Caught on camera: Rooftop cigarette burglar

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by Larry Seward / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on January 18, 2013 at 7:51 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 18 at 7:51 PM

HOUSTON – A man broke into a liquor store using part of an air conditioning unit. 

In recent months and weeks, Chuck Patel has been paying attention to a rash of recent cigarette burglaries around Houston. He prepared. His store has multiple locks on each door, burglar bars and surveillance cameras. However, it was not enough Friday morning.

Just before 2 a.m., surveillance video showed a large piece of the A/C unit crash through the ceiling. A man climbed out with his face covered. He walked to the cashier’s counter then emptied a trash can. The thief used the trash bag to carry cartons of stolen cigarettes. Minutes later, the man took off, climbing out through the roof once he heard police coming.

Store owner Chuck Patel said his store suffered at least $12,000 worth of damage. The burglar destroyed the store’s most expensive liquor display.

“We are setting up all this liquor according to the price from high to low with the highest priced (liquor) in the front (which was destroyed),” Patel said.

Houston police are hoping the surveillance video helps them track down the burglar. Anyone with informatio on this incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers of Houston at 713-222-TIPS (8477).

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