Four Houston men have been arrested for their roles in stealing cigarettes from at least two Dollar General stores in the Houston area.

Mont Belvieu police said officers were called to the Dollar General Store in the 11400 block of Eagle Drive just before 5 a.m. Monday.

Upon arrival, police found a black man sitting in a vehicle in the parking lot.

Later, three other suspects were seen leaving the front of the store carrying several large containers full of cigarettes.

Police said the suspects then took off running to a nearby open field and as they ran away, they dropped the stolen cigarettes.

Officers arrested the suspect who was sitting in the vehicle, and after searching the area, were able to find the remaining three suspects.

The four suspects are identified as:

  • Dunte Darell Hardy, 23
  • Jessie Clifton Hunter, 20
  • Tori Terrell Ruffins, 21
  • Joshua Thornton, 24

>>Click here to view photos of all four suspects.

The suspects were charged with burglary of a building and engaging in organized criminal activity. Their bond was set at $40,000 each and they are being held in the Chambers County Jail.

Mont Belvieu said further investigation revealed that the suspects had previously burglarized the Dollar General Store in Winnie. There they had also stolen a large amount of cigarettes. Those cigarettes were found in the trunk of the suspect's vehicle and later turned over to the Chambers County Sheriff's Office.

Mont Belvieu police contacted the Texas Rangers for their help in the investigation and learned that similar burglaries were reported at Dollar General Stores in the Beaumont, Conroe and Houston areas.

Authorities in those areas have been made aware of these arrests.