Police are searching for Jonathon William King who was convicted of breaking into a home in Cowbeech.
Police said the 43-year-old was charged with breaking into a home in Cowbeech on 1 July 2013 during which more than £50,000 of antique silverware was stolen.
King was standing trial at Hove Crown Court when he was given bail to go to hospital on Monday (November 17) after saying he had suffered a fall, police said.
The next day he failed to answer his bail and he was convicted and jailed for eight years in his absence, police said.
£1,870 that was seized from him when he was originally arrested was ordered to be paid to the victim as compensation, police said.
Fellow defendant Stephen Robertson-Turner, 64, was found guilty of handling stolen goods during the same trial, police said.
Robertson-Turner of Handcross Road, Plummers Plain, was jailed for five years and six months and he was ordered to pay £4,800 compensation to the victim, police said.
Sussex Police launched Operation Magpie to tackle burglary across the county.
Detective Constable Annette Nash said: “It is clear King has used the opportunity of being given bail for medical reasons to escape from justice.
“We need the public’s help to find him so that he can be arrested and returned to custody to serve his sentence. King’s last known address was Southfields in Polegate but we do not know where he is currently.
“If you have any idea where he could be, please contact us. If you see him, do not approach him but instead call 999.”
Anyone with information should email email@example.com quoting serial 567 of 18/11, call 101 or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.