Police search for thieves in smash and grab

Crooks steal 50 to 60 cigarette cartons

By Gianna Caserta - Reporter

HOUSTON - There is a lot of damage left behind but the Thrif-Tee Food Mart is still open for business after two masked men used a stolen vehicle to break through the front door and steal dozens of cartons of cigarettes.

"Started cleaning up, got to get back to work," said store manager Rahim Ali.

Officers say at around 5:30 Saturday morning two men dressed in all black backed an SUV up to the front of the door.

"They wrapped the door with the chain, pulled that one, wrapped it again with the metal, pulled that one," says Ali.

In surveillance video you can see one of the men hook the chain to the door and use the force of the truck to break through. They did the same thing with the burglar bars.

Once inside, they ransacked the office looking for cash.

"We don't keep anything over here at nighttime... to be on the safe side," said Ali.

When they couldn't find any money, they stole about 60 cartons of cigarettes before running out of the store. They drove a short distance down Westford, then ditched the stolen vehicle. They got away with the cigarettes and have not yet been found.

If you recognize either of the men in the surveillance video, you are asked to call the Houston Police Department.

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