Thieves caused damage worth thousands of dollars and drove away with stock from a Numurkah petrol station on Tocumwal Rd on Wednesday night.
Detectives say thieves raided the Caltex store just after 10pm, causing significant damage.
Cobram police Detective Senior Constable Matt Prestage said the culprits stole several trays of cigarettes along with food and soft drink.
Police arrived at the scene promptly, and in time to see a car speeding away.
Also on the scene was the store’s commission agent Bill Fuller, who remained at the shop until 2am, securing the premises and cleaning up the mess.
Mr Fuller said he had arrived to find a smashed-in door, cabinet and till drawer and a security system ripped off a wall, equating to an estimated bill of almost $10000.
Although he had not completely assessed the stock loss, Mr Fuller said about $200 worth of cigarettes, plus food and drink had been stolen.
‘‘We had a similar break-in about 12 months ago where the doors were kicked in and the windows smashed, but this time around, there’s probably double the damage,’’ he said.
‘‘I don’t know why we’ve been targeted, but I’d probably put it down to the amount of drugs in country Victoria.
‘‘These issues have taken off in the last two years, and it’s getting worse.’’
Crime scene investigators were at the service station yesterday morning assessing the damage, and Det Sen Const Prestage said police were looking for up to three males who were seen driving away in a small silver sedan.
‘‘Witnesses say they saw two, possibly three, offenders, but we have no ages or further description,’’ Det Sen Const Prestage said.
‘‘We are working on a number of leads, but would appreciate any members of the public to contact police.’’
The Caltex was closed at the time and police said the offenders used significant force to enter the store.
Police have urged any witnesses or those who may know the offenders to phone Crime Stoppers on 1300333000.