POLICE are warning car owners to be on the alert following a spate of thefts.

Homes in the Sovereign Harbour and Langley Point areas of Eastbourne have experience a rise in the number of cars being stolen.

Thieves have broken into people's homes to steal the keys.

PC Ed Faulkner said: "We're urging people to be extra vigilant and to lock all downstairs doors and windows when not at home or before retiring to bed.

"They should also ensure any car keys are well hidden to prevent the theft of vehicles."

Tips to deter burglars also include securing garages and sheds, as equipment stored in these can be tempting for opportunist burglars.

Homeowners are also being advised to consider getting a burglar arm and to set every time they leave their house.