Friday, August 19, 2011

Arrest Made In Cigarette Theft Ring

One man was arrested Wednesday and police were looking for two others following thousands of dollars in cigarette thefts.

On July 19, two men broke into a Sinclair gas station, 2322 E. 4500 South, about 3:10 a.m., and immediately started filling garbage bags with cigarettes.

"Hundreds of packs of cigarettes store were taken worth thousands of dollars," said Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal.

At one point, one of the men took a small trash can and also filled it with cigarettes. The entire operation lasted only a minute, he said.

A woman stood outside the store as a lookout while the two men grabbed the loot. A store surveillance camera recorded the crime. Copies of the video were distributed to the media, which soon led to a tip that broke the case, Hoyal said.

Sean Clos, 27, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of felony burglary and felony theft. Investigators say they have identified the two others believed to be involved and were working to take them into custody.

The group is believed to be responsible for four or five cigarette burglaries in the valley, Hoyal said. Investigators believe the cheap cigarettes were being traded for drugs. Details about who was receiving the online cigarettes and handing out drugs were still being investigated.

Clos' criminal history includes charges of felony theft and various misdemeanors dating back to 2002.

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