A TEENAGE boy aged just 13 was among a gang of other boys and two men arrested as police smashed a suspected burglary ring in Southend.

Officers raided a house in Cluny Square to arrest six males, aged 13, 14, 16, 18, 20 and 43 on suspicion of burglary.

They discovered a quad bike in the living room, as well as tools and two mountain bikes, which they believe were stolen from a shed in North Avenue.

Residents in the area have been left shocked by the arrests of suspects so young.

A 49-year-old mother of five, who asked not to be named, said: “It’s disgraceful that so many children have been arrested.

“I blame the parents. It’s not always their fault, but there needs to be strict action taken by parents. If I saw a child trying to burgle my house I would probably give them an old fashioned hiding and take them to their parents for a telling off.

“You have to be hard on them.

North Avenue is really different to Cluny Square, there are a lot of elderly people here and families.

It’s a disgrace this has happened.”

Another resident, aged 54, said: “Teenagers haven’t got much to do, but it’s no excuse to break the law. My four-year-old grandson lives with us and I think ‘what’s it going to be like in the future for him?’”

Chief Insp Simon Anslow, district commander for Southend, said: “We carried out a search warrant at the property and, as a result, we recovered property that had been stolen in a shed burglary the night before.

“We arrested six people on suspicion of burglary.”

All the suspects were released on bail until July 30 pending further inquiries. Anyone with information can call 101.

A TEENAGE burglary suspect was found hiding under a campervan in a Tesco car park.

The 19-year-old, from Southend, was one of two suspects who ran from police in the early hours of yesterday morning. Residents alerted police to the men, who they saw trying to break into a garden shed in Northville Drive, Westcliff. Police raced to the scene and the suspects fled.

After a quick police search, officers stopped one of the suspects in the nearby Tesco car park in Prince Close. They found him cowering under a campervan trying to hide.

The 19-year-old Southend man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of attempted burglary and spent yesterday in custody being questioned.