Cash and shop supplies worth around £7,500 were stolen from a car after thieves rammed into the vehicle to open the boot.
Police are appealing for witnesses after the theft from a car which was driven by a sales representative for a tobacco supplier who was visiting a customer in Ifield.
The representative visited Galaxy Internet and General Store, in Ifield Road, at about 11.35am on Friday (August 16).
He parked his unmarked Vauxhall Insignia in Church Street, the other side of St Peter’s Church, while he visited his stockist for about 40 minutes.
Sussex Police said: “A goods representative parked his car whilst visiting stockists. Another vehicle was used to ram the car which consequently opened the boot. £3,500 cash and £4,000 worth of tobacco goods were stolen.”
Aiyathurai Mugundhan, a shop assistant at Galaxy General Store , was working at the time.
Mr Mugundhan said he was surprised by the raid which must have happened quickly and quietly.
He said: “He [the sales rep] came in to see stock. He went to the car to get the stuff and his boot was open and everything was taken.
“He came back in and called police.
“I’ve never known it to happen before. He’s been coming to us for about a year.”
The tobacco supplier has requested the company’s name remain anonymous for the safety of representatives.
A spokesperson for the company said: “Incidents like this are a rare occurrence and it is fortunate that nobody has been hurt during the robberies.
“We hope that the police are successful in catching the criminals”
A spokesperson for Sussex Police said: “The Vauxhall Insignia was parked on Church Steert at around 11.35am while the owner visited Ifield Road for business.
“When he returned at 12.15pm, the boot had been forced and more than £3,000 in cash and more than £4,000 worth of cigarettes and tobacco had been stolen .”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Sussex Police on 101 quoting serial 655 of 16/8 or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.