Police have linked a hit and run which has left a woman in hospital with serious injuries with a possible triple break-in at a flooring store.
The Wooden Flooring Centre in Portslade, West Sussex was ram raided in the early hours of 15 July, before being robbed again the same morning. Then on Sunday the store was robbed for the third time when the window boarding was moved and a further £900 of flooring stolen.
Michelle Greest, 28, was hit by a stolen dark grey VW Passat estate as she crossed Kings Road at around 4.45am on Sunday 15 July following a night out with friends in Brighton. She was taken by ambulance to the Royal Sussex County Hospital and later transferred to Hurstwood Park Hospital in Haywards Heath with serious head and leg injuries where she remains in a stable condition.
'I don't remember anything about the crash until I woke up in great pain in my hospital bed. I have suffered ten breaks to various bones in my body which include my legs, hips and vertebrae and will not be able to walk properly for some time to come. Doctors have told me I had two blood clots on my brain and that I am lucky to have not suffered brain damage as a result,' says Greest.
'Someone somewhere knows who was driving the car that hit me and did not stop. I don't know how anyone can do such a thing - knock a human being down and just drive on. Luckily I was with people who were able to call an ambulance for me and get me the urgent medical help that I needed.'
'We believe that the same Passat that hit Michelle was used a short time later in a ram raid in Trafalgar Road, Portslade, where a man was seen to load the car up with pallets of engineered oak flooring. The Passatt was found later abandoned in Amherst Crescent, Hove, minus the stolen wood,' says Detective Sergeant Leon Ryan, who is leading the investigation.
'A white Vauxhall Corsa was then stolen from Amherst Crescent and spotted at the same flooring shop at around 6.23am, this time two men were seen loading up the car with pallets of oak flooring and drive off towards Victoria Park. The Corsa was found abandoned the following day (16 July) in Hartington Road, Brighton - but again minus the stolen wood.
'We are considering that the second burglary may be connected to the original ram raid.'
CCTV images of two men have been released (pictured). They are described as white, one in his late 40s to 50s, wearing a grey jumper with a black stripe across the middle and black tracksuit bottoms. The second man was in his 30s wearing a pale-coloured T-shirt, jeans and white trainers.
'Three weeks later on Sunday 5 August at around 11.55pm The Wooden Flooring Centre in Trafalgar Road, was burgled for a third time with around £900 of engineered oak flooring stolen. The thieves prised back the wooden boards used to board up the shop front after the ram raid. Forensics along with house to house enquiries and the viewing of CCTV are continuing to establish if this latest burglary is connected to the previous two and the hit and run on Brighton seafront.'
Anyone with information can telephone Sussex Police on 101 quoting Operation Claywood or the Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.