Crime

Paso police arrest man in huge cigarette theft — but second suspect still on the loose

Sean Roberts, left, and Nathan Tate are suspected of stealing $3,000 worth of cigarettes from a Paso Robles Chevron station on Jan. 21. Police tracked down Roberts when he showed up in San Luis Obispo for an unrelated court hearing. Tate remains on the lam.
Sean Roberts, left, and Nathan Tate are suspected of stealing $3,000 worth of cigarettes from a Paso Robles Chevron station on Jan. 21. Police tracked down Roberts when he showed up in San Luis Obispo for an unrelated court hearing. Tate remains on the lam.

Paso Robles police have arrested one of the men suspected of stealing about $3,000 worth of cigarettes earlier in January, and are still asking for the public’s help in finding the second suspect, police said Wednesday.

The alleged theft happened about 1:30 a.m. Jan. 21 at the Chevron station at 190 Niblick Road, police said.

The gas station clerk told police that two men entered the store and one went to the back, where he dropped a glass bottle. The clerk went to clean up the mess, and when he was finished, the two men were gone. Surveillance video showed the suspects had stolen two cases of cigarettes, containing 41 total cartons, from behind the counter while the clerk was cleaning, police said.

Paso Robles police circulated the surveillance footage to local law enforcement, and officials identified the suspects as 35-year-old Sean Edward Roberts and 28-year-old Nathan Anthony Tate.

Atascadero police detectives found Roberts while he was attending an unrelated court hearing in San Luis Obispo Superior Court, police said. The detectives detained Roberts at the courthouse until Paso Robles police could get there and arrest him.

Roberts is being held at San Luis Obispo County Jail on suspicion of burglary, conspiracy to commit a crime and felony grand theft of property worth more than $400, according to jail records. He is being held in lieu of $20,000 bail.

Authorities have not yet found Tate.

Police ask anyone with information regarding Tate’s whereabouts to call Paso Robles police Detective Eric Azarvand at 805-227-7424. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 805-549-7867 or text “SLOTIPS” and your message to 274637.

Gabby Ferreira: 805-781-7858, @Its_GabbyF

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