Thieves are targeting cigarettes in a spate of burglaries across the North Shore.
About $16,000 worth of cigarettes was stolen in one heist and police are warning retailers to be extra careful.
Area commander Inspector Shanan Gray says shop owners and members of the public should tell police straight away if they see something that is not quite right.
"If someone in your shop appears to be acting suspiciously, don't feel as if you are being paranoid by reporting it to police.
"We need to know, this person could be scoping out the building with the idea of coming back after hours and breaking in."
Police believe three to four people are involved and are forcing their way into shops with a crowbar or similar tool.
There have been five burglaries of service stations and dairies in the past six weeks, all overnight or in the early hours of the morning.
Gray says police have CCTV footage and are waiting for the results of forensic evidence but still need retailers' help.
Police also want to hear about people trying to sell large quantities of cigarettes or tobacco.
Call North Shore police on 477 5000 or the anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111 if you have any information.
- North Shore Times
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