Cheap cigarettes likely to be ‘hot’

Saturday June 09, 2018 Written by Published in Crime

Police suspect a batch of low-priced cigarettes and tobacco may appear on the ‘black market’ following a haul of several brands in the break-in of a local store this week.

An estimated $2000 worth of cigarette cartons were taken in the burglary, along with alcohol and cash.

Police say that the public should be wary of anyone selling cheap cigarettes ‘under the table’ and warn that anyone caught with or receiving stolen items will be prosecuted.

The burglary of this local business, reported on Wednesday morning, has again prompted police to highlight the need for commercial properties to take preventive measures against thefts and break-ins.

“Security is paramount,” a police spokesperson said, adding that many outlets are experiencing multiple burglaries before beefing up their security.

“Cameras are recommended, as well as reinforced windows and doors.

“Victims are also realising that criminals are now using a variety of tools and tactics to get past such measures, so particular risks need to be considered.”

Police were alerted to another burglary on Wednesday, after a Vaimaanga resident reported having been robbed of his wallet from inside a bag, resulting in the loss of his bank cards, licences and cash.

The Cook Islands Police Service is appealing to the public to come forward with any information or details that may lead to the identification of burglary offenders.

“Suspicious activity in the distribution of cigarettes and/or alcohol can be important to an investigation and should be reported,” the spokesman said.

            - Cook Islands Police Service

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