Cigarette Burglars Hit 8 Shops in 3 Days: BSO

Authorities looking for South Florida smoke thieves

By Brian Hamacher
|  Tuesday, Aug 14, 2012  |  Updated 6:22 PM EDT
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Authorities are looking for a pair of cigarette burglars who ripped off eight South Florida stores in a matter of three days. According to the Broward Sheriff's Office, the two suspects went on their smoke-stealing spree between August 5-7 in six different South Florida cities. BSO spokeswoman Keyla Concepcion said one of the men did not cover his face, a key break for detectives.

Authorities are looking for a pair of cigarette burglars who ripped off eight South Florida stores in a matter of three days. According to the Broward Sheriff's Office, the two suspects went on their smoke-stealing spree between August 5-7 in six different South Florida cities. BSO spokeswoman Keyla Concepcion said one of the men did not cover his face, a key break for detectives.

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Surveillance Video of Cigarette Burglars

Authorities are looking for a pair of cigarette burglars who ripped off eight South Florida stores in a matter of three days.
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Authorities are looking for a pair of cigarette burglars who ripped off eight South Florida stores in a matter of three days.

According to the Broward Sheriff's Office, the two suspects went on their smoke-stealing spree between August 5-7 in six different South Florida cities.

The first theft happened at the Publix at 1297 State Road 7 in North Lauderdale around 3 a.m. on Aug. 5. About an hour and 15 minutes later, the two struck the Publix at 1003 E. Commercial Boulevard in Oakland Park and just five minutes later, at the Rite Stop at 4050 N. Dixie Highway in Oakland Park.

In the Rite Stop burglary, the suspects were captured on surveillance video pulling in front of the closed store in a gold SUV, possibly a Ford Explorer, and hurling a cement block through the glass pane of the front door, the BSO said.

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Once inside, one of the suspects jumped over the counter while the other pointed and waited to lend a hand carrying the cigarettes, the BSO said.

"One of them was wearing a handkerchief or some sort of rag over half of his face, the other one was wearing nothing," said BSO spokeswoman Keyla Concepcion. "So this is an essential key, a portion of this video for our detectives."

Authorities say the crooks used the same method for burglaries at the Save-A-Lot at 3400 North Andrews Avenue in Oakland Park at 12:45 a.m. on Aug. 6, at the Sunoco at 4891 Northwest 9th Avenue in Oakland Park at 2:20 a.m. less than an hour and a half later, and at the Publix at 4121 W. Commercial Boulevard in Tamarac at 4:25 a.m. on Aug. 6.

At midnight on Aug. 7, the pair struck at the Publix at 9300 W. Commercial Boulevard in Sunrise, and followed that up with burglaries at at least one location in Coconut Creek and Boynton Beach.

The suspects are described as white males, between 20-30 years old, both with slim builds. One was wearing a white tank top and blue jeans and the other was wearing a blue plaid shirt and blue shorts with a handkerchief covering part of his face, the BSO said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Broward CrimeStoppers at 954-493-TIPS. There's a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest.

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