THOUSANDS of pounds worth of stolen jewellery has been recovered after police tracked down a vehicle linked to a burglary.

Officers were alerted following a report that a bag of jewellery had been taken from the hallway of an address in Goring on Sunday, June 26.

The owners had been to an antiques fair in Surrey earlier that day, and believe they may have been followed back to Sussex.

At 5.30pm, a woman wearing dark clothing, a face mask and baseball cap entered the driveway and took the bag containing the jewellery, worth an estimated £100,000, while the car was being unloaded.

She ran to a nearby vehicle, but the owner managed to record the details and called 999.

RPU (Roads Policing Unit) officers stopped the car as it drove through Fittleworth, near Pulborough, and arrested the driver and a passenger on suspicion of theft.

PC John Bradshaw was among the officers who searched the vehicle. He said: “I opened up the door to the back seat of the car, and I couldn’t believe it when I saw the bag containing all the jewellery was there.

“It was a great team effort to get to the vehicle so quickly, so that we could reunite the jewellery with the rightful owner.”

Maria Liliana Artunduaga Narvaez, 31, and Ramiro Hernandez-Islas, 50, both of Peckham Rye, London, were both charged with burglary.

Hernandez-Islas was also charged with driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence, and driving without valid insurance.

They appeared before Lewes Crown Court on July 27, where they admitted the charges. They were both jailed for two years.

Speaking after the case PC Bradshaw said:  “Burglary can cause huge distress to victims, and in this case Narvaez and Hernandez-Islas targeted a vulnerable victim.

“Fortunately, thanks to some great teamwork we caught them red-handed, and when it came to court they had no choice but to plead guilty.

“We are pleased that these two offenders have been taken off our streets.”