50 years ago this week: Friday, February 17, 1961

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THIEVES broke into business premises at Rothbury late on Tuesday night and stole 43,000 cigarettes.

The police are investigating the thefts from a newsagent’s shop owned by Miss Molly and Miss Rita Grey at The Townfoot, Rothbury, and from the Studio Cafe, an adjaecent building, owned by Mr Douglas Tully.

Entry to the shop was made through a back window, and it’s thought that cafe, which is unoccupied at night, was entered through a skylight. Fingerprint experts have visited both the premises.

Miss Molly Grey told a reporter that 42,000 cigarettes valued at over £400 had been stolen from their newsagent’s shop.

“It was between three and four o’clock on Wednesday morning when my sister Rita heard someone trying the shop door,” she said. “We both went downstairs and got the dog from the kitchen. I took my umbrella, prepared to do battle. But there was nobody in the shop, and nothing had been disturbed when we put the lights on.”

The thieves, who must have returned later that night, made an entrance by forcing an office window.