Man arrested after Chelsea full-back Reece James’ home burgled by brazen thieves

A man has been arrested and remains under investigation following a burglary at Chelsea footballer Reece James’ home last year.

James, who has made 10 appearances for England, said he had his Champions League, Super Cup and Euro 2020 runners-up medals stolen during the incident, which happened while he was playing for his club against Zenit St Petersburg on September 14, 2021. The full-back played the full 90 minutes of Chelsea’s 1-0 victory over their Russian opponents but later uploaded CCTV footage of the incident at his home in Cobham, Surrey, on his Instagram page.

Surrey Police has now confirmed that a 31-year-old man from Blackwater, Hampshire, has been arrested and remains under investigation. Officers also previously arrested another man who has since been released without charge, the force confirmed.

A Surrey Police spokesman said: “Officers were called to an address in Four Acres, Cobham on Wednesday, September 15 following reports of a residential burglary. Investigating officers have arrested two men in connection with this investigation.

Reece James' house was broken into while he was playing for Chelsea in the Champions League
Reece James’ house was broken into while he was playing for Chelsea in the Champions League (Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

“A 31-year-old man from Blackwater has been arrested on suspicion of burglary dwelling. He has since been released under investigation.

“Another man, a 33-year-old from Epsom was also arrested but since been released without further action. The investigation remains ongoing.”

In the caption to the footage shared on Instagram following the incident, James wrote: “On the evening of September 14, 2021, when I was playing for my club in the return of the Champions League, a group of cowardly robbers broke into my house.

“They managed to collectively lift a heavy safe containing some personal items of mine into their car. I never keep any jewellery of mine in my house so all that was contained in the safe were my Champions League winners medal and Super Cup winners medal and the runners-up medal for the Euro 2020.

Reece James says his football medals were inside the stolen safe
Reece James says his football medals were inside the stolen safe

“These medals were won representing Chelsea and England – honours that can never be taken away from me whether or not I have the physical medals to prove it. Nevertheless, I am appealing to all my Chelsea and England fans to help identify and turn in these low-life individuals who will never be able to rest easy as the evidence is mounting against them.

“The police, my advisers and Chelsea FC (and many others) are all behind me as we have firm leads on who the perpetrators are. We are closing in on them.

“Luckily, no one was present during the break-in but I want to let all of you know I am safe and well. I really do appreciate having the platform to tell you all about my misfortune and I hope together we can catch these individuals and deliver justice where it is due.”

The incident is just the latest in a string of ‘away day burglaries’ to have taken place at footballers’ homes while they are playing. Manchester United’s Victor Lindelof and Jesse Lingard, as well as Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema have also had their homes broken into while they were playing for their clubs this season.

Chelsea Football Club has been approached for comment.

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