Thieves have targeted a series of churches in Horsham and Haywards Heath in a search for lead.
Police say they have had six reports of lead thefts from the roofs of churches since October 1.
They say that St Nicolas Church, St John’s Church and St Peter’s Church - all in the Horsham area - and Holy Trinity Church and St Mary Magdalen’s Church in the Haywards Heath area, have been affected.
Heritage crime officer PCSO Daryl Holter said: “We believe the majority of these thefts have occurred overnight when the buildings are unoccupied.
“Most of the churches who have fallen victim to this crime are listed buildings and the consequences of such criminality can be significant.
“All lines of enquiry will be investigated and we will be working closely with the Diocese of Chichester and Ecclesiastical Insurance to tackle this matter.
“We are urging the communities in these areas to be vigilant and to watch out for any suspicious behaviour. No one knows their neighbours better than you. These buildings are part of our shared heritage and we need to work together to protect them.”
Anyone who has seen any suspicious behaviour near a church or would like to report any information, can do so online or call 101 quoting reference 273 of 01/10. Alternatively, you can visit the Crimestoppers website or contact the independent charity anonymously on 0800 555 111.