South Scotland

Lockerbie and Moffat Co-op cigarette raiders 'linked', say police

Co-op in Moffat Image copyright Google
Image caption The Moffat Co-op was targeted by thieves as was a filling station in Lockerbie

Police are appealing for information after thieves took cigarettes and tobacco worth thousands of pounds from two Co-op sites.

The first incident happened at about 03:45 on Sunday at a petrol station on Carlisle Road in Lockerbie.

The second was at a food store on Holme Street in Moffat at about 03:15 on Monday.

In both break-ins two men were seen dressed entirely in black and wearing balaclavas and gloves.

Det Insp Scott Young said "Our inquiry is at an early stage in what we believe are linked incidents.

"Officers are analysing available CCTV and conducting local enquiries.

"We are confident that information we require to trace the persons responsible may rest with the local community."

He said it was possible someone heard a disturbance and would have seen the men leaving the scene.

He also urged anyone offered cut-price cigarettes to contact them.

Meanwhile, police said they were "keeping an open mind" about potential links with a similar theft in Innerleithen in the Borders last week.

Cigarettes were among the items stolen from the Co-op supermarket on Peebles Road at about 02:30 on Friday.

In that incident the front window was smashed and two men wearing white boiler suits were seen leaving the property carrying black bags.

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