A gang of foreign “bulk” shoplifters toured Sussex targeting branches of the same chain store, police believe.
Suspicious behaviour was reported at Superdrug shops in Seaford and Uckfield last week.
At the chain’s outlet in St James’s Street, Brighton, cosmetics including Max Factor make-up were swept into a bag and stolen.
Staff called police when they saw the people they thought were involved at the store again on Friday.
Three men and a woman, all in their 20s and from Romania, were arrested in a car in Brighton. They gave addresses in Birmingham, Essex and London.
They were released on bail until December while police investigate further.
Four people from Romania were arrested after reports of suspicious activity at Zara in Churchill Square, Brighton, shortly before 1pm. Foil-lined bags were seized.
Nicolae Marinescu, 27, of no fixed address, and Moroi Constantin, 29, from London, were charged with going equipped for theft. They were each given a community order at Brighton Magistrates’ Court.
See the latest news headlines from The Argus:
- You silly little boy: Police organise meeting with family of teenager who mocked deaths of Leeds fans in online picture
- Brighton bus services saved after company and council come to agreement
- Brighton's Dungeon Bar will have beer and bondage but will be a "safe place for people to explore their sexual desires"
- Pervert jailed for making indecent images of kids
- Death of five-year-old boy who drowned in pool while on family holiday deemed accidental