Theft of cigarettes from three locations being treated as linked
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Incident number: 19*192310
Detectives are investigating the theft of cigarettes from three shops in Leicestershire – and believe the incidents are linked.
The first happened at a shop in Hinckley Road, Burbage, at 12.34am on Tuesday (16 April). Initial investigations have established that two men broke into the shop and stole a large amount of cigarettes before leaving the scene in what is believed to be a black Mercedes.
The second incident happened at 1.39am on Tuesday. At least three men, wearing masks, forced open the electric doors of a shop in Sandhills Avenue, Hamilton and stole cigarettes before leaving the scene in a dark coloured estate car.
At around 2am on Tuesday, a group of men forced their way into a supermarket in Johns Court, Blaby, via a back door and threatened two members of night staff. They stole a large amount of cigarettes – believed to be worth thousands of pounds – and left the scene in a dark coloured car.
One of the men was wearing a ski mask with part of his face showing and was wearing black clothes. He had blue eyes and fair, curly hair. He is of a thin build and was carrying a crowbar.
Another man was also wearing a ski mask, again showing part of his face. He was wearing a navy coloured hooded top, black trousers and is of a slim build. He is believed to be around 18 years old. He was carrying a hammer and spoke with an Irish accent.
It is believed that other men entered the supermarket but were not seen by staff.
Detective Constable Angela Hearnshaw, from Leicestershire Police’s Complex crime team, is investigating the incidents.
She said: “From inquiries carried out so far, we believe the men involved in the incident in Burbage spoke with Irish accents, as did those involved in the Blaby break-in.
“We are therefore linking these incidents as it’s believed that the same group may be involved in each one.
“Although these incidents happened in the early hours of the morning, they were in areas where cars may have been passing through.
“I’d particularly like to hear from anyone who was driving past any of the premises where these incidents occurred between 1am and 2am on Tuesday. That includes taxi drivers, delivery drivers or anyone who might have been going to or from work.
“Did you see anyone acting in an unusual manner? Did you see a dark car being driven in a manner that aroused any suspicion? Any information you have could help my investigation.”
Anyone with information is asked to call 101, quoting crime number/incident number 19*192310.