THIEVES who broke into three Barnawartha businesses on Wednesday morning probably conducted surveillance before striking.
Police released security camera footage from the incident yesterday in a bid to track down the offenders, who spent five hours in the businesses.
From midnight to 5.20am, the two men stole $20,000 worth of cigarettes, cash and a safe from the general store, cafe and post office.
The thieves also tipped over an ATM at the general store and removed the front panel, using tools for sale inside the shop, but were unable to take its money.
Detective Sgt Graeme Simpfendorfer said the thieves were confident and organised.
“We believe there would have been some level of reconnaissance prior to the break-in,” he said.
“One of the offenders remains on the lookout while the other is inside.
“They’ve been reasonably organised and they’ve disguised themselves as best they can.
“(It) makes us believe they’re known to police.”
The duo arrived in a dark sedan and forced entry to the cafe, which joins all three businesses.
They used clothes to cover their heads.
The car was last seen leaving towards the Hume Freeway.
Several cars drove past during the break-in.
If you have information phone Wodonga police on (02) 6049 2600 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.