Burglars stole car keys from just inside the front door of a house and then used them to take a Mini Cooper parked outside.
The turquoise car was driven away from the home in Leopold Road, Bexhill-on-Sea, and was later found burnt out less than a mile away in West Down Road later the same night.
The incidents occurred during the early hours of Tuesday, 15 April and police were alerted by firefighters dealing with the blazing car shortly after 4am.
It appeared that the property in Leopold Road had been searched by intruders but nothing other than the car keys had been removed.
A man walking his dog close to the burning car told firefighters he had seen several youths apparently hiding in nearby Downs Wood.
Police are keen to speak to anyone who saw anything suspicious in the relevant areas of Bexhill.
They are asked to phone Sussex Police on 101 or email email@example.com, quoting serial 122 of 15/4.