Tulsa Police: Woman Admits To Stealing $100,000 In Cigarettes

Tuesday, April 6th 2021, 9:27 pm
By: News On 6, Amy Avery

TULSA, Oklahoma -

Tulsa Police have arrested a woman they say has stolen more than $100,000 worth of cigarettes from local stores.

Police said Jessica Barnett admitted to stealing cigarettes from a different Walgreens store every day for the past month.

“I mean we filled probably four police cars full of cigarettes,” said Tulsa Police Lt. Billy White. 

White said he noticed a big increase in cigarette theft reports in the past month. That's when they started pulling surveillance video and noticed a trend.

“A lot of times, they would just wait until the clerk went to the bathroom or was assisting someone else and then they would just run behind the counter and grab as many as they could and run out,” said Lt. White. 

Officers arrested Jessica Barnett after she was caught on camera inside a Walgreens stealing cigarettes. They say Barnett admitted to several of the thefts. 

Barnett also told officers she was selling them to a Tulsa convenience store.  

White said they went to that store and the Oklahoma Tax Commison helped officers use the tax stamps to see where the cigarettes had been stolen from.

“They were able to come in and say this distributer only sells to Walgreens or this distributer only sells to QuikTrip” said White. 

Stores like Walgreens and QuikTrip also have a lot of security in place to help police when something like this happens.

"Everything's under lock and key, and of course you know, we have 24-hour surveillance at all of our locations where you can hear the audio and see the visual of everything that's going on,” said QuikTrip Corporate Communications Manager Aishia Jefferson-Smith. 

Jefferson-Smith said because they want to help put thieves behind bars.

“We work closely with those guys because we will prosecute if there's any sort of theft that comes from our locations,” said Jefferson-Smith. 

Tulsa Police say one person is still on the run at this time.