More than $14,000 in cigarettes stolen from Kings County market


The store owner says the thieves didn't touch the cash register. Instead they focused on taking more than $14,000 in cigarettes.

The surveillance video says it all. After casing the building and putting a clear shot of his face for the cameras, a man along with another man and a woman break into Gill's Truck Stop on Highway 43 and Lacey Boulevard near Hanford. The three are seen outside the store before they take a rock, smash the glass door, and run inside -- grabbing every carton of cigarettes they can get their hands on.

"Jump over the counter, and ransack the cigarette cartons from the shelves, and fill garbage bags with cigarettes. They were in the store less than a minute, and then they flee southbound on hHghway 43," said Christopher Guild with the Kings County Sheriff's Office.

The break-in happened last week and now investigators are hoping someone recognizes the faces in the surveillance footage. The group was driving in a white Cadillac Deville. Investigators are surprised the thieves only went for the cigarettes.

"They didn't go anywhere near the cash register. They didn't go for anything else of value in the store. There's an entire shelf full of liquor next to the cigarettes; that was untouched," said Guild.

The store owner didn't want to talk on camera but says the loss is devastating. After he tallied up his inventory, he realized the suspects stole more than $14,000 in cigarette cartons. Fixing the door cost another $600. Now the store is keeping most of its cigarettes locked away.

"Three large black probably 30-gallon garbage bags full of cartons of cigarettes; unknown how many different kinds of brands," said Guild.

The owners are considering updating their security measures.

If you think you know who the suspects are, you are asked to contact the Kings County Sheriff's Office.

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