Police are investigating two aggravated burglaries which occurred within 20 minutes of each other in Shoreham and Lancing.
Around 11.10pm on Monday (11 March), three men smashed down a door to a property in Surry Street, Shoreham, and used knives or swords to threaten and assault the occupants. A mobile phone was stolen.
Later at around 11.30pm, three men matching the same descriptions with the same weapons, smashed down a door to a property in Hayley Road, Lancing. The occupants were threatened, and a small quantity of cash and a mobile phone were stolen.
The suspects have been described as one white man in his late teens or early 20s, and two black men in their late teens to early 20s. They were all dressed in dark clothing.
Police also are interested in a blue Volkswagen Caddy van that was seen in the area around the time of the incidents.
Investigating officer, Detective Constable Rebecca Hopkins, said: “The occupants of the two addresses concerned were thankfully not hurt, but were understandably left shaken, having been confronted by three unknown men brandishing weapons in their own homes.
“We believe these were both isolated incidents aimed at targeting a particular individual, who is safe. We do not believe there is a cause for concern in the wider community.
“We have arrested one person in connection with our investigation, however we are still seeking to identify a further three suspects and we are seeking information regarding the blue van spotted in the area at the time.”
A 40-year-old man from Worthing was arrested on suspicion of aggravated burglary and possession of an offensive weapon (two Samurai swords) in a public place, and has been released under investigation pending further enquiries.
Anyone with any information is asked to report it online or call 101, quoting serial 1624 of 11/03.
Alternatively, you can visit the Crimestoppers website or contact the independent charity anonymously on 0800 555 111.
For advice on how to protect your home and your belongings from burglary, visit our crime prevention page.