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Store hit in latest tobacco raid

By Hayley Gastmeier

[email protected]

The owner of a Carterton bottle shop which has been raided twice within two weeks says it is not fair family businesses are being targeted for cigarettes.

Police were called to the Bottle-O Carterton just after 3am yesterday morning following an alarm activation.

It appears the thief smashed and climbed through a window and then knocked over a bucket of paint when attempting to open a rear door to let in an accomplice.

Footprints of paint were trailed through the store to the cigarette cabinet and an estimate of $2000 worth of tobacco was taken.

Dipesh Patel, owner of the liquor store, said cigarettes totalling somewhere between $6000 and $7000 had been stolen from the store just 12 days earlier.

“Why would they do this? If they want to rob they should rob the depot where the cigarettes are kept and they can get as many as they want. Why rob a small business which is trying to survive?”

Mr Patel said the damages and lost profits due to the thefts had taken a toll on his family.

“We won’t be able to sleep tonight,” he said.

“[The thieves]  shouldn’t nick somebodies bread and butter.”

The Police scene of crime team have examined the premises and investigations are continuing.

No alcohol was taken during the break-in.

The Carterton raid follows a string of burglaries targeting cigarettes in the Wairarapa region recently.

Last week two thieves made off with $3000 worth of tobacco from the Adamson’s service station in Featherston.

Martinborough Pain & Kershaw has lost tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of cigarettes in three separate raids in less than two years.

The most recent burglary, last month, prompted the supermarket to beef-up security.

Police last week said cigarettes were a high commodity item and would always be targeted by thieves.

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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