Owner of Louisville e-cigarette shops offering $2,500 reward after break-ins
Police are investigating after thousands of dollars worth of e-cigarettes and cash were stolen from two Louisville businesses in the past few days.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Police are investigating after thousands of dollars worth of e-cigarettes and cash were stolen from two Louisville businesses in the past few days.
Troy LeBlanc, the owner of Derb E Cigs on Poplar Level Road, said that two of his stores have been burglarized since Wednesday. He said the latest break-in happened early Friday morning at the Poplar Level location.
Surveillance video shows one person in a white sweatshirt throwing a cinder block through the front doors of the the shop around 3:45 a.m.
LeBlanc, who owns six e-cigarette shops across Louisville and southern Indiana, said the suspect entered the store and stole from the cash register, along with expensive vaping products.
LeBlanc said it's the second break-in at the store this year.
Early Wednesday morning, the Derb E Cigs store on Shelbyville Road in Middletown was the target of another smash-and-grab burglar that took cash from the register and vaping products.
LeBlanc said he's out between $4,000 and $6,000 in cash and merchandise after the break-ins. He thinks the same person is responsible for both burglaries.
"I don't know if I should go to sleep tonight," LeBlanc said. "Should I go out at 3 o'clock in the morning? Should I drive from store to store? I mean, what should I do? So I think that's the hardest part. The cash definitely hurts, but at the same time, it's more piece of mind."
Another vape shop was broken into during the early morning hours Thursday. Ryan Burkhead owns Vapor Lab on Outer Loop and said someone threw a cinder block through the glass door and ran off with two bottles of e-liquid and both cash registers. He said both registers were empty, and the products were only worth $30. However, he said the thief cause around $2,800 in damage in the process.
"I think the most important thing is just for everyone to be aware and be vigilant," Burkhead said. "And I believe that this individual has been in each of these stores before."
The two shop owners believe the three break-ins could be connected and are working together to compare surveillance video.
"Video shows the exact same person, "wearing the exact same items, driving the exact same car," LeBlanc said.
LMPD is handling the investigation, but so far no arrests have been made. A spokesperson for LMPD said since all cases are open and active, they cannot be definitively connected.
LeBlanc is offering a $2,500 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons involved. Anyone with information can call the LMPD crime tipline at 574-LMPD (574-5673). All calls are anonymous.
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