Detectives in Hove and West Sussex are linking ten house burglaries since the beginning of December during which vehicles have been stolen, as well an attempted burglary.
Residents are being reminded to take precautions to help avoid becoming further victims.
The thieves have been breaking into houses during the daytime and evenings while occupants are out, stealing car keys, and then taking the vehicle from the driveway or garage.
Jewellery and cash has also been taken from the houses in nine of the cases.
Offences have happened in Hove, Horsham, Haywards Heath, Worthing, Henfield, Steyning, Partridge Green and Shoreham.
- At 2.20pm, on Wednesday 18 January in Woodland Drive, Hove, offenders made off after activating an alarm. Nothing was stolen.
- At 2.45pm on the same day, 18 January in Goldstone Crescent, Hove, a burglary occurred in which a red VW Golf R Estate was taken.
- During the late afternoon of 1 December a burglary occurred in Ropeland Way, Horsham, during which an Audi S5 was stolen.
- During the evening of 18 December a burglary occurred in Hythe Close, Worthing, during which a white Hyundai i40 was stolen.
- During the evening of 27 December a burglary occurred in Newham Lane, Steyning, during which a silver Volkswagen Golf was stolen.
- At about 10pm on 27 December a burglary occurred in The Rise, Partridge Green, during which a white Vauxhall Mokka was stolen.
- During the day on 28 December a burglary occurred in The Marlinspike, Shoreham Beach,, during which a black BMW 1 series was stolen.
- During the evening of 31 December a burglary occurred in Crown Road, Shoreham by Sea, during which a white Mazda 2 was stolen.
- During the evening of 1f January a burglary occurred in Hurstwood Lane, Haywards Heath, during which a grey Audi S4 Quattro was stolen along with a Honda CBR motorcycle.
- During the day on 1 January a burglary occurred in Henfield, during which a black Audi A3 Sport Convertible was stolen.
- During the day on 6 January a burglary occurred in The Forge, Southwater, during which a white Volkswagen Golf R was stolen.
The Vauxhall Mokka stolen from Partridge Green has been recovered in West Yorkshire on 14 January on suspicion of theft of the vehicle and burglary. After being interviewed they were released on police bail until 2 March.
The Audi stolen from Haywards Heath was recovered in Saltdean on 18 January.
Detective Constable Jamie Carruthers of the West Sussex Priority Crime Team said; “We are appealing for witnesses or anyone with any other information about the burglaries, and to anyone who knows where the still missing vehicles are now..
“We are also encouraging the swift reporting of any separate thefts of vehicle registration plates, as this information can assist our investigation
“Also, do you work in the motor trade? If so have you carried out a recent MOT or service on any vehicles matching the description of those stolen and during which your suspicions have been raised by the actions of the customer or a particular vehicle?”
If you can help in any way please email firstname.lastname@example.org Operation Apricot. You can also report online to https://sussex.police.uk/contact-us/response-to-appeal/or call 101, or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 (www.crimestoppers-uk.org).
Jamie Carruthers added; “Please think about the security of your home when left unoccupied. You should ensure all doors and windows are locked and items such as car keys are not left visible. Hiding vehicle keys within the address is another way of preventing the theft of vehicles. Leaving a light on is also a preventative measure which can used to make your home less attractive to burglars.”