Trio wanted for stealing cigarettes from village shop

Otley shop theft CCTV

A CCTV image of three men outside Otley Village Store, where almost £150 of cigarettes were stolen - Credit: Contributed CCTV image

Police are looking for three men following the theft of almost £150 worth of cigarettes from a village shop near Ipswich.

The theft happened at about 3.40pm on Tuesday at Otley Village Store, in Chapel Road, Otley.

Three men pulled up outside in a white BMW and entered the shop, pushing past other customers and selecting laundry products from the shelves.

At the counter, one of the men asked for five packets of cigarettes and two face masks, which a member of staff retrieved and requested payment for.

Shop owner Penny Sunaway said the man attempted to use a payment card which required a signature for authorisation.

When told the shop could not accept the card as payment, the man demanded a refund for money he had not spent, prompting the member of staff to call for assistance from Mrs Sunaway. 

"As soon as she said she was phoning her boss, that's when he put the cigarettes in a bag and left with the other two," she said.

Penny and Andrew Sunaway outside Otley Village Store

Penny and Andrew Sunaway outside Otley Village Store - Credit: Archant

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A Suffolk Constabulary spokesman said: "Police were called to Otley Village Store, in Chapel Road, at about 3.40pm on Tuesday, December 22 to a report of theft.

"Three males entered the shop and attempted to buy washing machine products, two face masks and 10 packets of cigarettes.

"They then tried to pay for the items by demanding to use the card machine. The cashier refused and asked for other payment.

"One male asked for a refund, even though no payment had been taken.

"The males then ran off with cigarettes and facemasks, to the value of £140, in a white BMW sports series, towards Helmingham."

Mrs Sunaway believes the number plate of the BMW had been tampered with and was not a genuine registration for the vehicle.

She said all three men wore hats, and scarves around their faces, and that one of the men appeared older than the other two.

The suspects are also described as being of mixed heritage and ranging in height from 5ft 10in to 5ft 8in and shorter.

Two wore jeans, while the third wore black jogging bottoms.  

Any witnesses to call police, quoting crime reference 37/74002/20