A hit and run driver is believed to have ram-raided a Portslade shop shortly after he left a woman with life-threatening injuries.
Police suspect that the same Volkswagen Passat was used in the raid about 15 minutes after a driver knocked over Michelle Greest in the centre of Brighton.
Michelle, 29, from Portslade, suffered head injuries when she was hit as she crossed King’s Road by the junction with West Street at about 4.45am on Sunday (15 July).
She is recovering at the Hurstwood Park Neurosciences Centre in Haywards Heath.
Witnesses said that the car was travelling fast when it hit her and did not stop but kept going westbound along the A259 seafront road.
At about 5am police believe that the same car was used in the ram-raid at a flooring shop in Trafalgar Road, Portslade.
A man dressed in dark clothing loaded pallets of wooden flooring into the car before driving off towards the Old Shoreham Road.
He left the back door open and a number of wooden tiles fell out as he sped off.
The car was seen shedding further tiles in Locks Hill, Portslade, and jumped red lights by Hove Park. It was found abandoned later on Sunday morning in Amherst Crescent, Hove.
Sussex Police said that while officers were searching for the car, two men in a small white vehicle were seen at the shop loading up more of the flooring.
Detectives are trying to establish whether this was connected to the original raid or was an opportunist theft.
The suspects were both described as white. One was said to be in his late forties to fifties. He was wearing a grey jumper with a black stripe across the middle and black tracksuit bottoms.
The second man was in his thirties. He was wearing a pale-coloured T-shirt, jeans and white trainers.
Detective Sergeant Leon Ryan said: “This is a remarkable sequence of events but, having located the VW Passat, we are now fairly certain that it was the vehicle involved in the hit and run incident in Brighton.
“Someone, somewhere may well have a new floor or have been offered one at an attractive price. If you’ve any suspicions in this direction, I’d like to hear from you.
“Thankfully, Michelle is now recovering, but her injuries are likely to affect her for a long time.
“I am determined that we will find whoever did this to her and I would urge anyone who witnessed any of the events or has information about those responsible to contact us on 101.”