WISBECH: Cigarettes worth £2,000 stolen from night time raid on petrol station

PUBLISHED: 15:11 25 March 2009 | UPDATED: 08:57 02 June 2010

EXCLUSIVE By Elaine King SMASH and grab raiders got away with more than £2,000 worth of cigarettes from a Wisbech petrol station last night - despite the presence of a cardboard cut out policeman standing outside. The life sized cut out copper had been s

EXCLUSIVE

By Elaine King

SMASH and grab raiders got away with more than £2,000 worth of cigarettes from a Wisbech petrol station last night - despite the presence of a cardboard cut out policeman standing outside.

The life sized cut out copper had been standing outside the Rainbow Express for about two weeks, placed there as a crime prevention initiative by Norfolk police.

CCTV footage taken from the Shell petrol station at Elm High Road shows a car being used to smash the front window of the store, and two suspects with their faces obscured, leaving with stolen cigarettes they had cleared from shelves.

"The idea of the cardboard cut out policeman was to prevent drive offs, and make thieves think twice about trying to steal from the shop," said manager Tracie Abbott.

"The police suggested it. The real officers who arrived after the burglary were very good."

The cardboard officer was removed after the break-in, but Tracie says she would be happy to have him back.

Tracie and her staff worked tirelessly to clear up after the raid, so the shop was able to open as normal at 7.30am on Wednesday morning. "I was there most of the night," said Tracie. "We were able to replenish our cigarette display from the stock room."

Norfolk police have been using cardboard cut out policeman for more than a year, and they have proved very popular.

"Shops love having them, we rotate them around businesses," said police spokesman Lisa McGranachan.

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