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.