Police in Kent are warning residents after a gang barged into a elderly couple's home in Dartford to steal jewellery.

Since the beginning of January there have been 30 burglaries in Gravesham and 50 burglaries across Dartford which is of a “concern to officers”.

On Thursday, January 25 police were called to an aggravated burglary in Priory Road, Dartford, where it was reported that a gang of five men forced their way into a house at about 10.30pm.

Once inside the thugs allegedly threatened two elderly victims before searching the home and stealing jewellery.

Police are now reminding residents to remain vigilant following this concerning rise in crime.

Detective Inspector Chris Dovey of north Kent’s Criminal Investigation Department said: “While we have seen a number of burglaries within Kent in the past month I do not wish to alarm residents but I would like to remind people to stay vigilant, not only in terms of securing your own home but also looking out for neighbours, especially vulnerable people and just generally being aware of what is going on around you.

“If you see something suspicious or believe someone is acting in an odd manner then please do call us to report it as your suspicions may just stop a criminal in their tracks.

“I’d like to also take the opportunity to remind homeowners to ensure all their windows and doors are locked before leaving the house or going to sleep.

“Burglars are mostly opportunists and it may be that they try a number of homes before finding an insecure door or window. Valuables should also be removed from site and car keys not left by the front door as this makes it easier for criminals to target your home.

“Leaving lights on when you are going out is also a good deterrent as is asking trusted neighbours to keep an eye on your property if you know you are going away. By being mindful and taking these simple steps you will make it harder for a burglar to target your home."