Thieves break into, rob Livonia liquor store twice, head straight for cigarettes

Surveillance video shows thieves break into Plymouth Food Store twice in 2 days

LIVONIA, Mich. -

A Livonia insurance agent said robberies at liquor stores in the city have been on the rise.

Surveillance video from Plymouth Food Store on Plymouth Road captured one of those robberies. Two men broke into the store about 1:30 a.m. Monday and went straight for cartons of cigarettes, ignoring expensive bottles of alcohol. An alarm sounded but the men worked fast and Livonia police just missed them.

"They missed them by 1 minute and 12 seconds," said the store's insurance agent.

The owner of the store did not want to talk to media. His insurance agent, who also lives and works in Livonia, said he and the owner are concerned because the men on video are still out there, and they returned on Tuesday.

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A camera in the back of the store shows two men put on masks before taking a crowbar to the front door on Tuesday. They pried it open. While inside, the men took just two minutes to load the smokes into bags. The second man took some coins from the cash register but failed to open the safe.

It's the newest crime trend in Metro Detroit.

"They are reselling them on the streets. Menthol cigarettes seem to be gold in the city," the agent said.

The insurance agent also said the number of thefts is so bad that one major insurance company has taken itself out of the business of liquor stores. Another company he works for won't take on new clients.

The owner of the Plymouth Food Store has been at the location on Plymouth Road for 16 years. The break-in trend is just finding him.

"We're looking at, you know, $5,000," the agent said.

After fleeing the store, the men parked their vehicle down the street and outside of store surveillance camera range.

Police described the men as black, 6 feet tall and 180 pounds.

Anyone with information on the surveillance video or the men in it should call the Livonia Police Department at 734-466-2470.

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