Two men were arrested after police and a kebab shop owner pursued them from Shoreham to Brighton.
The two men had been challenged by the owner of the Charcoal Grill in Shoreham High Street at just before 6.50am on Saturday morning (October 14).
He suspected them of attempting to steal used cooking oil from drums at the rear of the restaurant, police said.
The men both punched and kicked him, before making off in a transit-type van along the A259 in the direction of Brighton, according to police.
The 50-year-old owner got into his own car and began to follow them, while his son rang the police.
A police search took place and the van was seen by officers, who followed it through Brighton.
It was successfully intercepted and stopped by officers, without any injuries, in Western Road at the junction with Holland Road, police said.
The owner was nearby in his car but was not involved in the actual arrests, added police.
The two men, 41 and 50, both from Enfield in North London, were arrested on suspicion of burglary and causing actual bodily harm, a police spokesman said.
They were interviewed and released under investigation.
A Sussex Police spokesman said: “Thanks to the prompt and brave reaction of the owner, and the response of our officers who also spotted and tracked the vehicle, these arrests were made.”