Police have warned of a spate of shoplifting in Bexhill.
An operation has now been launched to halt the offenders.
A Sussex Police statement said: "The operation consists of dedicated police patrols which have been deployed in the affected areas to provide a high visibility police presence, help to deter crimes being committed and to also be able to react to any offences which take place in the town.
"The operation also involved plain clothes police officers who have been able to discreetly patrol the local shops and catch unsuspecting shoplifters in the act.
"The operation was implemented in mid-February and has been a great success with 12 arrests so far."
Sergeant Mark Evans added: "We are committed to working with partner agencies and local traders to tackle shoplifting in Bexhill. Since starting Operation Papio, we have seen 12 individuals arrested and dealt with through the criminal justice system. We continue to tackle those who believe Bexhill is a soft touch in order to commit crime.'
"My message is clear. If you commit crime in Bexhill we will identify you, track you down, and arrest you."