Detectives from the Matrix Serious and Organised Crime (MSOC) Investigation Wing are investigating a number of aggravated burglaries and robberies in Liverpool.
The seven offences took place at various locations across Merseyside and at this stage of enquiries; detectives are linking the incidents, in which all victims were members of the Chinese community.
Officers are investigating incidents that took place between Friday, 7 February and Tuesday, 4 March in Allerton, Aigburth, Childwall, Anfield, Wavertree, Rainford and West Derby,
All incidents took place between 7pm and 9pm and at each address, three to four men, dressed in black with their faces covered, either attempted to or managed to force their way into properties. When they did manage to get in inside they threatened residents, arming themselves with items they found in the houses before stealing cash and jewellery.
Superintendent Mark Wiggins said: “Being subjected to such an offence, must be a very frightening for the victims. Thankfully no one has been seriously injured during these incidents but understandably every victim been left very distressed by these often-prolonged ordeals.
“The force is taking a coordinated approach to investigating these incidents and we are determined to trace those responsible. CCTV and house-to-house enquiries are currently being conducted and a number of forensic enquiries are on-going.
“We are also working closely with members of the Chinese community – officers from the force’s Community Engagement team have been liaising with community leaders and will be attending upcoming community events to provide crime prevention and security advice. A leaflet, with crime prevention advice, will also be made available to the community and each of the force’s Area Commanders has been notified about these incidents, so patrols and high-visibility policing can be increased where necessary.”
He added: “Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure inside their own home and I would also ask anyone with any knowledge of these incidents to think about how they would feel if this was their home or their family?
“This level of threat and intimidation is very rare and it is important that these offenders are brought to justice. Any information about these incidents could be vital to our investigation and I would urge anyone with any information to get in contact.”
Officers would urge anybody with any information about this incident to contact MSOC Investigation Wing on 0151 777 8619 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.