HOME invaders brandishing swords smashed front doors and attacked residents in a series of armed raids.

The three men looted cash and threatened terrified residents with Samurai swords in two properties in Shoreham and Lancing on Monday evening.

A 40-year-old man from Worthing, who was arrested for aggravated burglary, has been released under investigation.

Police are investigating the two home invasions which occurred within 20 minutes of each other.

At about 11.10pm on Monday, three men smashed down a door to a property in Surry Street, Shoreham, and used knives and swords to threaten and assault the occupants.

A mobile phone was stolen.

Three men matching the same descriptions with the same weapons, smashed down a door to a home in Hayley Road, Lancing, 20 minutes later.

Cash and a mobile phone were stolen.

The suspects have been described as one white man in his late teens or early 20s, and two black men in their late teens to early 20s.

They were all dressed in dark clothing.

Police also are interested in a blue Volkswagen Caddy van that was seen in the area around the time of the incidents.

Investigating officer, Detective Constable Rebecca Hopkins, said: “The occupants of the two addresses concerned were thankfully not hurt, but were understandably left shaken, having been confronted by three unknown men brandishing weapons in their own homes.

“We believe these were both isolated incidents aimed at targeting a particular individual, who is safe. We do not believe there is a cause for concern in the wider community.

“We have arrested one person in connection with our investigation, however we are still seeking to identify a further three suspects and we are seeking information regarding the blue van spotted in the area at the time.”

A Sussex Police spokesman said: “A 40-year-old man from Worthing was arrested on suspicion of aggravated burglary and possession of two Samurai swords in a public place, and has been released under investigation pending further enquiries.

“Anyone with any information is asked to report it online or call 101, quoting serial 1624 of 11/03.

“Alternatively, you can visit the Crimestoppers website or contact the independent charity anonymously on 0800 555 111.

“For advice on how to protect your home and your belongings from burglary, visit our crime prevention page.”