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Published: Friday, 8/15/2008

Cigarette thief turns himself in to police

BLADE STAFF
A man twice looked over the counter where the clerk was shot, videotape shows. A man twice looked over the counter where the clerk was shot, videotape shows.
TOLEDO POLICE HANDOUT; NOT BLADE Enlarge

The man caught on video stealing cigarettes from a BP gas station 20 minutes after a clerk was shot to death has turned himself into Toledo police.

Michael Johnson, 36, came forward early Friday to speak about the incident with police. He admitted to having stolen the cigarettes, but denied seeing Matthew Dugan s body behind the counter after he was killed during a robbery Wednesday morning. Mr. Johnson, of 1210 Elysian Ave., has been charged with petty theft and failure to report a crime or knowledge of death.

A surveillance video released Thursday showed that a man entered the convenience store at 3306 Dorr St. at about 7:20 a.m., 20 minutes after the 34-year-old Mr. Dugan was shot behind the counter during a robbery. The video showed the man leaning over the counter to take a pack of cigarettes before leaving.

"It d be hard to miss [the body] the way he reached over the counter," Deputy Chief Don Kenney said Thursday. "We think that was extremely cold."

From earlier editions of toledoblade.com.

About 20 minutes after a BP gas station clerk was fatally shot during a robbery, a man walked into the store, saw the victim behind the counter, and stole a pack of cigarettes before leaving, a surveillance video shows.

Deputy Chief Don Kenney said police need help identifying the man, who could potentially be charged with failure to report a crime and theft if he is apprehended.

"It'd be hard to miss [the body] the way he reached over the counter," the deputy chief said. "We think that was extremely cold."

The surveillance video also shows a female customer in the store at the same time.

The man entered the convenience store at 3306 Dorr St. about 7:20 a.m. Wednesday and looked over the gas station's sales counter "obviously being able to see the victim who was on the floor suffering from a gunshot wound," Capt. Ray Carroll said in a news release issued yesterday.

The victim, Matthew Dugan, 34, had been shot in the back of the head by a robber about 7 a.m.

The man casually walked around the convenience store, looked behind the counter again, and waited for the woman to leave. Once she left, he stretched over the counter, stole a pack of cigarettes, and left without paying, police said.

Police were called to the scene about 7:45 a.m. after a woman walked into the store to buy cigarettes, saw Mr. Dugan's body, and called 911.

Mr. Dugan had worked at the gas station about two months after he was laid off from his full-time job as a production assistant at Great Lakes Window.

The suspected gunman, Anthony Belton, 22, and the alleged driver of the getaway car, Dymon Bolton, 18, were arrested yesterday, police said.

Anyone who knows the identity of the man or has information about the incident is asked to call Crime Stopper at 419-255-1111.



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