THREE Benfleet homes were burgled in one day by the same gang.

Thousands of pounds of designer jewellery, games consoles and watches were stolen.

Police have linked the raids and are trying to trace the driver of a Nissan car who may be connected to the break-ins.

Officers are appealing to the public for information to trace the thieves.

Castle Point Council’s deputy leader Bill Sharp, ward councillor for St James, said there had been a spate of burglaries.

He said: “I was a victim six months ago and it is invasive.

They opened every door and drawer and I lost quite a lot, which wasn’t necessarily of financial value, but sentimental.

“There has been a spate which has been going on for months around the area and Godfrey Isaacs, the councillor responsible for community safety, has taken it up with police to try and resolve the issue.

“I urge people to lock doors and don’t leave windows open when they go out. There are many elderly people in the area and they must not open the door if they don’t know who it is. It’s sad, but that is what life is like at the moment.”

All the break-ins happened on Tuesday, May 27, and within a mile. A house in Seymour Road was broken into between 8.40am and 5.20pm with raiders stealing jewellery and watches, as well as an Xbox One, an 18 carat gold emerald and diamond ring, a Swarovski charm bracelet, Chanel sunglasses and two Michael Kors watches.

They stole more jewellery, including a Raymond Weil silver watch and a gold Gucci necklace, from a property in Shepherds Walk between 2.30pm and 5.20pm.

An alarm activated at 3.08pm spooked raiders at a house in Daws Heath Road, near the junction of Western Road. It is not known if anything was taken.

Police want to speak to anyone who may have seen a dark coloured Nissan Qashqai in the area on May 27. Anyone with information should call Det Con Jon Holden, of Southend CID, on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.