A "highly professional soldier" is believed to be behind a series of violent burglaries. 

The man being sought by police has been going around homes including some in Virginia Water, and has been dubbed the 'night watcher' for carrying out his raids at night between November 2014 and October 2017. 

On one occasion, a victim had her hands tied up and was beaten, suffering a broken jaw and had a tooth punched out of her mouth.

The thief, who has left little forensic evidence, has carried out seven raids - two in Kingswood, Surrey, and others in Maidenhead, Berkshire; Chichester, West Sussex, Sevenoaks, Kent; Maidstone, Kent, and Virginia Water, Surrey.

Victim Susan Morris, 61, whose home in Kingswood, Surrey, was raided in October 2017, described the violence used, and admitted that at one point she feared for her life.

She said: "One point when he was hitting me with the gun pointing at me, at that moment I did actually think, 'this is it, it's all over."

Speaking to The Mail, Mrs Morris explained: "All I wanted to do is get him out of the house as quickly as possible, give him what he wanted and get him out.

"‘So I took him to the jewellery, gave him the jewellery but he said to me “get on the floor”. I thought he was going to rape me, I was very, very frightened."

Detective Inspector Dee Fielding, from Surrey Police, said the use of cable ties, the level of planning and his confidence in carrying out such raids alone suggested he had a forces background.

She said: "Each of these burglaries have been extremely distressing for the victims involved.

"We do not believe this to be the work of an opportunist burglar, but someone who has specialist knowledge and skills - possibly ex forces or from a similar background due to the way he has behaved and the circumstances of each incident.

"The burglaries all appear to be the work of someone who knows exactly what they are doing and who is incredibly decisive in their actions."