Police are trying to identify a man who either has a bad smoking habit or an unhealthy dislike for windows, perhaps both.
At least seven times this year, the same unknown suspect has broken into gas station mini-markets in the Far Northeast only to make off with a few packs of smokes, if anything at all, police say. In one instance, he may have had two accomplices, but the rest were all solo jobs.
Typically, the man will break a window to enter the business. In one case, he busted through an auto service bay door. Another time, he backed a truck through a glass door. Yet another time, he busted a glass door in the rear.
In just one case, a victim reported that cash was taken. Four times, police said, the burglar took “several packs of cigarettes.” Twice, he left empty handed.
The crimes occurred at Lukoil, 9418 Bustleton Ave., on Jan. 8 and Feb. 10; Exxon, 355 Franklin Mills Circle, on Jan. 28; BP, 9998 Frankford Ave., on Feb. 12; Shell, 9801 Bustleton Ave., on Feb. 14 and 15; and Philly Stop & Shop, 2800 Willits Road, on Feb. 16.
Visit the Philadelphia Police channel on YouTube.com to view surveillance video of the crimes. Call 215–686-TIPS or text to PPD TIP to report information. ••