Officers Catch Cigarette Thief near Burglarized Convenience Stores

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DATE/TIME: January 8, 2012 at 5:38 a.m.

LOCATION: South Glen Avenue and West Swann Avenue

SUSPECT: Johnny Thompson, B/M, DOB: 2/27/1954, 1514 North Florida Avenue, Tampa


Tampa Police detectives charged the suspect known as the “cigarette bandit” with breaking into three convenience stores to steal large quantities of cigarettes. On January 8th, two Rapid Offender Control (ROC) squads were patrolling the area where many of the burglaries were committed. The officers spotted a man matching the burglar’s description riding a bicycle. They attempted to talk with the man at Henderson Avenue and Horatio Avenue, but he fled on his bike. The suspect jumped off his bike, threw down a pry bar and tried to scale a wall to escape. He was taken into custody.

When officers made contact with Johnny Thompson he was wearing the same clothing as the suspect in the convenience store burglaries. He was uncooperative with detectives and refused to answer any questions.
Thompson was already on probation for burglary. He was also in violation of his court-ordered curfew. Officers booked him into the Orient Road Jail for Violation of Probation and Possession of Burglary Tools. On January 10th, detectives charged Thompson with Burglary of an Unoccupied Structure (3 counts), Grand Theft (2 counts) and Petit Theft after further latent investigation. Additional charges are still pending.

Janelle McGregor

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