$4,000 worth of cigarettes stolen at gas station tracked to different gas station

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The owner of a Raleigh convenience store and one of his employees are facing charges after $4,000 worth of stolen cigarettes were found at their store.

Mohamed Saleh and Faroq Hidar are both charged under the Organized Retail Crime Prevention Act.

Matayo Seawood said Thursday night was his second day on the job at the Murphy Express on Summer Avenue at Sycamore View when three young-looking men strolled in.

“One of them came and distracted my co-worker. The other two came behind the counter,” Seawood said.

Seawood said the men started grabbing cartons of cigarettes as well as a tote full of them. When Seawood confronted one of the suspects, he said they gave the impression they had a gun.

“He walked up to me with his hand on his hip and was like, ‘What you mean, bro?’ just ‘cause I asked him if he worked here or not and I was like, I didn’t want to lose my life over no cigarettes, so I let that go,” Seawood said.

The next day, police said they got a call from the store’s loss prevention officer. Apparently, the tote full of cigarettes came with a tracking device and it was pinging at the Raleigh Express on Raleigh Millington Road.

Police say surveillance video shows Hidar unloading cigarettes from an unknown man’s car and carrying them inside the Raleigh Express. When police searched the store, they said they found a pink tote with a Murphy’s label on it.

A man who identified himself as Hidar’s uncle disputed the police account.

“The cops were lying. The cops they lie on us and we got evidence, 100 percent evidence,” the man said.

He claims the cigarettes had been purchased and that he has a receipt.

Police haven’t said if they’ve made any other arrests in this case.

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