HOUSTON - Crooks looking for cigarettes broke into a Kroger grocery store on Houston s northside early Tuesday, according to police.

Two of the men were caught while at least three others got away, according to the Houston Police Department.

The break-in was reported by employees inside the store, located in the 6700 block of Airline Drive near Parker Road. The store was closed at the time, but workers were busy stocking the shelves when several men broke through a front glass door before 4 a.m.

HPD officers believe the suspects didn t expect to find workers inside, and they were quickly scared away.

Responding police spotted two suspicious vehicles near the scene and chased after an SUV that was reported stolen.

The men led officers on a brief chase before crashing in a ditch. One of the men was caught immediately while another was later found hiding in a nearby storage shed, but three other suspects got away, according to police.

Officers said this was the third time the Kroger had been broken into by crooks looking to steal cigarettes. The stolen tobacco often ends up being resold on the black market.

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