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Thieves target Costco buyers

Jun 23 2012

Nanaimo RCMP are investigating a cigarette theft ring that has seen almost $40,000 in cigarettes stolen after they were purchased from Costco.

The thieves appear to be targeting individuals who buy large cartons of cigarettes from Costco, said Nanaimo RCMP spokesman Const. Gary O'Brien.

Police believe the thieves are following customers from the store, then breaking into their cars, O'Brien said.

In all cases, the theft occurred within a day of the purchase. There was only one occasion when items besides cigarettes were taken from a vehicle.

Some of the thefts, which occurred between February and May, have taken place in other cities.

"The people involved in this activity are very organized," O'Brien said.

"We have tried a number of different investigative techniques, but to date, no arrests have been made or suspects identified."

Anyone with information should call Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2354 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

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