A masked burglar has broken into a Masterton dairy, making off with cigarettes, a till and bottles of body wash during an early-morning raid.
The burglar broke into the Renall St Store at about 2.30am yesterday, gaining entry by prising the lock off the door with a crowbar.
Security footage shows a person wearing a light-coloured hoodie and sneakers jumping over the counter and stuffing cigarettes into a bag before taking one of the store's two tills.
The burglar spilled several packets of cigarettes on to the ground as they fled, but grabbed several bottles of body wash on the way out.
Shop owners Krindal and Ajay Valand said they believed the burglar targeted the cigarettes, and appeared to know the location of the security cameras.
Mr Valand said he was worried burglaries would become more common as the price of cigarettes increased.
"It's happening quite a lot around the country, especially up in Auckland it's quite bad, petrol stores and dairies, everybody is getting targeted for smokes," Mr Valand said.
The burglary comes after several snatch-and-grab thefts of tobacco in Masterton late last month, which police are still investigating.
Mrs Valand said the burglary had left her worried about working at the store at night.
"It's a bit scary when it's a quiet time."
The couple were unsure how much they had lost as they had not yet finished counting the remaining stock.
It was frustrating to have to clean up the mess and replacing stock would leave them out of pocket, Mrs Valand said.
"We have to spend more money on that and we can't get much more."
Senior Sergeant Mike Sutton said it was likely the cigarettes would be on-sold.
"I think based on the amount taken it's quite likely that [profit] was the motivation. Otherwise it would mean someone has got a life-long supply of cigarettes."
Anyone with information can contact Masterton police on 06 3700 378 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
For more articles from this region, go to Wairarapa Times-Age