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TMCNet:  Cops nab serial cigarette theft suspect

[January 15, 2013]

Cops nab serial cigarette theft suspect

EDMOND, Jan 15, 2013 (The Edmond Sun - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- A fractured car tail light led to the arrest of a cigarette theft suspect, police said.

Police spokeswoman Jenny Monroe said in December the Edmond Police Department released video of a man at an Edmond Walmart Neighborhood Market who went behind a counter and took $348 worth of cigarettes without paying for them.

"We had a similar crime earlier this month with similar suspect information and vehicle description," Monroe said.

On Friday, Edmond officers pulled over a vehicle in a routine traffic stop with a male driver who refused to give correct information and identity, Monroe said.

The stop was initiated by Police Officer Jason Carroll who was driving west in the 600 block of West Danforth Road when he noticed a vehicle coming from the east, according to an incident report filed by Carroll. It did not have an operating license plate and the driver's side tail light was partially broken, Carroll stated.

The Pontiac Firebird stopped in the 1200 block of North Fretz where the officer asked for the driver's license and insurance, Carroll stated. The male said he left his license at home, and gave the officer bogus name and date of birth information; he gave the officer a second bogus date of birth, the report stated.

"He then told me 'you know who I am,'" referring to his legitimate date of birth, Carroll stated.

Carroll stated that he arrested the male on a driving without a valid driver's license traffic citation and on an obstructing an officer complaint for attempting to conceal his identity.

Officer Jason Rigsby assisted because the vehicle stopped matched the description of a suspect who was allegedly stealing cigarettes from Walmart, Carroll stated.

Carroll and Rigsby passed the information on to Detective Tommy Evans, who was working the larceny cases, Carroll stated. Evans came to the station and took over the investigation.

On Dec. 12, Edmond Police Officer Jeff Smith responded to a reported larceny at the Walmart Neighborhood Market, 1301 E. Second St., according to an incident report filed by Smith. In that incident, six cartons of cigarettes worth $348.78 were reported stolen, Smith stated. A black male with short hair in his late 30s who was 6 feet tall and weighed about 180 pounds was identified as a suspect, the report stated.

On Jan. 13, Rigsby was dispatched to the same Walmart store where a black male jumped the counter and took several cartons of cigarettes worth $115.82, according to an incident report filed by Rigsby. The reporting party said it was the same person involved in the previous incident, Rigsby stated.

On surveillance video Rigsby spotted the suspect getting into an orange Pontiac Trans Am or Firebird, the report stated.

The EPD has recommended charges to the Oklahoma County District Attorney's office against Lonell William Wrenn, 49, of Oklahoma City, in regard to the two cigarette larceny incidents, Monroe said.

As of Tuesday morning, the suspect was incarcerated in the county jail, according to jail records. His bond was set at $5,000. -- 341-2121, ext. 108 ___ (c)2013 The Edmond Sun (Edmond, Okla.) Visit The Edmond Sun (Edmond, Okla.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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