First, a series of gum thefts was reported at local stores. Now, apparently the sweet-toothed thieves are targeting chocolate candy bars at Stop & Shop.

Around 3:30 p.m. Sunday, employees at the Villa Avenue supermarket saw a man run from the store with a full basket. After reviewing surveillance video, they discovered he had taken about $100 worth of Hershey's chocolate bars, both with and without almonds.

A similar shoplifting incident happened last Friday, when a man wearing blue jeans and hooded sweatshirt ran out of the store after being approached by an employee about concealing merchandise, police said.

The man, who ran toward the nearby parking lot of Kohl's department store, is suspected of taking $171 worth of Hershey chocolate bars.

Police believe the candies are re-sold by the thieves for sale at small urban markets.