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Authorities are trying to identify three men who stole at least $3,000 worth of cigarettes from a Lancaster convenience store on Tuesday, June 10.
Officers responded at 2:48 p.m. to a 911 call about a shoplifting that just happened at Citgo, 1200 N. Main St., according to a Lancaster Police Department incident report.
At the scene, police spoke with a store employee who said about 10 minutes earlier three men entered the store. He said one of the men intentionally distracted him while the other two men shoplifted several items from the back of the store.
The employee did not know exactly what was stolen, but said his manager was coming to review the surveillance video.
When the manager arrived, he and the officers reviewed the video and saw the three men enter the store. One of the men is seen walking over to the clerk and distracting him, while a second man went to the rear of the store and entered a store room, the report said.
Soon after, a third man is also seen entering the store room.
After about eight minutes, the two men are seen leaving the store room.
“Suspect number two was carrying two boxes containing approximately 60 cartons of cigarettes. Suspect number three was carrying a black trash bag full of an unknown amount of cigarettes,” an officer wrote in the report. “A witness observed the suspicious activity and asked what was in the bag. Suspect number two responded ‘trash’ and fled the store on foot.”
In their rush from the store, one of the men left two boxes of inventory behind, the report said.
The witness told officers she saw the two men then get into a white car, which may be a Mercury, and noticed the license plate was bent so that it was unreadable.
The first man, who had been distracting the clerk, also left the store and was seen walking to the Bojangles parking lot.
The three shoplifters are described as black men, one wearing a white T-shirt, another wearing a blue shirt, sunglasses and a black hat, and a third wearing a black shirt, the report said.
The case has been handed over to detectives and it remains open pending further investigation, the report said.
Lancaster Police Capt. Scott Grant said Thursday, June 12, he did not have any information about the case.
If you know anything about the shoplifting, please call the Lancaster Police Department at (803) 283-1171, (803) 283-3313, or the LPD’s anonymous tip hotline at (803) 289-6040.
Contact reporter Chris Sardelli at (803) 416-8416