Four arrested following theft of cigarettes

Hundreds of boxes of cigarettes were stolen  from the back of a lorry in Half Moon Lane

Hundreds of boxes of cigarettes were stolen from the back of a lorry in Half Moon Lane

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POLICE have arrested four men in connection with the theft of hundreds of boxes of cigarettes.

At about 4.45pm on Tuesday (6 January) a group of men were seen to steal bags containing hundreds of boxes of cigarettes from the back of a delivery lorry parked in Half Moon Lane, Worthing.

They drove off in a silver car as the owner was calling police to raise the alarm.

Road policing units and other patrols were given the details of the car and officers began searching for the offenders.

Shortly after 9.30pm a car that matched that of the suspects was spotted heading eastbound on the A27 at Southwick and officers moved in to intercept it.

It headed north on the A23 and M23 before it was stopped by road policing units from Sussex and Surrey just over the border into Surrey.

Four men from Kent aged 23, 26, 29 and 30 were arrested on suspicion of theft and were taken into custody. A large quantity of cigarettes were seized.

All four men were questioned before being released on bail until February 20.

Superintendent Jane Derrick, the head of road policing in Sussex and Surrey, said: “The arrests followed good co-operation between officers in the two forces who worked together to pursue and detain the suspects.

“It shows how effective cross-border teams can be in fighting crime.”

Anyone with information about the thefts should email 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk quoting serial 1377 of 06/01, call 101 or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.