Police seek cigarette thief

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Rocky Mount police are searching for a man suspected of stealing cigarettes from two local stores.

The first incident occurred around 4:20 a.m. Monday at Wal-Mart when a man entered the store, went behind the counter and stole 44 packs and two cartons of cigarettes then walked out. Police said an associate approached the suspect but the man reportedly lifted his shirt to show a handgun in his waistband and then continued to walk away.

About two hours later, Rocky Mount officers responded to a similar incident at Walgreens on the 2600 block of Sunset Avenue. Officers said a man entered the store, grabbed nearly $700 worth of cigarettes and walked back out of the store.

Witness accounts of the suspect describe him as a 5-foot-9 to 6-foot tall white man, between 30 and 40 years old, weighing 225 or 230 pounds and wearing a brown shirt and blue jeans. The getaway vehicle is described as a gray or silver Ford Explorer.

“We are investigating any correlations between these cases,” said Rocky Mount police Cpl. Mike Lewis.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 977-1111 or crimestoppers@rockymountnc.gov.