CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Crooks who rob grocery stores usually do it for the food. Some rob the cash registers. Recently, a thief had one thing in mind when he kicked through the door at a Food Lion on Beatties Ford Road. There was something inside he just had to have at 2:30 a.m.
"At first he throws a huge rock, thru the glass door," said CMPD Detective Tori Roddey.
On surveillance video, you can clearly see the moment he shatters the glass door.
"Once he got a big enough hole he starts kicking it," Detective Roddey said.
After kicking out the metal bar, he was able to shimmy through and get in. Once inside, with the alarm sounding, he bypassed the cash registers and made a bee-line to the cigarette case.
All he wanted were cigarettes. But not just any kind.
"Of course, the infamous Newports, that's the choice of most criminals," the detective said.
"There's a whole thing of cigarettes with the door [to the case] open that he could have gotten, but obviously they're not Newports, so he went behind that counter and damaged the other case in order to get to the Newport cigarettes."
He was in and out in less than a minute and before police could get there. He left with three cartons of Newports valued at $150. It's high risk for small gain.
"Because we're talking about breaking and entering, which is a felony, and the larceny while inside, for that little bit of cigarettes, definitely outweighs the reward," Detective Roddey said.
Detective Roddey said he used to work the Beatties Ford area and knows there are lots of folks on the streets late a night, so his hunch is that this guy probably doesn't live far away.
There have been very few break-ins there, so if you want to keep it that way and think you recognize him, call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600. There is reward money available.