Detectives link garage raids after �10k of cigs stolen

OVER �10,000 worth of cigarettes and tobacco have been stolen from two garages in the East Devon area.

OVER �10,000 worth of cigarettes and tobacco have been stolen from two garages in the East Devon area.

Police believe the break-ins at Uplyme Services and Windmill Garage, off the A35 near Offwell, are linked.

Police said a white van with either the words 'U-drive' or 'U-hire' was spotted at the scene of both burglaries.

Around �7,500 worth of goods were stolen from the Uplyme garage, overnight on Wednesday, November 18. Around �3,500 was taken from Windmill Garage, overnight on Sunday, November 22.

Craig Moore, joint owner at Uplyme Services, discovered his store had been ransacked.

He said shelves had been ripped out and bags of 1ps and 2ps were also taken.

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He said: "I was angry to start with and felt resentment towards those who did it. I'm disappointed with the behaviour of some people, that they can't let others get on with an honest living.

"We're a small petrol station, more for locals, and things are hard enough as it is in the current climate without this sort of hassle. You start to wonder if it's all worthwhile.

"Obviously it's caused us financial loss - even if we are insured, we have the excess. It's a bit sad that the world's coming to this."

Dc Claire Campbell at Honiton CID warned there could be further break-ins and called for people to be vigilant.

She said: "We believe both of these burglaries are linked and there could be more. If anyone sees a white van, possibly with the 'u-drive' or 'u-hire' written on it, we want to know about it as soon as possible."

Anyone with information should call Dc Claire Campbell on 08452 777 444.

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