Detectives are investigating a £500,000 raid on the London mansion of a Premier League star, the Evening Standard can reveal.
The couple rent the multi-million pound house from former Chelsea and Arsenal player Nicolas Anelka and his wife Barbara Tausia.
Six years ago, the former France international, 40, reportedly chased the Wimbledon Prowler Asdrit Kapaj through his back garden after an attempted break-in.
Police and residents fear copycat criminal gangs are once again stalking the affluent south London suburb.
Earlier this week, the Standard revealed celebrity chef Marcus Wareing had fallen prey to a gang of Chilean “burglary tourists” who raided his £5 million home in Wimbledon while he and his wife were away.
Last night, as Sakho arrived home to be with Majda, 34, a designer, he told the Standard: “Everything is OK. Me and my wife, we’re OK.” He declined to comment further.
Speaking from abroad, Anelka’s wife Ms Tausia, 42, a Belgian choreographer, added: “The house is rented so I do not know what happened to them. Yes, I knew about it, but I have no details. Everything is OK.”
Scotland Yard believe two men broke in at about 1.30pm on December 27. Police declined to release details of what was taken in the break-in, which was reported at 9pm the same evening, but the Standard understands the value of stolen goods to be approximately £500,000.
The following day former Paris Saint-Germain and Liverpool star Sakho played in a match in Southampton for Crystal Palace.
Officers have released an image of a woman who was seen on CCTV nearby and may have crucial information.
A neighbour of the house, which is protected by CCTV cameras and hi-tech security alarms, said: “The police knocked on our door but we didn’t see anything and don’t know how they managed to get in and out.
“A lot of people were away for Christmas but that house has rigorous security. There have been a spate of burglaries on this road.”
In 2014, local councillor and university lecturer Paul Kohler, 56, was attacked by four men who stormed his six-bedroom Wimbledon home and beat him in front of his terrified wife.
He said today: “After the Wimbledon Prowler was caught we thought maybe things would get better. It’s terrible that there are so many targeted burglaries. There is a lot of wealth in the neighbourhood.”
A neighbour who was burgled in June said she had thousands of pounds in cash and jewels taken.
She said: “We were not there. They must have been watching the house. They hang around and watch people’s movements. It’s shocking. This latest burglary is near to me so many people have been burgled on the road. In one burglary two men actually carried a safe to the car.”
Another resident said thieves “prowl”, looking to strike when homeowners are out. They added: “They circulate looking for rich pickings.”
Kapaj, 43, was jailed for 14 years in June after he admitted stealing £500,000 of valuables in a series of break-ins dating back to 2008.
Detectives believe he might have been behind 200 break-ins and stolen valuables worth up to £5 million. Former tennis champion Boris Becker was among his targets.
The decorator-turned-fish and chip shop worker commuted from Greater Manchester to carry out the burglaries, stalking the Wimbledon streets at night looking for unoccupied homes and waiting for residents to go to bed before he would strike.
In 2016 it was reported that tennis players competing at Wimbledon were unwilling to rent out homes in the area for fear of being targeted.
Anelka, who played for 12 clubs over his career including Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City, took up a youth team coaching role at French team Lille in 2018. He married Ms Tausia in a ceremony in Marrakech, Morocco, in 2007.
Pc Dean Shaw urged anyone who recognised the female in the CCTV to come forward, adding: “It is believed that two male suspects carried out this burglary but we would like to speak to the woman pictured as she was seen near the address on the day of the incident and may be able to assist us.”
Anyone with information should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.