Albert James, 56, is accused of being responsible for twilight burglaries in Chichester, Midhurst, Bognor Regis, Littlehampton, Worthing, Angmering, Ferring and Storrington between October 26 and December 12.
The crimes happened after it had begun to go dark but before the victims had returned home for the night, police said.
Jewellery was stolen from the homes.
James was arrested after a joint investigation by detectives from Sussex and Hampshire. He is accused of a total of 27 burglaries in Sussex and 24 in Hampshire.
James, of Mill Pond Crescent, Chichester, is due to appear at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court on March 12 charged with 51 counts of burglary.
His arrest was part of Sussex Police launching Operation Magpie to tackle burglary across the county.