you can visit the Crimestoppers website or contact the independent charity anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Author: Sam Satchell
Ref: SXP54635/2019


IMAGE LICENSING NOTE: The image(s) provided remain(s) the property of Sussex Police or to a third party who has agreed to its/their release.

It/they is/are provided for the explicit purpose of journalistic coverage and commentary, in the public interest, in relation to the investigation into the theft of the property featured in the image(s).

You are granted limited licence to use the material for this purpose for 90 days from the date it is provided. You may also re-distribute it for this purpose at zero cost to the receiver, provided it is clearly marked as belonging to Sussex Police and this notice remains.

You may include our material as part of a wider package of journalistic content that is paid for by the receiver – for example a court report or feature article – provided that the material owned by Sussex Police is clearly marked as such, this notice remains and our material is supplemented by content of additional value produced by you.

Re-distribution of this material for profit in breach of the terms above, use for any purpose other than that expressed above or archiving of this material for future use is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission of Sussex Police.

Requests for use outside of these terms should be sent to