Okla. man suspected of being the serial cigarette burglar busted

Posted on: 10:10 pm, January 17, 2014, by

MOORE, Okla. – Police have swiped the man suspected of being the serial cigarette burglar.

Investigators say Steven Barnett hit up three stores in four days back in November.
He stole nothing but smokes and lots of them.

Surveillance video inside one store shows a man come in with a trash can, jump the counter and rake cigarettes into the bin.

The man police arrested is a man one of the victims knows.
“I do think I recognize the face,” said Brian Snyder.

Snyder and his wife have owned TK Mart off Main and Broadway in Moore for seven years. They’ve seen a lot of faces, but none of them have ended up on the wrong side of the counter until now.

“Probably greeted him when he came in the morning and offered coffee and stuff,” said Snyder. “And get repaid that way.”

Police say Barnett hit up two other stores that same week: KZ MArt and the Conoco at NW 27th and Janeway.

Once inside, video shows him grabbing the goods and running. A move most customers couldn’t imagine.

“That’s outrageous. That’s crazy,” said Sean Chestnut. “I’d quit if I couldn’t afford them.”

Police believe he wasn’t just smoking them. They say he was likely selling them on the streets.
“Taking money straight out of our pockets,” said Snyder.

An accused Barnett didn’t even have to touch the money in their registers. A smoke swipe Snyder never saw coming.

“He was just in and out of here so quick.”

Oklahoma City Police eventually ran into Barnett and arrested him in a neighborhood off SE 39th St.

He faces two counts of burglary and possession of a controlled dangerous substance.