Smash and grab bandits swiping smokes

CLIFTON HEIGHTS, Pa. - November 8, 2010

The latest crime scene: The Clifton Wash and Go in Clifton Heights.

The gas station was burglarized Friday. The criminals got away with a stash of cigarettes. That's been the M.O. in this series of smash and grab burglaries. The criminals bypass the cash and coins and go for the tobacco.

The burglars burst through the glass door but flee just as quickly.

They stormed the ToGoMart on Edgmont Avenue in Brookhaven on November 1st. Kwang Lee owns the gas station. He watched on surveillance from home as the burglars burst through his business, which is just a half block from the Brookhaven police department.

Cameras captured the crooks slowly approaching the front door. They kept an eye out for any traffic or witnesses and then moved in.

"First time in 16 years something like this has happened," Lee said.

But it's not the duo's first smash-n-grab. They're suspected of 2 in West Goshen, 1 in Clifton Heights, 1 in Media and 1 in Brookhaven and a job in Lancaster.

Investigators believe the two are likely selling the cigarettes on the black market at a discount to score drugs. With a carton valued at $60, 20 cartons is equal to $1,200.

Police say in several of the crimes, the suspects flee in a 1994-1997 maroon or red Chevy Blazer with a roof rack. Police do have several leads they are following.

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