Rapper booked in big cigarette heists in Meraux and New Orleans; two others sought

An Algiers man has been booked in connection with the theft of almost $20,000 worth of cigarettes in Meraux and New Orleans, authorities said.

Two more suspects are being sought, including one known to authorities only as “Sizzlin’.”

Kevin Ventry, 41, who the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office said is also a rapper with the stage name T.T. Tucker, was arrested Monday in a coordinated effort by the Sheriff’s Office and New Orleans Police Department. Ventry is in jail in New Orleans. He is accused of the Dec. 5 theft of $8,000 worth of cigarettes from the Meraux Pit Stop in Meraux and a 2008 burglary in New Orleans in which $10,000 worth of cigarettes were stolen.

Kevin Ventry, aka T.T. Tucker

Kevin Ventry, aka T.T. Tucker

John Tillman, wanted in cigarette thefts

John Tillman, wanted in cigarette thefts

Also sought is John Glenn Tillman, 56, of Algiers, who is wanted in connection with the Meraux and New Orleans cigarette thefts. Tillman is also a suspect in a robbery in Baton Rouge and other crimes in the Hammond area, said Col. John Doran, chief of detectives for the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office.

A third suspect is also sought. Authorities only know her by her street name, “Sizzlin’.”

In the Meraux heist, nearly 200 cartons of cigarettes and a case of premium whiskey were reported stolen from the store’s storage area while the store was open for business, authorities said.

Cameras at the store picked up three people involved in the theft. The trio fled in a late model Nissan Titan, the Sheriff’s Office said.

After television stations showed the surveillance footage, Crimestoppers received a tip that T.T. Tucker was involved in the theft, St. Bernard Parish Chief Deputy Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

Pohlmann said Ventry and Tillman are both career criminals. He said authorities think they are part of a larger ring that steals cartons of cigarettes for re-sale to other stores.

“Maybe someone else would take theft of cigarettes as minor, but we believe any felony is serious and our guys take it further until it’s resolved,” Pohlmann said in the news release.

The Sheriff’s Office said Ventry is being held in New Orleans on warrents for theft and burglary. The St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office plans to book him with felony theft.

The Sheriff’s Office news release siad T.T. Tucker was a rapper who experienced some success in the early 1990s.

source: www.nola.com

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