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Serial shoplifter knows what he wants: Cheez-Its, by the boxes

Who is that man of mystery, the tall and solid stranger who cherishes bite-size orange wafers baked from wheat flour with a slathering of real cheese?

The Niagara Falls Police Department wants to know. So does the management at the Tops market at 7200 Niagara Falls Blvd.

The mystery man has struck the store at least three times to shoplift more than $600 worth of snacks. The Cheez-It is his munchie of choice.

The crime spree began Oct. 19. At around 11:30 p.m., he was seen loading a Tops shopping cart with box after orange box and trying to slip away without notice. But a store manager intervened, and the thief fled without the goodies.

Flash forward to 1 a.m. Nov. 16. Again, the shoplifter fancied the Cheez-Its. He tossed two dozen boxes into his cart, added in four dozen containers of Tops peanuts and quickly made off with $268 in salty snacks.

"The suspect was only in the store for 60 seconds," a police officer wrote in a report.

He helped himself a third time on Dec. 1, again close to midnight.

Again, in the store's vestibule, he grabbed 72 cans of peanuts and 36 boxes of the snack with real cheese flavor in every bite. Total take: $402 in peanuts and Cheez-Its.

Police, hoping to crack the case, said in a report that their suspect was seen driving a dark green Chevrolet Tahoe when chased away on Oct. 19. He's dark-skinned, about 6 feet tall and 200 pounds. His winter coat is black, or black and blue. On Dec. 1 he wore white sneakers.

Police said nothing in their report about fingerprints. But Cheez-It lovers know the tips of his fingers have a unique orange hue.

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