Police are warning filling station owners about a professional gang of thieves who have already hit five outlets in the East Midlands, stealing thousands of pounds worth of cigarettes.

The gang – who operate only at night-time – raided three stations in the Melton Mowbray area of Leicestershire in just seven days and are also believed to be responsible for two similar raids in Lincolnshire. The four-man gang was caught on CCTV cameras as they escaped with £9,000 worth of cigarettes from the Brookside Service Station, Melton. The garage was closed at the time, and days later they targeted a Murco and a Brobot station.