(Northeast Mississippi and Southwest Tennessee) Thieves are using chains to steal store safes.
They’re doing it by cutting holes in walls then dragging the safes outside.
Their targets are Dollar General stores in northeast Mississippi and southwest Tennessee.
So far burglars have gotten away scott free and that’s a big concern for lawmen and people who live near the crime scenes.
Tracy Essary owns a business in Alcorn County, Mississippi right across the street from Kossuth’s Dollar General store.
Essary says the Dollar General store has always been a popular place for locals and now, unfortunately, for burglars too, “Well, I heard that they broke in the front door and tied a chain around the safe and jerked it out, through the counter and everything, right out the front door.”
The bold Christmas eve crime is similar to a break-in December 10th at a Dollar General in Pontotoc County and one December 21st in McNairy County, Tennessee.
Though Tracy Essary says he has a good security system at his business, the robbery has left him uneasy, “I’m here a whole lot at night. I do come through and check and sometimes I do stay a while and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I have an employee stay a little while.”
At least four Dollar General stores have been targeted in the past month and a half.
Glenn Burgess is Assistant Police Chief in Moscow, Tennessee.
His department is still investigating the November 5th burglary at a Dollar General on Highway 57, “They removed the meter, which knocked the power out from the store.”
Then thieves cut a hole in the building,
“I’m not sure exactly what tool was used, but it made a fairly clean-cut into the metal.”
What worries Chief Burgess is these crooks knew exactly what to do when they got inside.
They headed straight for the store’s alarm control panel before cracking the safe,
“They went into the camera system and removed all the camera wires and equipment that controls the surveillance to the store and cut all that out.”
Surveillance video from the Dollar General store burglary in Pontotoc County shows two men loading a safe into a white pickup.
The same two men are believed to be responsible for at least one of the other Dollar General break-ins.