POLICE are taking a close look at two incidents which could be linked to a gang who launched an early-morning raid on a South Derbyshire convenience store.
Detectives are investigating whether a drive-off from a service station in Hatton and a burglary in Egginton are linked to an incident where masked raiders forced their way into a Nisa store, in Station Road, Hatton, at 4am yesterday and stole a ‘large quantity of cigarettes’.
Police say CCTV handed to them by the shop’s owner shows two men forcing the front door with a crowbar while a third man waits in a getaway car.
Derby south section inspector Nigel Lidsey, of Derbyshire Police, said: “We are investigating a link between the cigarettes raid and two other incidents in the area.
“South Derbyshire will always be a target for these kind of crimes due to the surrounding road networks but these types of crimes are rare and we are determined to find those who are responsible.”
All three of the raiders were wearing scarves over their faces to conceal their identity.
Kevin Friend, manager of the store, said: “The store was closed at the time that they targeted us and I am pleased that we were not open and that no members of staff or customers were in the store.
“We don’t think they have taken a huge amount but it is still a real inconvenience for us.
“Hopefully those who are responsible will be caught and brought to justice quickly.”
A police spokesman said they were first alerted when the alarm sounded at 4am and then again at 6am by a customer.
He said: “The man who got inside the shop wore a black tracksuit and a black jumper while a second man wore blue jeans, a black jacket and a baseball cap.
“The third man was 5ft 9in to 5ft 10in tall, of slim to medium build and wore black clothing. We believe the getaway car was a dark-coloured or green Ford Focus.”
Anyone with information should call 101.