Article Comment 

Cigarette thief strikes Columbus

 

William Browning

 

Call him the cigarette bandit that prefers menthols. 

 

Twice in two months someone has kicked out a window at a downtown Columbus retailer in the middle of the night and stolen packs of Newport-brand cigarettes. 

 

It has happened both times at Fred's on Fifth Street South. Beverly Blakeney, the store's manager, believes the same person is responsible for the break-ins. 

 

It happened most recently Saturday at about 3:30 a.m. 

 

The suspect is male, according to surveillance video. His approach went like this: He shattered the bottom window of the store's door with a rock and finished the job with his boot. Then he crawled in and targeted the cigarette stand. 

 

He took a little more than $100 worth of Newport packs before fleeing, Blakeney said. 

 

On the night after Easter, at about 2:30 a.m., the first break-in occurred in similar fashion. The bandit made off with $500 worth of Newports that time, according to Blakeney. 

 

Both times, the culprit stuffed his loot in what appeared to be a plastic garbage bag before fleeing. 

 

No one has been arrested in connection with the crimes. 

 

On Thursday, Latasha Key, secretary of the criminal investigations division with the Columbus Police Department, declined to elaborate on the investigation or offer a description of the suspect. 

 

"The investigators that are working these cases have already aired the videos on Crimestoppers," she wrote in an email to The Dispatch. "As far as what was taken, it's still an ongoing investigation."

 

 

 

printer friendly version | back to top

 

 

 

Most Viewed News Stories

 

1. Historic Columbus depot has a buyer COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY

2. CMSD board buys new books COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY

3. A year in, is J5 Broaddus saving Columbus money? COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY

4. Lowndes man found guilty of manslaughter COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY

5. County working on possible storm shelter project STARKVILLE & OKTIBBEHA COUNTY

 

More popular content      Suggest a story

 

 

Follow Us:

Follow Us on Facebook

Follow Us on Twitter

Follow Us via Instagram

Follow Us via Email