Burglars steal $8000 worth of cigarettes

Burglars have broken into the Champions IGA supermarket in Heathcote, making off with more than $8000 worth of cigarettes.

Champions IGA group operations manager Jim Jowett said four masked thieves smashed their way into the store with a hammer before ransacking the office area.

Mr Jowett said the offenders had caused between $2500 and $3000 worth of damage, in addition to the loss of the cigarettes.

“We’ve got to get the stock back in to replace it and it impacts your insurance, so the costs to the business are huge,” he said.

Mr Jowett said the crime had affected the supermarket’s staff the most, with some saying they felt violated.

“It’s disruptive and disheartening for the staff, they get really upset by it,” he said.

The break-in occurred just after 4.30am on September 12 and was captured on the store’s closed circuit television cameras.

Police are appealing for anyone who has any information about the crime or recognises the clothing or bags of the four persons pictured to contact detective Luke Simons at the Bendigo police station on 5448 1300 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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