Convenience Store Employees in Florida Fall Victim to Bogus Cigarette Scam

The Broward Sheriff's Office and other Florida law enforcement officials are looking for a 26-year-old man wanted for duping gas station clerks out of thousands of dollars in cash and cigarettes.

Detectives believe Derrick Lamar Lewis is responsible for at least three scam incidents in Broward County within the last month.

In an Oct. 4 case in Dania Beach, a man called the 7-Eleven store at 205 East Dania Beach Blvd. to tell the manager her husband was in a car crash. After the manager left the store, a clerk received a phone call from a man saying he was a 7-Eleven executive coming by to pick up expired cigarettes.

The suspect, whom law enforcement identified as Lewis, soon arrived at the store wearing a red 7-Eleven apron. The clerk helped him load about 489 cartons of cigarettes into his car.

Lewis got away with between $12,000 and $15,000 worth of cigarettes, according to BSO.

Detectives again found Lewis on surveillance video at a Dania Beach Circle K store at 701 South Federal Highway on Oct. 14. He entered the store at around 7:15 p.m., identified himself as a Circle K employee and left with more than $29,000 worth of cigarettes, according to BSO.

BSO also believes he scammed a clerk at a Pompano Beach 7-Eleven on Sept. 23.

Lewis has active warrants for grand theft in Dania Beach and Cocoa Beach.

BSO spokeswoman Veda Coleman-Wright said the sheriff's office is working closely with law enforcement agencies in Palm Beach County, where police believe Lewis is responsible for more scams.