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More than 60 cartons of cigarettes stolen in recent Medford burglaries

Cigarettes were the target during two recent business break-ins in Medford, with more than five dozen cartons swiped from the shelves. Police don't know whether the cases are related.

The burglaries occurred in the early-morning hours May 9 and May 15, with the thieves causing damage during both break-ins, Medford police said. No suspects have been identified. In both cases, the perpetrators wore hooded sweatshirts and broke in when it was still somewhat dark outside.

"This, at least in my experience, seems to be unusual in that they're going in and just targeting cigarettes," said Medford police Lt. Kevin Walruff, adding that items such as scratch-it lottery tickets are much more commonly taken.

The first burglary was reported about 5:45 a.m. Monday, May 9. Police said surveillance video showed a male wearing a ballcap and hooded sweatshirt coming up to the door of Deli Bean, in the 2700 block of Highway 99, and forcing entry. He could be seen damaging the alarm system with some kind of tool. Police said the burglar made off with 49 cartons of cigarettes, a haul worth about $2,700.

On Sunday, two burglars shattered the front glass door at Berg's Market, at the corner of Eighth and Grape streets. The thieves made off with more than 11 cartons, Walruff said. The stolen merchandise was worth $1,300.

Police said there were no obvious physical similarities between the thieves in the cases. Anyone with information about the burglaries is asked to call Medford police at 541-770-4784.

Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or rpfeil@mailtribune.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/ryanpfeil.