Living off pleasure: Orange County authorities arrest cigarette thief in Newport

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A 62-year-old man is in police custody following a series of convenience store robberies – where the culprit had a very specific item on his list.

Orange County Sheriff’s Investigator Kevin Stewart arrested Richard Neverson of Durham earlier this week. Neverson faces 25 charges, including multiple counts of breaking and entering and robbery, with more charges likely to follow.

Neverson is charged with a four-month string of convenience store burglaries in multiple counties. There have been three break and enters in Orange County, along with others in Person County, County Durham and Wake County, starting in December 2021 and continuing through this year.

Officials say there was one clear factor linking all the robberies together: In each case, the thief stole Newport cigarettes.

Why, precisely, Newport cigarettes? The investigation is still ongoing, but this particular brand has recently made headlines. Newport is the most popular brand of menthol (mint flavored) cigarettes – and last month the FDA announced plans to ban menthol cigarettes, which researchers say appeal to younger smokers and can be particularly addictive.

In most burglaries, the culprit wore a face mask. But investigators recently got a break – when the suspect went maskless as he broke into a Cary store fitted with security cameras.

Neverson is now in the Orange County Detention Center on $66,000 bond. The investigation is still ongoing: call Investigator Stewart at 919-245-2925 if you have any information.

Photo via Orange County Sheriff’s Office.


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