SHOPWORKERS in Dorset are being urged to be vigilant after high-value cigarette and tobacco thefts.

In the latest incident three men approached an articulated lorry that was parked for a delivery at around 11.30am on Thursday, April 25, before stealing tobacco and cigarettes from one of the delivery cages on the tail lift.

The delivery driver attempted to stop the offenders but was unsuccessful, and they ran off from the scene, possibly in the direction of a nearby trailway.

James Lowman, chief executive of the Association of Convenience Stores, is warning shop workers that items like cigarettes and tobacco are a common target for thieves.

“Retailers should be extra vigilant when transporting or receiving tobacco deliveries to their stores. High value items such as tobacco often targeted by organised criminal gangs. All suspicious activity should be reported to police and shared with your wholesaler.”

Members of the public who see cigarettes being offered for sale locally in unusual circumstances are asked to contact police.