COLD-callers are being linked to 26 burglaries across the Horsham district.
Residents are being urged by Sussex Police to look out for suspicious people near their homes after a series of burglaries over several months.
Since August, there have been 26 break-ins, starting in Storrington and spreading across the district, and detectives believe they have been committed by the same people.
Katy Wood, from the Operation Magpie team, said: “We believe the offenders could be cold-calling at homes to try to work out who is in and whether they are likely to have valuables.
“We think they are then returning when no one is home - perhaps because the residents have told them they won’t be there - and breaking in.
“We urgently need the public’s help to identify who is responsible so we can arrest them.”
Addresses targeted include Kings Barn Lane, Steyning; Maudlyn Park, Bramber; School Lane, Ashurst; Broomfield Road, Henfield; Heather Way, Hawthorn Way, Melton Drive and Birch Way, Storrington; London Road, Rambledown Lane, Nyetimber Copse, Harborough Close, Nutbourne Lane, Plantation Way and Morris Way, Pulborough.
Other areas targeted include Coolham, Horsham, Petworth, Billingshurst, Kirdford and West Chiltington.
The thieves have escaped with jewellery, cash and unusual household ornaments.
The most recent burglaries happened in Pulborough on October 24 and 28.
The victims have included people who have gone on holiday and elderly residents whose homes have been targeted within days of them moving into care homes.
Sussex Police launched Operation Magpie to tackle burglary across the county.
Mrs Wood added: “Don’t let cold callers into your home and please report anyone acting suspiciously in your home or nearby to us immediately.
“Please consider fitting an alarm if you don’t have one, fit timers to your lights so they do on when you are not there and make sure you leave your home secure.
“If you see someone behaving oddly at a neighbour’s home call us - we would rather come out for a false alarm than miss the chance to arrest a burglar.”
If you see or hear a burglary taking place call 999 immediately.
Residents are also being encouraged to register their items on the world’s largest property database so that if they are stolen, they can be reunited with the owners - and so the offenders can be prosecuted.
You can register your property in just a few minutes by visiting www.immobilise.com. To watch a video about Immobilise and how it works, visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XZ66WEER_c.
Follow the ongoing burglary campaign on Twitter using the hashtag #LightLockList.
If you have any information about the Horsham district burglaries email firstname.lastname@example.org quoting Operation Cowley, call 101 or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.