Burglar hits gas station via roof

LILBURN -- Police are seeking public input to identify a gas station burglar who made an unconventional entry in his efforts to pillage a Lilburn business.

Police said the man cut a large hole in the roof of a Phillip 66 station at 5044 U.S. Highway 29 about 3 a.m. July 30. He climbed in and stole computer equipment, cigarettes and a large sum of cash from a safe, said Lilburn police spokesman Capt. Bruce Hedley.

The man then exited via the roof. No suspects had been identified as of Friday.

The incident marks the second time in a week burglars have hit a Gwinnett gas station in want of cigarettes. Norcross police are searching for three men who lifted $3,000 worth of smokes Sunday at a Shell station on Jimmy Carter Boulevard.

Police say a spike in the retail price of cigarettes -- and an even higher street value -- makes them appealing loot to burglars.

Hedley said police haven't ruled out the possibility that the crimes could be connected. The suspect in the Lilburn burglary is described as a slender man, but police aren't sure of his age or race.

The other three suspects were described as black men.

Police urge anyone with information in the Phillips 66 burglary to call Lilburn police Det. Jeff Kinney at 770-921-2211.