$4K in Newport cigarettes stolen from St. Clair Shores gas station

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A thief was caught on camera stealing thousands of dollars’ worth of stolen smokes from a St. Clair Shores gas station.

Working the midnight shift at a Speedway, 18-year-old Dimond Parker still can't understand why a thief wouldn't want cash.

"I thought it was stupid, like why would you come here and steal cigarettes out of all things?" she said

Last Monday, Parker says a man pulled into the gas station on 11 Mile and Little Mack, but may have noticed it was crowded.

Police say it appears he went across the street and waited.

"He waited until the whole parking lot cleared out, pulled back up. He pretended to ask about the price of Newports. Now if you're a regular smoker, you already know the price of Newports," Parker said.

Walking behind the counter, Parker says the man threatened her and demanded she give him everything she had.

"Of course I'm thinking you're talking about cash, so I go for the register and he's like no, not cash. I want cigarettes," Parker said.

Piling packs of Newports into a garbage can, Parker says the thief walked out to a gold van waiting outside and dumped the Newports inside and came back for more.

"I didn't know if he had a weapon on him or not so that was something else to think about. I didn't know," Parker said.

He forced Parker to the back office area to grab large supply boxes of more Newports.

Apparently becoming nervous, police say the man's getaway driver took off without him, leaving him to run down 11 Mile to catch up with them.

"He runs out with the big box. He drops one behind him. He turns around, but at that time, you couldn't turn around and do anything because I locked the doors," Parker said.

The thieves got away with nearly $4,000 worth of cigarettes.

Parker is thankful she wasn't hurt and police worry about this Newport fiend's next encounter.

"Since he did this with such ease, he's going to escalate. He's going to want more, so we don't want anyone to get hurt," said Det. Gordon Carrier of St. Clair Shores police.