Vehicle crime in Sussex fell to its lowest level for five years in January, The Argus can reveal.
Last summer, theft of and from vehicles spiked at 240 a month – an average of around eight incidents a day.
But in January the number more than halved to 117 – an average of around four incidents a day.
Sussex Police said the drop has much to do with a two- pronged approach – intelligence-led operations that have led to a number of significant arrests and raising awareness among motorists to secure their belongings.
Chief Inspector Helen West said: “Neighbourhood Policing Teams and Priority Crime Teams have proactively targeted suspects, carrying out visits and stop checks.
“Since targeting this group of people offending has dropped. In fact in the past five months offences including a series of thefts of high value motorbikes, has decreased by 49.8%.
"As well as targeting suspects officers and PCSOs from the Neighbourhood Policing Team, on finding that at least half of the vehicles involved were insecure, are giving crime prevention advice to registered owners.
“They visit residents near where offences take place to raise awareness, provide advice and help prevent further offences.
“The message has also been spread via social media and street surgeries raising people’s awareness.
Officers are advising drivers to remove items from view and secure their vehicles.
Ch Insp West said stolen items included iPads, laptops, mobile phones and sunglasses.
In October last year a group of men were seen trying to load two high-value motorcycles into a white van in Princes Road in Brighton.
Police were called and officers attempted to block the road to prevent the men escaping but the van was used to ram the police car out of the way.
Two officers from the car needed medical treatment for whiplash. The van was abandoned a short distance away and a group of men fled from the scene. Two men were arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods.
At least two other men are still wanted for questioning.