Police investigate increasing trend of cigarette burglaries - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Police investigate increasing trend of cigarette burglaries

It's a crime that keeps happening in Memphis and keeps getting caught on tape: Crooks break into a business, bypass the cash, and head right for the tobacco.

According to Major Billy Garrett of the Memphis Police Department, the recent trend of cigarette burglaries has accounted for almost half of all burglaries in the city.

"Recently, we have a trend of a lot of cigarettes being stolen here locally.  It accounts for fifty percent of our business burglaries," he said.

Garrett says stolen cigs are a big commodity on the streets.

"It's easy to sell on the street," he said. "There's a lot of people with a smoking habit. They can exchange for drugs or hook up with other individuals out of states."

Police have solved several of these "caught on tape" cigarette thefts, but Major Garrett said it's tough sometimes to prove their case.

"It's hard to trace," Garrett said. "It's hard to determine if you catch this individual with so many cartons of cigarettes exactly where they came from."

Garrett believes many of the cigarettes stolen in Memphis stay in Memphis though some head up North where cigarette taxes are high.

Powered by Frankly