A THIEF dressed as Homer Simpson was part of a gang who stole cash in a smash and grab raid at a supermarket.
Derbyshire Police are hunting for four men – one wearing a onesie designed to look like the popular cartoon character – who launched an early morning break-in at Sainsbury’s Local, in High Street, Newhall, yesterday.
Three members of the gang forced their way into the store where they destroyed a self-service till before failing in a bid to steal hundreds of packets of cigarettes.
Now, police chiefs are pleading with witnesses to come forward.
Eileen Banton, crime reduction officer, said: “We hope that the distinctive attire of one of the thieves will help someone come forward with information that will help us catch those responsible.”
Police were called to the incident at around 3.15am after being alerted by shop staff.
PC Banton added: “Investigations show that the gang entered by smashing a window that was not covered by shutters at the store.
“They then forced their way inside and made their way towards the serving area.
“The group focused on the middle of three self-service tills and smashed it open before taking a large quantity of cash.
“They did also try to gain access to the cigarette counter but, despite their efforts to smash through, were unable to get past the store’s shutter system.
“The gang was made up of four males.
“One was wearing a blue hooded top, one a grey hooded top and the third is described as wearing a Homer Simpson onesie.
“The fourth member of the gang did not enter the premises and is believed to have stayed with a getaway vehicle.
“We are appealing for people to come forward with any information.
“Did they see the gang beforehand, did they see where they went or what vehicle they were in?”
Anyone with information is urged to call 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.
A spokesman for Sainsbury’s said: “We contacted the police.”
It is not thought that any staff were on the premises at the time, with employees only alerted to the incident after the intruder alarm sounded.
The store was open for business as normal yesterday as police investigators completed examining the scene before it opened at 7am.