A thief brazenly started swigging from a bottle of cider before asking for a packet of cigarettes, lighting one and walking out of the shop without paying.
The incident happened at the One Stop shop in Moor Lane, Preston.
Staff said the man walked into the shop at around 11.20am on Tuesday.
He picked up a bottle of cider from the shelf and unscrewed the top before drinking from it.
He then asked staff for a packet of 10 Lambert and Butler cigarettes.
The packet was put on the counter and he then unwrapped them and put one in his mouth, lighting it before walking out.
Police are appealing for any witnesses to the incident.
He was a white man wearing a grey hooded top, officers said.
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101.