A bumbling thief found out the hard way that cigarettes are hazardous to your health when a hefty four-door fag cabinet toppled on to him in Hamilton this morning.
The scene was something straight out of the world's dumbest criminals, and was in marked contrast to the last thieves who broke into Frankton Lotto and Stationery through the roof.
They managed to avoid tripping the alarm, but this duo decided to smash straight through the street-front glass door about 5am.
The alarm sounded immediately and the bumbling crooks' every move was caught on camera.
Both offenders headed straight for the locked cigarette cabinet after smashing into the Commerce St business.
They start pulling at the solid metal and wood structure. It soon loosened from the wall bracket, tipped and slammed down onto an unsuspecting burglar.
Later, two grown men failed to lift it even a centimetre off the counter.
But the burglar wasn't pinned down when security arrived.
Owner Ravi Khatter thinks the dim-witted burglar must have been injured, despite fleeing from the scene after four minutes.
His daughter, Richa, said it's the second burglary since the family bought the store two years ago and more needs to be done to keep businesses in the area safe.
''It's quite awful,'' Richa said.
''There should be something done for the security of Frankton village.''
She said the constant increase in cigarette prices had made them more attractive to thieves.
The duo fled the scene with cigarettes and caused up to $6000 worth of damage to the store.
Police are investigating the robbery as well as a similar smash-and-grab type incident at Challenge petrol station, a few streets away and few hours earlier on Killarney Rd.
The offenders threw a concrete slab through the cashier window at about 1am. The projectile was thrown with so much force that it lodged in the wall across the service area.
Store manager Taz Kapadia said they got lazy and were caught out.
- © Fairfax NZ News