July 2, 2010 10:15:00 AM
A Columbus smoke shop was vandalized and burglarized early this morning.
Two individuals threw a rock through the front door of Tobacco Warehouse on Alabama Street around 5 a.m., said Pam Sellers, the manager. They stole 24 cartons of Newport cigarettes, totaling about $1,000 in damages. The door cost $176 to replace. There was glass all the way to Sellers'' office in the back of the store.
"The alarm must have scared them," Sellers said. "They were in and out in 20 seconds."
The perpetrators were visible on the store''s surveillance tape, wearing hoods and gloves, and from their small stature, Sellers guessed they were underage. They made a beeline for the cigarettes instead of taking any of the numerous cases of beer or the nearby cash box.
"It just makes me sick," Sellers said.
Going into the holiday weekend, she will be unable to order more cigarettes to make up for what was stolen. The store is uninsured. Sellers said police plan to review her surveillance video, but there are currently no leads.
"There are so many people in and out of this door all day, every day," Sellers said. "There''s no clue. It''s just something that has to be written off."