A burglar made off with Newport cigarettes from a smoke shop and grocer on the Near West Side in a smash-and-grab robbery Thursday morning, Madison police said.
Police responded to a triggered burglary alarm at Tobacco Plus, 1935 Monroe St, around 9 a.m. Thursday to find the front door shattered, Madison Police Department spokesman Joel DeSpain said.
Officers determined the burglar had stolen only the Newport brand of cigarettes, DeSpain said. It's still unclear how many were taken.
DeSpain said Newport cigarettes seem to be a brand that's targeted in other smash-and-grab incidents. Those incidents usually involve the burglar clearing out the store's stock, although DeSpain said he wasn't certain why so many cigarettes would typically be stolen.
"We don't really know where large quantities of cigarettes are going when they are stolen," he said. "They might get sold on the black market or may be traded for drugs."