NORFOLK, Va. - The Norfolk Police Department (NPD) is asking for the public's help in locating and identifying men who have been accused of breaking into a string of Norfolk stores.
The incidents happened at several convenience stores in the early morning hours across Hampton Roads.
The latest burglary occurred at Love Food Mart on the corner of Granby St. and W. Princess Anne Rd. around 3 a.m. Tuesday. The suspect can be seen on surveillance video falling through a window after police said the man broke the glass.
The manager, who only wanted to be identified as Mr. Patel, said the store’s alarm system woke him up. He rushed to the store and police were already there.
“The alarm company called me and said my store is broke - broken the glass and everything,” Patel said. “He just bust the whole window outside and I have two glass; he broke both glass and then come in.”
The store’s surveillance camera caught the suspect brazenly taking a bag and scooping up merchandise.
Police said the suspect took cartons of Newport cigarettes.
Patel said the suspect got away with about $2,500 worth of cigarettes, hopping out of the same window he came in from.
“He got a garbage bag and put all cigarettes in there and then he jump outside,” he said. “He just left.”
The Seamart & Deli convenience store six miles away was also targeted. Police said a surveillance camera captured two suspects also stealing Newports.
Patel said both stores have the same owner.
“I just talked to police and this happened to so many stores right now,” he said.
According to detectives, the burglaries are connected to a string of others in the area based on the method of entry and the items that were stolen.
Since June 22, five convenience stores in Norfolk have been targeted by the suspects, police said:
- 7-Eleven – 8489 Chesapeake Boulevard
- Seamart & Deli – 298 W Bay Avenue
- Rite Aid- 3600 Tidewater Drive
- Quick Serve Food Mart- 5714 Sellger Avenue
- Dollar General -2301 Colley Avenue
Surveillance footage has shown the men breaking into the stores by breaking the storefront glass and only stealing cartons of Newport cigarettes before departing, according to police.
Police believe the same people are connected with the burglaries that have occurred in Chesapeake, Hampton and Newport News.
Newport News Police said it’s likely the same male suspects hit up five convenience stores stealing money, lighters, cigars and many packs of cigarettes.
Since May 31, NNPD said five convenience stores have been burglarized by the suspects:
- 1st Stop Mart, located in the 800 block of Main Street
- Circle K, located in the 100 block of Ottis Street
- Lee Hall Food Mart, located in the 17400 block of Warwick Blvd.
- Miller Mart, located in the 900 block of J. Clyde Morris Blvd.
- Dollar General, located in the 17400 block of Warwick Blvd.
Love Food Mart manager Patel said Tuesday’s burglary was the first time that has happened since the owner opened the store four months ago. He told News 3 someone attempted to break in early Sunday morning, leaving the door shattered.
Patel said the break-in is unsettling.
“I have no idea what’s going on, but I feel not good after nighttime we work here,” he said. “I feel scared right now until police catch him.”