A RAID saw high-value items including a luxury car stolen – and it is feared a “sophisticated” gang is targeting upmarket homes across Bolton.

Jane and David Lathwood’s house on Margrove Chase, Lostock, was broken into while the couple were away.

Mrs Lathwood, 45, said the burglars came with a ladder and plank of wood, cut the electricity outside the house and doused it in a bucket of water, stopping any noise. They also cut phone lines.

Burglars then prised open a locked kitchen window before ransacking the house, taking watches, jewellery, designer handbags and air rifles.

They also stole a CCTV recorder box to avoid detection.

Then the intruders drove off with Mr Lathwood's black BMW X5.

The burglary happened in the early hours of Monday, May 3.

A similar BMW with a DL30 number plate wasreportedly latyer seen near Chorley Old Road and Halliwell Road between 12.45am and 1am.

The BMW had cream leather seats with black piping and tinted back windows.

Mrs Lathwood said: “It seems you don’t stand a chance of being able to protect your home and belongings from these criminals.

“We think our house was being watched for a while. We have three big dogs, including a Ridgeback.

“A few weeks before the burglary someone was in our garden and the dogs chased them away.

“Our gardener was at the house last week and when he got there the back door was wide open.

“They got through the kitchen window but found the lock to the back door and got out that way.

“We live in a gated estate and we think they climbed over a fence from woodlands near Lostock Parish Centre to get in the garden. We are hugely upset because some of the stuff cannot be replaced.”

Jewellery with sentimental value was taken and cupboards were ransacked. A boiler and locks were damaged.

Mrs Lathwood added: “They also stole a kitchen knife, which we found in our garden near the fence they jumped over to get in our property.

"We have been told this is a common tactic for burglars, who don’t bring their own weapons in case they are caught with, them which would show intent to harm.

"They must be sophisticated burglars, it was very well planned.

“I was upset when it happened but now I am absolutely furious. We have worked really hard for years to get what we had.”

In an attempt to trace the burglars, Mrs Lathwood shared an appeal on social media but was unsuccessful.

But she has since discovered the same methods were used to break into a nearby house on Regent Road and at a home in Horwich.

Mrs Lathwood added: “This spate of identical and sophisticated burglaries is of huge concern for us and all those in the area.”

Police are investigating and a force spokesman said: “Police were called to an address on Margrove Chase, Bolton, on Monday, May 3, to reports of a burglary that’s believed to have taken place overnight. Enquiries are ongoing.”

If you can assist then call police on 101 quoting log number CRI/06KK /12368/21.