Police seek Burgess Hill burglar with ‘gambling addiction’

SUS-150120-144115001

SUS-150120-144115001

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Police are hunting for a commuting criminal who travels around the region by train breaking into homes.

Officers believe Simon Knights, 38, uses the rail network to move from town to town dressed smartly in a jacket, shirt and trousers, committing burglaries and then getting the next train home.

Detectives from five police forces are currently looking for Knights and a £2,500 reward has been put up for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of him for at least one of the offences.

A spokesman for Sussex Police said: “It is thought that Knights is stealing cash and jewellery from homes to fund his gambling addiction, selling off any jewellery and spending the cash in betting shops, casinos and on fruit machines.

“Thousands of pounds worth of jewellery have been stolen during the more than a dozen break-ins that Knights is suspected of being responsible for in Sussex, Hampshire, Kent, London and Essex since June.

“More than £5,000 worth of jewellery was taken in the Sussex ones alone, in Oving, Barnham, Eastergate, Burgess Hill and Southwick.

“One of the latest crimes Knights is being linked to is a burglary in Bromley on November 26 which is being investigated by Metropolitan Police detectives.”

Sussex Police launched Operation Magpie to tackle burglaries in the county.

Detective Inspector Dave Wardley-Wilkins, of Sussex Police, said: “We need to speak to Knights about eight offences in June in Sussex but have not been able to trace him so far.

“We believe that he uses the rail network to get around so people might see him on trains along the south coast, possibly smartly dressed. He has links to Essex so could have returned there but we need anyone who sees him to contact us as we do not know where he is.

“People might also see him in betting shops or casinos so we would urge anyone who visits them to keep an eye out for him.

“If you have any information about where he is or where he has been, please get in touch.”

Charlton Athletic fan Knights is white, about 5’ 8” and has ginger hair and blue eyes.

Anyone with information should email 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk quoting serial 840 of 16/06, call 101 or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.