Detectives hope to identify man who broke into Steele Creek tobacco shop

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) — Detectives from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department are hoping to identify the man responsible for the break-in at a Steele Creek tobacco store.

The incident happened shortly after 7 p.m. on Sunday, January 9, at the smokers’ depot. The business is located in a shopping center off South Tryon Street.

“We don’t know what they broke a window with. It is not known if they were armed. We’re just lucky no one was hurt, no one was inside the business at the time,” said Detective Rick Smith, CMPD Crime Stoppers Coordinator.

According to a police report, the man who broke into the business took cash and hundreds of dollars worth of Newport cigarettes. The company is located directly across from CMPD’s Steele Creek Division Headquarters.

Smith said it’s not uncommon for someone to commit a crime near a police station.

“It’s a little surprising, but we’ve seen it before,” Smith said. “This guy here probably didn’t realize he was right in front of the police station.”

Footage from company surveillance cameras shows the suspected burglar appeared to be wearing a face mask, blue jeans, a dark vest and shirt, a purple and white Charlotte Hornets hat and brightly colored gloves.

“We’re asking the public to take a look at the photos we’ve provided and if you know him, we’re asking you to give us a call,” Smith said.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (704) 334-1600. Tipsters can remain anonymous and they can receive a cash reward if they have information that leads to an arrest. Community members can also submit crime tips through the P3 Tips app.

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Mark M. Gagnon