Thursday, July 9, 2009

Cigarette Price Increase Having An Unintended Consequence

Convenience stores are often the targets of crimes. Usually the crimes are armed robberies and thefts. The general modus operandi (MO) for the armed robberies is that a robber accosts the clerk with a weapons and demands cash. The theft MO is usually one of a "beer run" where the crook grabs beer or cigarettes and then runs out the door without any threat of violence or the display of a weapon.

A couple of recent incidents in Temple could signal a new trend emerging.
The first robbery was at about 11 p.m. Tuesday at Teals Exxon at 3002 Thornton Lane.

The clerk told officers the robber entered the store, displayed a gun and demanded cigarettes.

He then ran to the waiting pickup, which was last seen headed north on South 57th Street.
Then at 2 a.m. Wednesday, police responded to the 7-Eleven store at the intersection of South 57th Street and Scott Drive where the clerk told officers a man entered the store, displayed a gun, demanded cigarettes and then ran to the waiting two-door gray pickup. Source:

With the recent increase in the price of cigarettes due to taxes, cigarettes are quickly becoming high value items. While a thief will often not resort to the threat of violence to steal something of little value, it seems like the incidences of the threats of violence increase with the higher values of the targeted goods.

If this theory holds true, I bet those proponents of higher cigarette taxes didn't anticipate this unintended consequence.

1 comment:

  1. KWTX is now reporting that the two cigarette bandits have been arrested.


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