An investigation has been launched after a house in Hemingford Abbots is targeted twice in two weeks by masked burglars.

n Monday, March 20, at about 11.30am, five men were spotted, wearing dark clothing and with their faces covered, by a special constable with the British Transport police leaving the property in Common Lane.

Another resident saw the suspects climbing over his fence wearing balaclavas and carrying a black box before getting into a silver Ford Mondeo, which was driven away at high speed.

The men removed a safe containing about £5,000 in cash and high value jewellery, including a ladies Rolex watch worth £15,000, from the property.

Detective Constable Stuart Miller said: "This burglary has left the victims shaken and I'd urge anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area yesterday morning to contact us as a matter of urgency."

Clare Darbyshire, police crime reduction officer, added: "The offending vehicle was located by officers from Northamptonshire Police, a pursuit occurred but a decision had to be taken to end the pursuit after the vehicle was driven at high speed in the wrong direction on a dual carriageway."

The car was later found abandoned in Rushden, Northamptonshire, and another member of the public found a discarded safe believed to be linked to the burglary in Hemingford Abbots.

"We believe that above demonstrates how important it is for members the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity, no matter how insignificant you feel it may be - it may be the final piece of the jigsaw puzzle that could lead to the prosecution of offenders in this type of despicable crime," added officer Darbyshire.

In the first incident, between 7pm on March 11 and 8am on March 12, offenders broke into an outbuilding in the back garden of the property.

They made off with a safe and bottles of alcohol. According to police the safe was empty.

Anyone with information is being asked to call Cambridgeshire police on 101, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.