A brazen art thief walked into a gallery off the street and stole work worth thousands of pounds.

The offender struck in the middle of day while staff and members of the public milled around the artwork.

Valuable items - including one-of-a-kind sculptures - were piled into a bag before the crook raced out.

It was not noticed how much had been stolen until the thief was long gone. Items which were taken were due to be part of forthcoming exhibitions.

The theft took place in the Ink_d Gallery in North Road, Brighton, on Monday.

Dan Baldwin, from the gallery in North Laine, said: “£3,000 of original artwork was stolen from the gallery in one go.

“Alongside some wonderful pieces the perpetrator also stole many smaller items from books to postcard packs to plate stands.

“We have reported it to the police and are currently talking with them about the missing work and those people involved.”

One of Mr Baldwin's greatest fears is that the work will be sold on for scrap.

Anyone with information can call the gallery on 01273 654299 or Sussex Police on 0845 6070999.