Man accused of burglarizing Clearwater stores for $5,000 in cigarettes

CLEARWATER — A Clearwater man robbed six area convenience stores of more than $5,000 worth of cigarettes, then turned around and sold them, police say.

Leon Brooks, 48, faces felony charges of commercial burglary (six counts) and dealing in stolen property (two counts). He was being held in the Pinellas County Jail on $80,000 bail.

Additional charges are pending.

According to Clearwater police, the burglaries began April 14.

"In each of the cases, the suspect smashed out the windows of convenience stores and stole cartons of cigarettes," police spokeswoman Elizabeth Watts said.

All the incidents occurred in Clearwater.

A Walgreens at 814 Cleveland St., which had $1,650 worth of cigarettes stolen, was the hardest hit. The Munchees Food Store at 1808 Sunset Point Road had $1,200 in losses, police said.

Detectives received tips that Brooks was selling the cigarettes on the street.

Brooks, who police say is a transient, was located at a residence on N Osceola Street and taken into custody without incident.

Keith Niebuhr can be reached at kniebuhr@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4156.

Man accused of burglarizing Clearwater stores for $5,000 in cigarettes 05/01/09 [Last modified: Friday, May 1, 2009 8:41pm]

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