Thieves drill 3ft hole through shop wall to steal hoard of cigarettes from WHSmith

Andy Wells
·Freelance Writer
·2 min read
The hole was drilled from an unused shop into the WHSmith next door. (SWNS)
Thieves drilled holes from an unused shop in Marlborough, Wiltshire, into WHSmith next door. (SWNS)

Thieves broke into an unused shop and drilled holes into a neighbouring WHSmith – all so they could steal boxes of cigarettes.

Two huge holes were drilled through a wall in an unused shop next door to the high street stationery retailer so they could crawl in and carry out the raid.

The criminals broke into a former Edinburgh Woollen Mill store in Marlborough, Wiltshire, overnight on Sunday and the burglary was discovered on Monday.

Tools at the site were left by the thieves. (SWNS)
The thieves ignored the tools that had been left at the site. (SWNS)
Holes in the wall enabled the thieves to gain entry to WHSmith. (SWNS)
Holes in the wall enabled the thieves to gain entry to WHSmith. (SWNS)

Mark Bury, the new owner of the former clothes shop, said the burglary must have been planned well in advance.

He said: ”You can see they knew where to drill through. They obviously got it wrong the first time, as they drilled through the fireplace."

The second hole is about three feet high, and cuts through a small opening from the Woollen Mill shop wall, through a partition wall, and then through breeze blocks to access the WHSmith side.

Bury, who is now renovating the property, believes the thieves managed to get into his building by coming through the top fire escapes.

He added: "I think they knew what they were after. I’m told that a lot of cigarettes were taken.

"They went through all the tools on site here, but it looks like most of those are still here, so obviously they had a target in mind."

The floor of the Woollen Mill rear room is covered in bricks and debris from the drilling.

Thieves broke into the former Edinburgh Woollen Mill store in Marlborough, Wiltshire, to carry out their raid. (SWNS)
Thieves broke into the former Edinburgh Woollen Mill store in Marlborough to carry out their raid. (SWNS)
Mark Bury is the new owner of the former clothes shop that he is now renovating. (SWNS)
Mark Bury is the new owner of the former clothes shop. (SWNS)

Wiltshire Police are now investigating the burglary and are appealing for witnesses.

PC Emily Grigor, from the Devizes Area Community Policing Team, said: “This burglary happened at some point overnight between Sunday and Monday morning and, due to the method of entry, is likely to have caused noise and disruption which may have been noticed by passers-by.

“We appreciate that there are less people out and about at the moment, due to the lockdown restrictions, but we would like to hear from anyone who might have been walking or driving by overnight and may have seen something suspicious.”

Anyone with information is urged to contact Wiltshire Police on 101 quoting crime reference 54210027052. Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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