A thief is stealing Henry vacuum cleaners from pubs and shops in Brighton and Hove and the surrounding area.
Police have warned businesses to beware of the man who says that he works near by and wants to borrow their Henry.
Sussex Police said that he tried it on at the George Payne pub, formerly the Kendal Arms, in Payne Avenue, Hove, last Tuesday (15 January).
But pub staff turned him away and called the police.
The day before at about 11.30am he went into Metro Bet in Montague Street, Worthing, saying that he worked in a nearby shop and wanted to borrow a vacuum cleaner.
Sussex Police said: “He did not return it.
“Reports have also been received of similar incidents at the King and Queen pub in Brighton on 10 December, To Be Worn Again in Kensington Gardens on 21 December, the Battle of Trafalgar pub in Trafalgar Road, Portslade, on 29 December, Brighton Electric Recording Co in Coombe Terrace on 12 January.
“On Sunday 15 December a man went into Taxi Link in Albion Street, Southwick, and requested to use their vacuum cleaner. Again this wasn’t returned.
“All the reports relate to Henry vacuum cleaners.”
PC Duncan Slaney, of the West Sussex Neighbourhood Response Team, said: “We are warning businesses to be wary of people claiming to be from a nearby business and then requesting to borrow a vacuum cleaner.
“Businesses and the local community should also be wary of people selling cheap vacuum cleaners.
“In the majority of these incidents the offender has then sold a vacuum cleaner on to another nearby business.
“If you have any information about who may be carrying out these offences, have been a victim or have been offered a vacuum cleaner for sale then we would like to hear from you.”
Anyone with information or anyone who would like to report a similar incident is asked to contact Sussex Police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.