Burglars Plunder Alec Bradley Warehouse

A group of masked men broke into the Hollywood, Florida, warehouse where Alec Bradley Cigars stores its inventory, making off with more than half a million dollars worth of the company's finest cigars.

The burglars cut a hole through the roof of the building using a high-powered saw, said Alan Rubin, owner of Alec Bradley, and gained access to the humidified warehouse. Using forklifts, they moved cases of cigars out to a stolen truck and made away with the merchandise, worth approximately $300,000 at wholesale, or nearly $600,000 at the retail level.

The break-in occurred early on the morning of September 7, a Saturday. Rubin initially kept the incident quiet during the search for the criminals, who remain at large. "We didn't want to say anything because of the investigation," Rubin told Cigar Aficionado. He changed his mind, he said, when he heard of people in the northeast United States being approached with offers of buying Alec Bradley cigars at a steep discount.

Danny DeVito portrait.

Among the items taken were cigars packed in bundles that are normally packed in boxes. "We don't sell Prensado in bundles," said Rubin. But the company puts samples of Prensado in bundles for events. "They stole bundles of a lot of our boxed product," he said.

Rubin, who provided Cigar Aficionado with several photographs of the intruders taken by security cameras, said the theft would temporarily impact his supplies. The burglars, who he called well-organized, targeted some of his most in-demand products, including Alec Bradley Prensado, Nica Puro, Black Market and Alec Bradley Connecticut. Rubin said he and his workers were still going through the inventory to get a precise account of what was stolen.

This isn't the first time cigar warehouses have been targets of crime. As recently as July, a group of six burglars broke into the Tamarac, Florida, warehouse of Florida Distributors Inc. and made off with about $250,000 worth of Dutch Masters machine-made cigars, according to NBC news. They also went through the roof, and have not been apprehended.

The men responsible for the Alec Bradley burglary remain at large and are believed to be trying to sell the stolen merchandise in the northeast. Rubin urged anyone who is approached with offers of Alec Bradley cigars to call local authorities.

"A lot of cigar makes are tagging their cigars with high prices that's probably the reason their cigars were stolen because of the high prices they tag their handmade cigars with I heard about a cigar company that makes a lot of handmade premium cigars and sales them for low affordable prices and they never had their merchandise stolen because everyone can buy their cigars even if the people that want a box of ten handmade premium cigars only have 20 dollars to spend on cigars and they want ten 7x70 cigars they can get ten for ten or ten for fifteen and I have had the great ten for ten or the ten for fifteen 7x70 cigars from the cigar maker I'm talking about but I'm not going to say the name of the cigar maker and I'm not going to say the name of their company because they don't make enough cigars to keep up with customer demands mostly because they make specific blends for their customers and I had once asked them if they could make a specific blend for me I then told them I wanted a cigar that has a fruity and peppery sweet aroma and flavor almost like freshly made cinnamon candy and they made it for me and it was exactly what I wanted." —January 3, 2014 20:04 PM
"I wonder how diligent the authorities will be in trying to apprehend these guys being that us cigar smokers & manufacturers are no better than the Devil himself. ;-)" —September 21, 2013 13:57 PM
"I would bet Mr Rubin will consider better security. As we can see cameras are waste of money, you get to see hooded figures steal your product. A decent alarm system on a wireless alert so lines cannot be cut or better yet a live guard, much cheaper than losing that inventory," —September 20, 2013 16:27 PM
"9/18/13, Don't trust this gov't in the matter; you could be hero & villain simultaneously. Even if the purveyor got his merchandise back, he probably couldn't trust they weren't contaminated in some way. the best remedy is for Alec B. to reinforce his facility." —September 18, 2013 15:27 PM
"If the FDA gets its way, we'll probably be seeing a lot of black market Black Markets (and every other premium cigar). But there is no excuse for this kind of behavior. My comment is not intended to condone it." —September 17, 2013 19:34 PM
"Looks like they'll be some black market, Black Markets." —September 17, 2013 18:18 PM