Top detectives have been commended after tracking down a gang who held a gun to a sleeping woman's head.

The raiders, who were eventually jailed for a total of 40 years, smashed their way into the 21-year-old woman's house in Hackbridge, attacked her and demanded money in May last year.

They grabbed a 42in flat screen television, a mobile phone, a driving licence and cash before fleeing.

Police were quickly on their trail after an off duty police officer spotted the suspects leaving the address in a stolen Mercedes Vito van.

Earlier the same day, the five men had tried to enter another address - this time in Carshalton - but were stopped from doing so by a male occupier who stood behind the door and managed to keep it shut.

DS Julian Phillips, DS Ben Cockburn, DC Mark Cooper, DC Charlie Lourenco, DC Andrew Thornton and DC Paul Keevil, from Sutton's new burglary and robbery investigation team, gathered evidence against the five suspects leading to their conviction.

Det Ch Insp Jess Craik said: "These criminals were active gang members from Croydon.

“This investigation sends out a strong message that Sutton does not tolerate criminals coming onto this borough and committing serious crime."

DSs Phillips and Cockburn were given commendations for their leadership and DCs Cooper, Lourenco, Thornton and Keevil were commended for their detective ability at a ceremony at the Met Police Sports Centre in Bromley on Tuesday.