Man accused of stealing, reselling $50,000 in cigarettes along newspaper route

David Morales, 47, charged with burglary

SAN ANTONIO, TX – Police have caught up with a man they believe stole nearly $50,000 worth of cigarettes from convenience stores.

David Morales, 47, is accused of breaking into nearly a dozen convenience stores and stealing tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of cigarettes, then reselling the stolen goods.

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Morales worked as a newspaper delivery man and would target businesses along his early morning route, officer Douglas Greene, public information officer for the San Antonio Police Department, said. Greene added the list of stores that were hit included mostly Corner Stores on the Northwest Side of the city.

He said detectives investigating the break-ins noticed a pattern between the locations that were targeted and Morales’ regular route. 

“He would then go to mom-and-pop operations and resell those packages (of cigarettes),” Greene said. “It’s my understanding that he sold approximately $40,000 to $50,000 of cigarettes.” He said investigators, so far, have been able to recover about 1,000 packages of those stolen cigarettes.

Greene said the investigation is continuing and also focusing on some of the businesses suspected of buying them. He said detectives made several arrests last month at LS Food Mart in the 9100 block of Timber Path.

“The stores are required to purchase cigarettes through a wholesaler or distributor,” he said. “So if they don’t do that, and they’re buying from someone off the streets, then they are in violation of the law.”

Green expects that there will be more arrests made in the near future. He said the state comptroller’s office has joined in the investigation.

Morales was booked into jail Wednesday on a charge of burglary.  However, Greene said he also expected his department to pursue other charges against him.

About the Author

Katrina Webber joined KSAT 12 in December 2009. She reports for Good Morning San Antonio. Katrina was born and raised in Queens, NY, but after living in Gulf Coast states for the past decade, she feels right at home in Texas. It's not unusual to find her singing karaoke or leading a song with her church choir when she's not on-air.

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