Connecticut Cigarette Theft Estimated at $1M

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Connecticut Cigarette Theft Estimated at $1M

MILFORD, Conn. -- The theft of cigarettes from a warehouse owned by Montano Cigarettes, Candy & Tobacco Inc. is thought to now be worth roughly $1 million -- 10 times more than the original estimate, The Associated Press reported.

The weekend theft of approximately 15,000 cartons of brand-name cigarettes from the convenience store wholesaler was planned, according to Connecticut police. The burglars disabled lighting, electrical, communication and security systems, and then used a ladder to scale a concrete wall and enter through a roof access hatch, the report stated.

"Can you believe this," Gary Montano, president of Montano, told Connecituct Post. "This place is like a fortress. I don't believe this happened to us."

The warehouse is surrounded by a fence topped with barbed wire, and its roof has powerful search lights, and an alarm and video surveillance system, the Post reported.

Police believe a van from a nearby Budget rental agency was stolen and used in the theft, according to the report. Montano suspected the thieves gained entry around 1 a.m.

Video surveillance cameras inside did capture darkened figures wearing night vision goggles walking around, he told the paper.

"These guys knew exactly what they were doing," said Montano.

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