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Posted on Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 12:05 p.m.

Police: Cigarette heist could be related to others in the past month

By John Counts

Police believe cigarettes stolen in Ypsilanti Township Tuesday morning could be linked to others.

Officers responded to an alarm at the Target 2 Party Store located at 4 N. Hewitt Rd. around 6 a.m. Tuesday. The store's front door had been forced open and the suspect or suspects only targeted cigarettes, police said.

Investigators from the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office think the burglary could be linked to a handful of similar crimes in Washtenaw, Monroe and Lenawee counties in the last month.

"We're investigating this to see if there's any correlation and to see if they're related to other burglaries in other jurisdictions," said Sgt. Geoff Fox.

There are no suspects in Tuesday morning's burglary, but police continue to investigate it along with the other cases.

On Sunday morning, intruders stole a large amount of cigarettes from Harvest Liquor Store in Ypsilanti Township, located at 1645 Holmes Rd. As in the Target 2 Party Store break-in, the front doors were forced open.

Fox said the method of operation also is similar to two other break-ins that occurred on Jan. 4. At 2:50 a.m. on that date, deputies responded to an alarm at the Citgo gas station located at 5680 Jackson Ave., in Scio Township. The front glass door was smashed and a large amount of cigarettes were stolen.

That same morning, at 3:37 a.m., deputies responded to an alarm at a Mobil gas station located at 7177 Dexter-Ann Arbor Road in Dexter. Cigarettes were stolen in that incident, as well, Fox said.

The methods used and the fact that cigarettes were targeted in the break-ins have police thinking they are linked.

"It leads you to believe they are related and that the same people are doing them," Fox said, adding there have been similar incidences in other counties that may be connected.

Anyone with information on these incidents is encouraged to call the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office anonymous tip line at 734-973-7711 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800 SPEAK UP (773-2587).

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John Counts covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 3:31 a.m.

Michigan thought a good way to reduce cigarette smoking would be to make them (vastly) more expensive, they thereby became a valuable (and highly portable) commodity. "Excellent" economics, eh? At various times in the past, organized crime used truckloads of hijacked cigarettes as "easy funding" for greater crimes. I guess no one thought to think like organized crime operators. The state of Michigan: one of the worst squanderers of revenue from cigarettes. Virtually NO credible quit smoking programs but lots of taxes and other window dressing for incompetent thinkers.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 2 a.m.

The No-Smoke Health Advocates will applaud this crime!

Richard Carter

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 2:08 p.m.

How so? Legal or illegal, they're going to be just as smoked.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 1:38 a.m.

better check out craigslist,theres some guy in melvindale selling large quanitys of cigs cheap. Just a thought

Susan Ursus

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 12:19 a.m.

Should be easy to catch the culprits: just check records to see what prisoners paroled the day before the first burglary.


Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 6:34 p.m.

I know how to become a wealthy man. Rob liqour stores of all the cigarretes. GREAT PLAN