Cigarette bandit strikes again

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The Newport cigarette bandit strikes again. Police have issued a "be-on-the-lookout" for an armed robber who likes quick cash and only one kind of smoke.

In August, we saw a young man with a slim build, a gun and a knapsack hold-up the Food Mart on Central.

Three months and three convenience stores later, police are convinced the same robber hit the 7-Eleven gas station on Old Concord Road.

"The clerk was cleaning up in the store, dumping the mat outside. He had headphones on," said CMPD Detective Marty Cuthbertson, "and when he turned around to come back in the store, an individual came up behind him."

He came up behind with a gun drawn. This time, surveillance showed him heavily disguised. He marched the store clerk around behind the counter where he demanded money.

He collected $80 dollars from the cash registers. Then, he grabbed a handful of candy. And, he stuck cigarettes in his sack-- Newport cigarettes-- the same brand he took in all four stickups.

That was a real tip off for police.

"No question, even the description fits, same build same clothing type, demanding cigarettes from behind the counter, same guy, same guy."

When he ran out of the store, he ran past a screening wall and toward Newell Presbyterian Church.

"There's a wall on the side of the building. It's kind of like a good place for folks to hide and the employees don't feel safe because of that wall and because of the darkness out here."

Police dogs tracked the robber's scent for 200-300 yards before losing the scent. If you have wind of who he is, help police get him off the streets before something bad happens. (704) 334-1600 is the Crime Stoppers number and you could earn a reward.

And don't forget you can download the new Crime Stoppers app for your smart phone. You can get it free on our website,

Copyright 2013 WBTV. All rights reserved