Residents in rural communities are being urged to be vigilant after large quantities of jewellery were stolen from two homes in west Devon.

Police are linking two burglaries at detached properties in the Lifton and Okehampton areas on Monday, April 22.

The offenders struck at an isolated property in the Broadwoodwidger area of Lifton between 8.15am and 8.30am. They got in through a ground floor window and made a tidy search of the premises before escaping with more than £3,000 worth of jewellery.

Among the stolen items were two gold wedding rings, a sapphire and diamond eternity ring, several sets of earrings, a gold cross and chain and a distinctive heart shaped pendant with burgundy stones.

On the same day between 10.15am and 4.30pm, offenders entered a detached property in Merton, Okehampton, through a ground floor window.

A large quantity of assorted jewellery and a small amount of cash was stolen after the offenders made a tidy search of the property.

PC Shaunaugh Rooney, from Bideford CID, said: “The offenders are clearly after jewellery as they did not take any electrical items which were clearly on show.

“Residents in rural communities are advised to be vigilant and to report any sightings of suspicious vehicles or people around their homes to the police. We would ask people to ensure their properties are locked and secured, and that jewellery is kept in a secure place.”

Anyone with information is asked to telephone police on 101, quoting crime reference CT/13/216 or CH/13/213, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.