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Nearly $1,500 worth of cigarettes stolen

COVINGTON - A man apparently was able to successfully shoplift $1,445 worth of cigarettes from the Golden Pantry at 3538 Salem Road, according to an incident report from the Newton County Sheriff's Office.

No arrests have been made in connection with the theft, which is believed to have occurred about 7:15 p.m. Sunday. The theft went undetected until just after midnight when the cashier was closing the store and noticed a box containing 34 cartons of Newport cigarettes was missing from behind the cash register, the report states.

A security tape showed two suspects in the store about 7:15, one of whom caused a spill in one of the aisles.

"While (the cashier) was in the aisle cleaning up, she noticed that the suspect appeared nervous. He also complained he injured his finger when he knocked over the item that fell," the report stated.

The tape then revealed that when the cashier was distracted, "a second suspect went behind the counter, got on his knees and placed the cartons of cigarettes in a black plastic bag. He left the store carrying the plastic bag which contained the cigarettes."

The first suspect is described as a black man, 16 to 17 years old, 5 feet, 5 inches tall, weighing 170 pounds, with short black hair and wearing a white shirt and baggy blue jeans. The second suspect is described as a thin-built black man with short black hair and wearing a black polo shirt and blue jeans.

NCSO spokesman Lt. Mark Mitchell said the investigation into the incident is ongoing.

Anyone with information on this incident should call the NCSO at 678-625-1400. Tips can be given to the NCSO anonymously at 678-625-5007 or through their Web site at www.newtonsheriffga.org and by clicking on "anonymous tip line." Those who want a response from NCSO personnel should leave contact information.

Barbara Knowles can be reached at barbara.knowles@newtoncitizen.com.