DENVER, N.C. -- Authorities in Lincoln County are investigating two early Tuesday morning tobacco store break-ins.

Around 12:30, Lincoln County Sheriff's Deputies were called to Tobacco and Beer Outlet in the 3500 block of North NC Highway 16 when the business alarm was triggered.

Surveillance video shows two men wearing masks and blue jeans loading up boxes and fleeing the store through the front door.

Deputies say the thieves gained entry into the store by throwing a cinder block through the front window.

Just a half-hour later, deputies conducting routine business checks noticed the Denver Smokes store in the 100 block of South NC Highway 16 had been broken-in to. Surveillance video from that store showed two suspects getting out of a dark-colored SUV, throwing a rock through the window, entering the store with boxes, loading up and fleeing within three minutes.

In both instances, deputies say the thieves appear to have targeted only cigarettes.

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