Brazen tobacco thieves, believed to be part of larger operation, strike Fresno County gas station

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Authorities are teaming up to track down two brazen tobacco thieves targeting businesses all across the southern parts of the Valley.

Friday, the Fresno County sheriff's deputies released surveillance video of a burglary that happened last week in Riverdale. The footage shows two men breaking into a Shell gas station, loading grey tubs with tobacco products.

Law enforcement believes these suspects are part of a much larger operation that also extends into Hanford and Tulare County.

Earlier this week, Hanford police released video of two suspects believed to be behind a string of four burglaries in the city over the last three weeks.

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Officers hope someone will recognize the people in this video, believed to be behind a string of four burglaries in just the last three weeks in Hanford.



They said in each break-in, the thieves smash their way inside the stores before loading up with as many tobacco products as they can.

Officials have also connected the same thieves to four other similar crimes in Tulare County.

"Through this investigation, we've found this is actually occurring not just in Hanford," said Hanford Police Cpl. Jason Gustin. "We've heard of at least three to four others similar in nature that have occurred in Tulare County as well."

Several thousand dollars worth of cigarettes were stolen in these burglaries.

Sheriff's officials say the two men left the Riverdale gas station in a dark-colored, four-door vehicle. They wore hooded sweatshirts and masks, and one of the suspects is wearing black Air Jordan shoes.

If you have information about this case, you are urged to contact Valley Crime Stoppers. You could be eligible to receive a cash reward if you provide information anonymously that leads to an arrest. To leave a tip, call 559-498-7867, or fill out the form at ABC30.com/CrimeStoppers.
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