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Football stars Thierry Henry and Ian Wright have been put under police guard after being targeted by violent burglars.

The two men were given protection after police uncovered a plot to target their homes by a sophisticated armed gang which preys on celebrities.

Detectives were so concerned over Henry's safety, plainclothes detectives were even stationed inside the French star's £6million home, while his own personal security was also stepped up. Armed police were also on alert.

Arsenal striker Henry, 27, and ex-Arsenal player Wright, 40, now a TV presenter, live near each other in Hampstead.

Detectives received intelligence both men may have been selected as potential targets by a burglary gang who violently intimidate their victims and force them to hand over cash and valuables.

As soon as they heard of the plot they alerted the two men and put in place measures to protect them.

Henry, a multi-millionaire earning an estimated £60,000 a week, is believed to have been put under surveillance by the gang. He was also reported to have been singled out for violence.

The France international, who also appeared in the "Va Va Voom" Renault Clio commercials, has already suffered a burglary. Raiders stole £25,000 in cash and jewellery from his home after tying up his cleaner three years ago.

Wright is a former England international striker who, since he retired from football, has forged a career in television and currently hosts BBC1's I'd Do Anything. He owns a flat in the Hampstead area and is to be briefed by a senior officer on home security.

Organised burglary gangs are known to shadow and carry out research on their potential victims.

A police source said: "They do their homework and know how much these people are worth. No risks were taken at any stage of the safety of those involved."

The threat comes after a spate of violent burglaries, both organised and opportunistic.

Last August an armed gang held a knife to the throat of Cilla Black's son and stole property worth more than £1million from her home in Denham, Buckinghamshire.

More recently singer Ozzy Osbourne, 55, grappled with a burglar who stole £2million worth of jewellery and goods from his Buckinghamshire mansion.

In London two people have been killed by intruders in their home in recent months.

Most recently financier John Monckton, 49, was murdered by suspected burglars-last month. A number of footballers have been targeted by burglary gangs.

Henry's former teammate Nwanko Kanu was burgled three years ago when masked intruders held his brother at knifepoint at his house in Hadley Wood, Hertfordshire before stripping the house of cash and jewellery.

In January, former Chelsea star Juan Sebastian Veron was held hostage with his family as 36-year-old Wayne Harley stole ?70,000 of jewellery.

Henry owns a string of cars, including a ?170,000 Aston Martin, while Wright, worth an estimated ?10 million, drives a ?150,000 Ferrari Modena.

Henry's wife Nicole, 24, who appears with him in the Renault commercials, is expecting their first child next year.

An Arsenal source said: "We believe the threat has now been subdued."

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "We do not discuss matters of personal security or intelligence."


Pricks, why couldn't they target van Snideyfance and Scholes instead? :shades:
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