Tobacco robberies terrorising retail workers
The illegal tobacco industry in Australia is variously estimated to be equivalent to around 14 per cent of total volume. Illicit tobacco comes in several forms: bulk rolling tobacco or “chop-chop” as it is often called, dodgy unfamiliar imported brands, imported major brand counterfeits and now, tobacco stolen from retail stores here in Australia.
As convenience stores have hardened up their security over the years and installed cash management safes, there is now much less cash in the drawer to attract armed robbers. But the high retail cost of cigarettes has made tobacco a much more lucrative target for criminals.