Tobacco Plus targeted by thieves

Posted at 6:04 PM, Jan 23, 2019

A Lafayette convenience store is taking action after being target by thieves several times over the last few months.

According to police, the Tobacco Plus on Ambassador Caffery near Eraste Landry has been targeted six times since September.

“They’re literally taking from our livelihood. Without our store, without our customers, without our merchandise, we don’t make money,” said Ashley Alleman, Tobacco Plus Assistant Manager.

Over the last several months, people have targeted the store, stealing cigarettes and alcohol. Alleman said the suspects look for opportunity, even if it means they get caught.

“We have definitely been able to catch a good bit of the merchandise they’ve been trying to take. So, they’re growing less and less successful,” Alleman said.

When a suspect comes into the store, one typically tries to distract the cashier while the other runs through, grabbing what they can. The suspects though are caught on surveillance and often, the employees catch them in the act.

“If we see them stealing, instead of making it a huge conflict, we walk up to them and say this isn’t okay. Can I have my liquor back? Can I have my carton of cigarettes back? We try to get what we can from them when we catch them doing it so they know we are watching and see what they’re doing,” said Alleman. “It’s not okay. You’re not going to steal from us and you’re not welcomed back in our store.”

Tobacco Plus is working with Lafayette Crime Stoppers and is hopeful added attention on the store will help stop thieves.

“It looks like different individuals, but the same motive and the same things they’re doing,” said Cpl Bridgette Dugas. “It’s very specific what they’re targeting. We will definitely be able to put these individuals on our social media pages and elsewhere to make sure we identify them.”

Alleman said, “It’s not okay and you will get caught. We are going to catch you.”

If you have any information on these crimes, call Lafayette Crime Stoppers at 337-232-TIPS.