THREE bikes worth £1,000 have been stolen from a house during a spate of garage and shed burglaries, which police believe are being carried out by the same gang.

Police are warning residents to ensure their outside properties are properly secured, after the spate, which has seen 29 burglaries from sheds and garages, with mainly bikes stolen.

Suspects entered a garage in Keith Way, Southend, and stole two green and white hybrid Merida Crossways and a pink and black mountain bike.

CCTV has been recovered of a man on a bike and police are trying to identify and speak to him, to eliminate him from their inquiries. It is believed he may have bought it in good faith.

Police said thieves are targeting the whole of Southend, mainly for bicycles, but the incidents are more prevalent in central Southend, Chalkwell and Southchurch.

They have been happening mainly overnight, with a surge between June 16 and July 9.

Chief Insp Simon Anslow, district commander for Southend, said: “From April 1 to the middle of July we have seen a 10 per cent reduction in shed and garage burglary, compared to the same period last year. But within that crime this is a noticeable series that appears is being perpetrated by the same person or group of persons.

“We encourage anyone who has had a shed or garage burglary to report it. Anyone who sees any suspicious activity happening overnight around sheds and garages should call us immediately on 999.”

Anyone with information about the theft in Keith Way, which took place between July 7 and July 15, can call PC Terence Wilson at Southend police station on 101.