The police helicopter and dog unit were called to a village following a break-in.
Police said they received a report from security officers at site in Adversane Lane, Billingshurst, that five men were stealing metal in the early hours of Thursday morning (September 15).
Officers attended just after 2.30am and found an unattended white Ford Transit.
The van had been loaded with scrap metal and drums of diesel which had come from the site, police said.
Sussex Police said three suspects were seen decamping from a silver Ford Mondeo on the A29.
The National Police Air Service helicopter and the Surrey and Sussex Police Dog Section helped officers search the area.
“Two of them were located hiding in undergrowth off nearby Lordings Road, but the third suspect could not be found,” a police spokesman said.
“Anyone with any information about the incident is asked to contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 101, quoting serial 91 of 15/09.”
Police said a 21-year-old man and a 22-year-old man have been arrested on suspicion of burglary.
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