Police in East Sussex are urging people to be vigilant following a spate of high-value thefts.

Between October 15 and November 25, officers have seen a number of burglaries at properties in rural areas of Wealden, Hastings, Lewes and Rother including Mayfield, Burwash, Etchingham, Wivelsfield and Robertsbridge.

In each case, force has been used to gain entry to the rear of the properties and items such as jewellery, silver and antique valuables have been targeted.

Chief Inspector Di Lewis, district commander for Eastbourne and Lewes, said: “With Christmas just around the corner, we’re urging people to be vigilant and to take steps to protect their homes and their valuable possessions.

“Having your home burgled can be one of the most upsetting crimes, with significant emotional and financial impact.

“We continue to patrol our rural communities to identify and deter any criminal behaviour, and we encourage people to get in touch if they see or become aware of any suspicious behaviour.”

Residents can protect their properties by installing alarms and checking windows and doors for any insecurities, and fixing as appropriate.

If you are the owner of high-value items, please ensure they are registered with your home/contents insurance and keep them safely locked away and out of sight.

Particularly during the festive season, people are urged to keep wrapped presents or shopping bags out of view of windows and to dispose of packaging discretely so as not to highlight the expensive products you may have in your home.

Other crime prevention advice and tips on protecting your property can be found on the Sussex Police website here.

Officers investigating the recent burglaries in East Sussex believe the suspects have used panel vans or pick-up style vehicles to commit the offences.

If anyone has witnessed any suspicious behaviour in their area, or may have captured any suspicious vehicles on dash cam, doorbell or CCTV footage, they are urged to get in touch with police online or by calling 101. Always dial 999 in an emergency.