Two people have been arrested on suspicion of breaking into five shops in Brighton and Hove late last night and early this morning (Wednesday 28 August).
The burglaries took place in little more than an hour and a half with the first in Hangleton Way in Hove at about 11pm last night (Tuesday 27 August).
Next were break-ins to shops in Mill Lane, Portslade, at 11.19pm, Old London Road, Patcham, at 11.45pm, West Street, Rottingdean, at 12.30am, and Sutherland Road, Brighton, at 12.40am.
Cigarettes and cash were targeted in each case, although the raiders were not successful at each location.
A silver Mercedes, believed to have been stolen during a burglary in Lucraft Road earlier on Tuesday evening, was identified as a common factor in each raid.
It was found abandoned in Nesbitt Road and a helicopter and a dog unit were deployed to the area, resulting in the arrest of a man and a boy found hiding in gardens off Eastbourne Road.
It is thought that there were four people involved in the raids and inquiries are continuing to locate two others.
A firearm was reported to have been seen in two of the incidents, but was not found in the car, on the couple arrested or in a search by a firearms dog in the area where they were arrested.
Detective Inspector Clare Shiel said: “This was an incredibly concentrated and focused series of raids and it’s quite possible that those involved would have visited the shops in advance.
“If you witnessed any of the break-ins, saw anyone acting suspiciously in the areas over the last few days or have any other information that might assist our investigation, please contact us.”
A 22-year-old man and a 16-year-old boy from Brighton were arrested on suspicion of burglary and were in custody this morning.