A Wilmington man's cigarette-stealing spree came to an end early last Friday.


A Wilmington man's cigarette-stealing spree came to an end early last Friday.

Police say 30-year-old Mark Mulrooney had been stealing Newport Cigarettes from convenience stores since April 18. Each time he stole two cartons and each time, police say the store clerks offered a detailed description of Mulrooney and his car.

The first two incidents happened back on April 18, when police say Mulrooney walked into the Gas Way at 1607 Philadelphia Pike, asked for two cartons and then ran out of the store with them without paying. A few hours later, the Mulrooney entered the Philadelphia Pike Cumberland Farms and again stole two cartons.

Four days later, Mulrooney walked into a Hess Station on N. DuPont Highway.  After grabbing a bottle of soda, he walked up to the service counter and asked the clerk for the cigarettes, and again ran out without paying.

Two hours later, he walked into the Cumberland Farms on Basin Road and asked for more Newports. This time, when the clerk went to ring up the sale, police say Mulrooney handed over what the clerk believed to be a credit card to pay. The clerk started to ring up the sale and Mulrooney ran out with the cigarettes. The credit card turned out to be a pre-paid phone card.

Just after midnight on April 23, a Trooper responded to the Wawa on N. DuPont Highway for a report of the same crime - the theft of two cartons of cigarettes. The officer found Mulrooney in his red Cavalier - the same vehicle reported by other clerks - in the parking lot of the Universal Gas Sation at Memorial Drive.

Police say Mulrooney was planning on selling the cigarettes on the street. He was arrested and charged with five counts of shoplifting, before being released on a $2,500 unsecured bond.