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Elizabethton man charged with stealing cigarette cartons

Staff Report • Jan 26, 2012 at 3:41 PM

ELIZABETHTON — A man described as frequently hanging around a convenience store during evening hours has been arrested on charges of stealing cartons of cigarettes from the store.

Jeffrey Lynn Hardin, 44, 701 Allen Ave., was arrested Thursday on two counts of theft under $500. He is scheduled to answer the charge in Sessions Court on Feb. 21.

Sgt. Willard Johnson of the Ellizabethton Police Department reported that the theft at the Zoomerz on Broad Street was discovered when the store manager inventoried the cigarettes on Dec. 31. He found the inventory short and reviewed the security video.

Johnson said the video showed Hardin hanging out around the rear counter and going into the office when the clerk was distracted by customers. Johnson said the tape shows him taking cartons of cigarettes, placing them in his coat and leaving the store.

Johnson said it appeared Hardin took seven or eight cartons on each of the two nights the thefts occurred.

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