Increase in Thefts?

POSTED: Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - 7:37pm

UPDATED: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 11:58pm

Starting tomorrow cigarettes will cost you as much as $8 a pack. Our David D’Aquin is tracking this story and found out store owners are worried they’ll see an increase in cigarette thefts.

Today you can buy a carton of cigarettes for $35. Store managers say a carton will cost you about $8 tomorrow when the new tax kicks in. It has store workers nervous. Already, many clerks have had to contend with cigarette thieves. Now, they worry the problem will escalate. No clerks wanted to go on camera, but all say they’re scared of what some people will do to get their hands on cigarettes once prices double.

Smoker reactions are mixed, some say they’ll just quit. “If you can start you can stop, so I don’t need a patch, I don’t need no gum, I’m going to boop stop.” Some smokers have already put aside some cash so they can keep up their habit. “I enjoy it, and I’m going to continue to enjoy it.” While smokers’ reactions and opinions are mixed one thing is for sure, prices are going up.

Even though clerks in Baton Rouge say they’re scared robberies will increase, the EBR Sheriff’s Office says they haven’t seen an increase in the requests for patrol at convenience stores.

Today the average price for a pack of cigarettes is about $5. By tomorrow, must retailers tell us the price for a pack will be at least $8.