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Herne Bay and Sturry Co-Operative Food stores raided by cigarette thieves

By Aidan Barlow

Hooded thieves smashed their way into Co-Op stores in Sturry and Herne Bay and stole cigarettes last night.

According to the police three suspects entered the store in Mortimer Street in Herne Bay at midnight, then went on to the Sturry High Street store at 12.36am.

They forced their way through the lower glass panel on the two shop entrances before helping themselves to cigarettes kept inside.

Waddington targeted the Co-op store twice.

Police spokesman Jon Green said: "Officers are investigating and would like to hear from anyone who may have seen anything suspicious at these times.

"At the both incidents officers found a window had been smashed and a quantity of cigarettes were taken. No staff were present during the burglaries."

It is not the first time that Co-Op stores in Herne Bay have been targeted. In October and November hooded thieves smashed their way into the Sea Street store and stole cigarettes.

Detective Sergeant Kath Way said: “Due to the time frame between the two burglaries, the description of the offenders and the same items were stolen at both stores, we believe that the two burglaries are linked.

Police were called to the scene. Stock picture

“We believe there were three offenders, all wearing hooded tops covering their faces.

“We would urge anyone who may have seen anything suspicious in these areas to contact us straight away.”

Call Kent Police on 01227 868232 quoting reference 10-0023 or 10-0034.

Co-Operative spokesman Lindsay Colbeck said CCTV had been handed over to the police to help with the investigation.

She added: "Customers are currently being redirected to our store on Sea Street in Herne Bay although both stores are expected to re-open later today."

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