Pair charged over £10,000 cigarette thefts across Sussex

Police have charged two people as part of an investigation into a series of burglaries across Sussex in which £10,000 worth of cigarettes were stolen.

Detectives became aware of a number of incidents in November and December that appeared to be linked, after businesses reported being broken into by intruders who then stole significant numbers of cigarettes.

A full investigation was launched into the series, with four unidentified suspects believed to be involved.

At around 4am on Thursday, December 23, police received reports of an ongoing break-in at a Post Office in Mill Lane, Portslade.

Police have charged two people as part of an investigation into a series of burglaries across Sussex in which £10,000s of cigarettes were stolen.

CCTV footage showed four people breaking into the store before leaving with cigarettes worth around £10,000, cash from the till, a charity tin and alcohol.

Officers searched the area and a van believed to be linked to the break-in was discovered in Downsland Avenue, Hove.

A search of the vehicle revealed items stolen from the Mill Lane Post Office.

The vehicle’s occupants, 32-year-old Emily Cooper of no fixed address and 27-year-old Reuben Thompson, of George Williams Mews in Portslade, were arrested and both charged with six counts of burglary and two counts of attempted burglary.

Thompson was further charged with criminal damage, using threatening/abusive words/behaviour and possession of a Class B drug (cannabis).

The pair were remanded in custody pending a later court date.

Detective Inspector Simon Morgan said: “While we are pleased to have two suspects in custody in relation to these offences, the investigation is still very much ongoing to track down the other perpetrators.

“We are appealing to the public for any information which could help identify them.

“The break-ins are predominantly understood to have taken place in Brighton and Hove, but have also been reported in East Sussex and as far west as Chichester.

“Anybody who has any information which could help with the investigation can contact police online or by calling 101, quoting Operation Burrow.”