FOUR suspected burglars, one as young as 16, were arrested after a detective linked them to a car stolen from outside a house.
Detective constable Hannah Taylor spotted a Toyota Prius being driven at speed in White Rock around 4am on Saturday April 12.
She suspected that it could have been a car reported stolen the day before.
Police had been called at 8am on April 11 to a report that a home in Barnfield Close, Hastings, had been broken into and that a silver Toyota on the driveway, a laptop, an iPod and a quantity of cash had been taken.
DC Taylor followed the Toyota towards Hollington in an unmarked car for more than three miles through Hastings and into St Leonards and when it pulled up in Churchwood Drive she arrested the four people inside.
The items stolen from Barnfield Close were all in the boot of the car.
A 16-year-old boy from Hastings, a 16-year-old boy from Hastings, a 17-year-old boy from St Leonards and a 20-year-old man from St Leonards four were arrested on suspicion of burglary.
They were questioned before being released on bail until 17 June while officers carry out further inquiries.
When officers searched a home in St Leonards they seized a quantity of what are believed to be Class A and B drugs.
Sussex Police launched Operation Magpie to tackle burglary across the county.
Detective inspector Ian Williams said: “Thanks to an excellent piece of work by DC Taylor, four people have been arrested, a stolen car and the missing property has been recovered and a quantity of drugs have been seized.
“Her tenacity and determination to find the vehicle paid off.” Anyone with information about the burglary should call 101 quoting serial 245 of 11/4, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.