UPDATED: Co-op burgled in suspected cigarette raid

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POLICE have appealed for information after a gang of thieves stole alcohol and cigarettes from a Skegness store in a night-time raid.

The thieves broke into the Co-op store in The Hildreds at around 10.15pm on Tuesday.

It is understood they gained access to the building via a warehouse door, which they forced open with a crowbar.

They also forced open the secure cigarette display in the store before escaping with an unknown quantity of cigarettes and alcohol.

It is thought they may have been driving a blue Vauxhall Vectra. The car was later discovered burned out in the Donington area.

“The thieves were obviously targeting the cigarettes and alcohol,” said a spokesperson for the police.

“We are appealing for anyone who may have seen suspicious activity near the Co-op at around 10.15pm to come forward.”

They added that the volume of smashed alcohol bottles left in the store suggested they had grabbed a lot of stock. Enquiries are continuing in and out of the county.

A spokesperson for The Co-operative added: “There was a burglary at our food store in the Hildred’s Centre, Skegness, at around 10:20pm on Tuesday 13 March.

“Five intruders entered the building and stole a quantity of cigarettes. CCTV footage has been given to the police, who are investigating.

“As with any incidents such as this, we would appeal for anyone with information to come forward.”

Anyone with information should call the police on 101 and quote incident 468 of March 13.

The Co-op store was open as normal on Wednesday morning, although the cigarettes and lottery kiosk was cordoned off while police forensics officers dusted for finger-prints.