Armed police were called to Hove after reports knifemen stole packages of cigarettes from a delivery van.
Police said three men targeted a van in West Way Hove just before 10.30am on Friday (August 17).
The men were reported to be armed with knives and made off in a burgundy coloured transit van.
Officers said a call was received later that day stating the men had been spotted at Hove Recycling Centre. Armed officers attended but the men were not located.
Anyone with any information is asked to contact 101 quoting reference 409 17/08.