Task Force Created to Find Cigarette Thieves - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Task Force Created to Find Cigarette Thieves

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JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) -- A police task force has been created to find two men responsible for a string of early-morning business break ins.

Investigators say since January 10, the thieves hit seven stores in three counties and stole an estimated $40,000 worth of cigarette cartons.

Five of those stores are in Jackson County, one is in Washtenaw County, and the other in Calhoun County.

6 News spoke to a store manager in Jackson who wasn't there during Tuesday's break in, but watched the recorded surveillance video. He didn't want to identify himself or the store.

"They grabbed our Marlboros off the top shelf here they grabbed our Newports off the top shelf here, about 160 to 170 cartons. We're still trying to get an exact count of what they took," the manager said. "They're the number one selling cigarettes. Everyone smokes Newports or Marlboros," he added.

The manager tells 6 News the average cost of a cigarette carton is about $60 each. That means the thieves stole at least $10,000 worth of cigarettes.

"They got away with a good amount. I was shocked," he said.

The incident now has the manager re-thinking his store's security.

"We're going to get a door with a reinforced gate behind it and we're going to replace the glass. Just take steps to make it harder if they do try to do it again," he said.

Jackson police say similar break-ins have happened at other stores around the Jackson area and they need your help to stay alert.

"Maybe somebody from the public will have some information where maybe someone all of a sudden came into possession of a large quantity of cigarettes," said Deputy Chief John Hold.

Police also say at least one of the seven businesses also had some money stolen.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Jackson police tip line at 517-787-0212.

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