Thousands of pounds worth of stolen jewellery was recovered after officers tracked down a vehicle linked to a burglary in Goring.
Police were alerted after the victims called 999 to report that a bag of jewellery had been taken from the hallway of an address in Goring on Sunday, June 26.
They had been to an antiques fair in Surrey earlier that day, and believe they may have been followed back to Sussex.
At 5.30pm, a woman wearing dark clothing, a face mask and baseball cap entered the driveway and took the bag containing the jewels, worth an estimated £100,000, while the victims were unloading the car.
She ran to a nearby vehicle, but fortunately the victim managed to record the vehicle details and called 999.
A contact handler kept in close radio contact with our officers from the Roads Policing Unit (RPU) to help ensure that the vehicle was located and stopped.
RPU officers stopped the car as it drove through Fittleworth near Pulborough, arresting the driver and a passenger on suspicion of theft.
PC John Bradshaw was among the officers who searched the vehicle. He said: “I opened up the door to the back seat of the car, and I couldn’t believe it when I saw the bag containing all the jewellery was there.
“It was a great team effort to get to the vehicle so quickly, so that we could reunite the jewellery with the rightful owner.”
Officers arrested a 31-year-old woman formerly from Enfield, London, and a 50-year-old man from Southwark, London, on suspicion of theft from the person of another.
Following a swift investigation by Worthing CID, Maria Liliana Artunduaga Narvaez, 31, of Heaton Road, Peckham Rye, and Ramiro Hernandez-Islas, 50, also of Heaton Road, Peckham Rye, were both charged with burglary.
Hernandez-Islas was also charged with driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence, and driving without valid insurance.
They appeared before Lewes Crown Court on July 27, where they admitted the charges. They were both jailed for two years.
Speaking after the case PC Bradshaw added: “Burglary can cause huge distress to victims, and in this case Narvaez and Hernandez-Islas targeted a vulnerable victim.
“Fortunately, thanks to some great teamwork we caught them red-handed, and they when it came to court they had no choice but to plead guilty.
“We are pleased that these two offenders have been taken off our streets.”