Swift reporting of a suspicious incident near Uckfield brought a rapid response from local police and led to four arrests.
Two men appeared before Brighton magistrates on Wednesday (5 June) after being charged with attempted theft.
It followed an incident in Picketts Lane, Horney Common, just two days before.
Walter Roger Doe, 29, a roofer, of Batts Bridge Caravan Park, Maresfield, pleaded guilty to attempted theft and was sentenced to eight weeks' imprisonment.
Dean Jesse Wells, 36, unemployed, of Hollamby Park, Hailsham, also admitted attempted theft and was sentenced to eight weeks' imprisonment, suspended for 12 months.
Both were caught after entering a yard and collecting up electrical tools and equipment with the intention of stealing them.
Police received two calls from different people reporting their suspicions that a crime was taking place.
Officers from Uckfield police station arrived at the scene within minutes of the calls being made to make the arrests.
Wealden District Commander, Inspector Jon Gross, said: “The timely police response in this case owed everything to the vigilance and prompt reporting of the crime by members of the public.
"This resulted in the arrest of suspects, evidence being secured, and charges being brought against the culprits.
"It’s a case that illustrates just how influential a role the public can play in helping tackle crime in their area and the value of calling in suspicious activity without delay."
Two other people arrested, aged 36 and 17, have been bailed until 3 July pending further enquiries.
Author: Nigel Jarrett