Sussex

Thieves use fires to distract in Brighton

A series of fires started by thieves as a distraction technique in Brighton have been linked by police.

Sussex Police believe three small fires were started over the Bank Holiday weekend, causing buildings to be evacuated.

In each case when staff returned to the buildings money had been taken from the till.

The fires were started at The Royal Albion Hotel, the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery and The Sealife Centre.

'Money stolen'

Det Con Steve Amner said: "We believe the three separate fires, which occurred in popular tourist locations over the weekend, were started deliberately in a bid for someone to steal money while the evacuated buildings remained unattended."

The first arson took place at 14:00 BST on Sunday at The Royal Albion Hotel, Old Steine, Brighton.

The second fire began shortly after 12:00 BST on Monday at the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery and the third fire, also on Monday, occurred at The Sealife Centre, in Brighton, at 16:30 BST.

Fire alarms were activated and the buildings were evacuated on all three occasions. The fires were small, caused minimal damage and were extinguished by staff prior to the arrival of the fire brigade.

When staff returned to the buildings it was discovered that money had been taken from tills left unattended.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites