Men Steal $1M in Tobacco Products
Apr. 01, 1999
CORONA, Calif. (AP) _ An armed gang backed a truck up to a warehouse Wednesday and made off with an estimated $1 million worth of cigarettes, about 780 years worth of pack-a-day habits.
No one was injured in the robbery during which four men in hoods entered an employee entrance shortly before 5 a.m.
``We tend to believe they're headed for another state or maybe L.A., where they'll be sold on the black market,'' said Sgt. Eddie Garcia, a police spokesman. The smokes, of several brands, would be practically impossible to trace, he said.
The thieves bound most of the 15 employees with tape and forced a few others to drive forklifts, loading the cargo pallets into a 48-foot trailer, he said.
``It sounds like it was pretty well organized,'' Garcia said.
Even legitimate ``bargain'' cigarettes run about $3.50 per pack nowadays, and prices of $4.50 to $5 are common in airports, bars and hotels.