Suspected cigarette thief behind bars

SEATTLE - A suspected serial cigarette thief is behind bars this morning.

On October 28th, security cameras at a Pioneer Square convenience store captured a man smashing his way through the front door of the business and fleeing the scene with dozens of packs of cigarettes.

On Tuesday, detectives were driving around the International District working an unrelated case when they spotted the suspected smoke thief on the street.

Detectives spoke with the man, who had an unrelated warrant and arrested him.  After searching the man's backpack, they found 137 packs of cigarettes, which the suspect claimed he had found.

Detectives booked the 54-year-old suspect into the King County Jail for burglary.

They're also investigating whether or not the suspect is connected to two other recent cigarette heists at Seattle convenience stores.

Early Monday morning, a burglar pried open security bars at a convenience store on Airport Way S. and made off with 15 boxes of cigarettes, worth about $1,000.

Two days earlier, someone also broke into a Seward Park convenience store and took cigarettes and Rockstar energy drinks.