Men Use Van In Smash And Grab Burglary

Dramatic video of a smash and grab burglary at a tobacco shop.

Omaha Police are asking for our help in finding two men who used a stolen car as a battering ram to rip off a store.

The tactic has forced some businesses to take extra security measures.

On Jan. 31 about 4:30 AM, a van rams into Tobacco Roads Discounts at 50th and South Saddle Creek Road.

Two men enter the store and begin ransacking the business.

Surveillance cameras capture the two at work. One of the men is wearing a pink or orange coat with a fur collar.

The three cameras capture a good look of that suspect.

The other man tosses a box of cigarette cartons over the counter.

The box disintegrates. and the two men scoop up cartons of smokes before leaving the store...all of this in less than a minute.

The crooks made off with about eight cartons of cigarettes and left behind a complete mess.

The whole front end of the store is demolished and destroyed.

Barb van Buren works at the Phillips 66 station at 45th and 'L'.

They've experienced a few criminal drive ins here before finally taking an extra step.

"The owner did it himself and if he can do it anybody can do it," Barb said.

Now, three concrete posts occupy the doorway.

Barb says they've been effective.

"They know they can't get in they're not going to get anything and with security being as expensive as it is for a business its a very cheap inexpensive way to save your business," she said. "It stops people from ramming your business, saves lots of money, protects your business and makes the criminals detour and they go away."

Barb says she's surprised more business haven't taken this pro-active approach, especially when replacing double glass doors and the frame can cost thousands of dollars.

"After a while you get really frustrated and disgusted because the criminals think they have the advantages," she said. "So as a business owner, you have to think ahead and try and be one step ahead of them."

Police believe they have recovered the stolen van used in this break in.

Anyone with information concerning this case is being asked to call Omaha Police at 444-7867.

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