Virginia State police arrest North Carolina man in cigarette sca - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Virginia State police arrest North Carolina man in cigarette scam

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WYTHE CO. – A North Carolina man faces multiple charges following an investigation by the Virginia State Police into a conspiracy to steal cigarettes from a Wythe County convenience store.

Virginia State Police Trooper C.A. Thompson arrested Ming Keang Louie, 64, of Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday (Feb. 20) on one count of conspiring to steal cigarettes valued over $200, one count of stealing cigarettes valued at $200 or more, and two counts of committing larceny of property with a value of over $200 with the intent to sell or distribute such property.

During the past six months, Louie was frequenting a Wythe County convenience store several times a week to purchase multiple cartons of name-brand cigarettes. With the help of a store employee, Louie was charged for the cigarettes at a significantly lesser cost. The store's owner estimates the scam has resulted in losses to the store in excess of $50,000.

Louie was taken into custody without incident and held at the New River Regional Jail in Dublin, Va.

The investigation by Trooper Thompson, with the assistance of the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation's Wytheville Field Office, remains ongoing at this time.

 "There is a possibility that other area businesses may also have been victimized by this individual," said Trooper Thompson. "Therefore, we encourage store owners to evaluate their inventory and if they have any concerns or recognize the individual to please contact Virginia State Police."

 

Virginia State Police can be reached at (276) 228-3131 or by emailing the Area 26 Office in Wytheville at Area26@vsp.virginia.gov.

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