A GANG of burglars raided homes of treasured possessions before stealing top-of-the-range cars worth nearly £175,000 from driveways across Hampshire.

The thieves forced their way into homes across the county in a 48-hour spree as householders and their families were sleeping.

They grabbed car keys and took valuable vehicles parked outside before fleeing.

But while they were inside each home the brazen burglars stole a haul of valuable items from each of the homes.

One victim was 28-year-old Royal Marine Paul Moxom, who has been left devastated after a watch presented to him after he served in a tour in Afghanistan, during which colleagues were killed and hurt, was stolen.

Detectives have today urged people to secure their doors at night and keep car keys out of view.

The first three raids began in the early hours of Friday as the country began to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee weekend.

Chalvington Road in Chandler’s Ford, and Holly Gardens and Lime Gardens, both in West End, were targeted within hours.

The gang forced open doors or reached through letterboxes to pull down the handle to get inside.

Inside they swiped the keys and stole a black Land Rover Range Rover Sport worth £25,000, a black Mercedes CLS worth £54,000 and a black Range Rover Sport Estate worth £25,000.

Just 48 hours later in the early hours of Sunday the burglars targeted Southampton.

Marine Paul Moxom’s home in Fuchsia Gardens was targeted and his white Mark II RS Focus valued at £29,000 was driven away.

They ended their spree at a home in Atherley Court where they stole two high-value cars – a grey BMW 1 series and a white BMW 7 series, valued at £40,000.

The haul from the five homes also included laptops, iPhones, iPads, jewellery, watches including a Titanium Breitling Chronometre Aerospace, a set of Titleist golf clubs and even an electric golf cart.

Police believe that at least three offenders are in the gang and they could have visited the areas before the burglaries to survey the houses they wanted to target.

Investigating officer DC Jeff Cox said: “This should have been a long weekend of celebration. Instead, a number of victims have had their homes violated and property of a valuable and personal nature stolen.

“The burglars have been very quiet to search around the ground floors while people are sleeping upstairs – they are obviously very capable.

“We don’t know why these particular addresses have been targeted – only that the two in West End are relatively close to each other and the two in Southampton are relatively close to each other.

“The one thing we can say is that high-value cars have been targeted in each case.

“They all had visible cars that were not in garages and we are asking the public did you see anyone cruising around beforehand?

“We’re asking people to think about when they were in those areas – maybe they saw people around, perhaps doing a preparatory visit?”

Police would not speculate as to what may have happened to the cars, some of which are quite distinctive, after they were stolen.

DC Cox said: “It could be that someone has seen one of these cars and not realised what they have seen – perhaps petrol station workers or night workers who are out and about late in the evening.”

Anyone who saw or heard anything suspicious, or believes they saw the gang driving around or targeting homes overnight on Friday and Sunday, is asked to call Eastleigh CID on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.