MILK, bread and apple juice were stolen from a family's front doorstep during a bizarre incident in the early hours of the morning.

The suspected thief was caught on camera in the Broadfield area of Crawley on Monday, February 8, when they triggered a video doorbell.

At about 4.25am, a figure can be seen wading through fresh snow, snatching up a crate filled with food and drink, then waddling away.

They struck just minutes after the milkman had visited and filled the crate in what has been described as a "targeted attack".

The victim of this unusual crime, who did not wish to be named, told The Argus: "They were clearly looking for the bread and milk. No other delivery companies come at that time - Asos won't deliver at 4.20 in the morning.

"There were six pints of milk, two pints of apple juice and a loaf of bread - they got away with a whole breakfast.

"They were clearly targeting it."

The family usually leave their used bottles in the crate outside their front door, and the milkman replaces them with freshly filled ones.

But they became aware their delivery had been stolen when they realised the crate had been taken from their front doorstep.

When they checked the video captured by their doorbell, it was clear the crate had been stolen.

Footage of the incident was shared on social media, with several people commenting to share their anger and disbelief at the brazen theft.

Neighbours have since shown the victim two CCTV videos of a person, believed to be the thief, driving slowly around the neighbourhood and occasionally getting out to "look for bread and milk" outside people's houses.

The family say they were "shocked" by the "weird" theft, and have been left wondering "who would do something like that at 4.20 in the morning?".

"You would assume they were desperate, but then they were driving this car around," the victim said.

"We just wondered, why? Why would they bother taking their car to go and find bread and milk that early in the morning. It was clearly a targeted attack."

Food left by a milkman was stolen in the early hours in Crawley

Food left by a milkman was stolen in the early hours in Crawley

The incident has been reported to Sussex Police.

A force spokesman said: "Police received report of theft of groceries from a doorstep in Jersey Road, Crawley on Monday.

"The incident took place around 4.20am and the suspect is believed to have taken around £10 worth of items.

"Anyone with information can report online or call 101, quoting 133 of 08/02."