Three men have been arrested in connection with a series of armed robberies after an operation which started last night and resulted in a series of dawn raids this morning.

Four armed robberies in which victims were threatened with a handgun before being robbed of their belongings were recorded in the Wimbledon Chase and South Wimbledon area recently causing concern among residents.

Among the victims was a 14-year-old girl who was held at gun point and robbed of her mobile phone in an alley in Wimbledon Chase on December 27.

Minutes later a 21-year-old man was threatened with a handgun and robbed of his wallet on Kingston Road.

A third robbery took place on December 31 at 2.45pm on Kingston Road where the victim was threatened with a gun to hand over money, before the robber fled the scene.

Ten days later a woman walking in the Wimbledon Chase area was approached by two men at about 11pm.

One of the men held a gun to her head and demanded she hand over her bag. 

The robberies have been linked to a fifth unsuccessful robbery on Sunday, January 13, in Longmead Road in Epsom where a woman walking alone at about 10.30pm.

One of the men held a gun to the woman's head and attempted to steal her mobile phone but was unsuccessful and ran off. 

This morning police raided a number of homes in south London arresting three men, all in their 20s, in connection with the crimes who are now in custody at a south London police station.

A firearm and mobile phone stolen in one of the robberies, were recovered in the operation.

The arrests come following a "covert" operation involving officers from Merton Police, other London police forces and the British Transport Police,

Borough Commander Darren Williams praised the work of his officers.

He said: "I understand that people have been concerned about these robberies.

"Can I reassure you that we have drafted in extra officers who have been working around the clock both covering the areas of the robbery and going through hours and hours of CCTV footage to track the robberies and how the suspects were getting to and from the locations."

"That work has paid off this morning with these arrests."

The men, who are believed to have been travelling into the area by train, are now being considered for other robberies in and out of London.