MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) – New security measures are being forged at two Memphis stores following a string of targeted burglaries.
Hibbett Sports and City Gear were targeted by thieves Thursday morning.
Around 3:15 a.m., thieves stole about $15,000 worth of merchandise from the City Gear on Lamar Avenue.
The same day around 4:30 a.m., they tried to nab for more—attempting to break into Hibbett Sports on Summer Avenue.
A security guard nearby told police he saw two Infinitis pull up to the store.
Four men shattered the glass doors and then took off.
Three Memphis police officers were hurt in a car crash while on the way to an attempted burglary.
Hibbett Sports and City Gear CEO Mike Longo said he’s taking precautionary steps to protect his employees and secure his properties.
Longo said he’s implemented some non-lethal security such as canines, live camera monitoring with MPD, funding Crime Stoppers, and more.
Longo has dubbed them ‘stop-gap measures’— just until city officials can regain control.
Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland, perplexed by the rise in crime as well, blames the break-ins on the court system, saying criminals are not being punished.
”We could see a significant reduction in a relatively short amount of time, if our court system moved quicker, and was harsher with its penalties,” Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland consoled.
So far this year, Memphis police say Hibbets Sports has been burglarized four times and 19 times at City Gear locations.
Strickland said he fears if the court system does not hold criminals accountable crime could affect Memphis’ economy.
”We’ve not had massive store relocation outside of Memphis, but I think we’re on the precipice of something like that happening,” said Strickland.
Longo said he expects to have his plan finalized soon and should be able to publicize it next week.
He’s also calling on Governor Bill Lee to make the augmented Tennessee Highway Patrol in Shelby County permanent.
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