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Burglars steal $10K from Scottish Tobacco

COVINGTON -- The Scottish Tobacco store on U.S. Highway 278, next to Paco's Mexican restaurant, was burglarized during the early morning hours Wednesday and approximately $10,000 in cash and merchandise were taken, according to the Covington Police Department.

A CPD incident report states the burglary was discovered when an employee of the Mexican restaurant came to work and noticed that the back door of the tobacco store had been cut open. Also, the back door of the restaurant had been barricaded from the outside.

An employee of the restaurant who works as a prep cook was inside during the night and said he had tried to open the door around 4 a.m., but found it blocked. He said he did not have a cell phone and could not call out, according to the report. The employee who notified the CPD said she checked and found that the restaurant phones were not working.

"The phone lines had been cut inside of the service panel behind the businesses," the report states. "The bottom of the metal door to Scottish Tobacco had been cut approximately 18-24 inches above ground with what appeared to be a grinder or cutting wheel. The tool had been used to cut through the metal door and part of the door frame. The door had been pulled away from the building and entry was made."

Inside four padlocks had been cut, as well as phone lines inside the business.

Marlboro, Pall Mall, Newport, Doral, Kools, Salem and Winston cartons of cigarettes were taken, and approximately $1,000 in cash, the computer hard drive and other merchandise valued at $10,000 were reported missing.

According to CPD spokesman Wendell Wagstaff, an attempt was made to burglarize the Conyers Scottish Tobacco location, as well, but perpetrators were unsuccessful. They were, however, able to burglarize the franchise supplier in Tucker recently.

Police ask that anyone with information on this case call the CPD at 770-786-7605. Tips can be given to the CPD anonymously by visiting their website at www.covingtonpolice.com and clicking on "Most Wanted" and then "Anonymous Tips."