Sheriff’s Office Works To Keep Criminals From Creeping Into The Suburbs

(Memphis) In Southeast Shelby County, the menu at the Crock Pot 2 restaurant on Shelby Drive near Hacks Cross, is all about soul food.

Gabriel Harris is the restaurant owner.

“We got collard greens, black eye peas, macaroni, and chicken. We can’t beat your momma’s cooking, but we can hold you down until you get there.” Harris said.

Harris opened his doors to customers at this location five years ago, but admits unwelcome guests or criminals occasionally show up in this area, as well.

“Crime is out here just as well as South Memphis and East Memphis,” Harris said.

It’s even in the suburbs.

“What frustrates me I’m trying to do what is right trying to make an honest living and you got guys who see you as prey looking to harm you,” Harris said.

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office says overall crime is down. The SCSO’s year-to-date statistics show a reduction of 2.8% in this area near Hacks Cross.

But just up the road in Memphis, between the 6,000 to 8,000 block of Winchester, according to Crime Tracker numbers, criminals are hitting what had been perceived as a relatively safe area. Crime tracker numbers show 975 crimes in 2010, 1,141 in 2011, 1,280 last year and this year to April there have been 311 crimes.

It’s why Lieutenant Fred Hughes with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office isn’t taking any chances. He patrols this area to keep criminals from creeping in.

“If we don’t get on top of it right then the bad guys tend to want to have a honey hole where they come in,” Hughes said.

He says one reason they’re seeing fewer bad guys is because of more patrols and close ties with business owners to be on the look out for crime and stay safe.

“We want to make sure this particular area stays safe,” Hughes said.

More people are also shopping, working and moving into the suburbs .

Bryan Jackson is the general manager of the Huey’s near Southwind.

“A lot more people seem to be coming to this area, you are going to be concerned about crime picking up, as well,” Jackson said.

You may recall, this recent disturbance inside a nearby Logan’s Roadhouse. It led to a man getting cut with a knife and a pregnant woman sent to the hospital.

“Obviously, when something hits close to home it has a profound effect and on the staff and it’s a topic of concern after it happens. Again, its something that increased our awareness,” Jackson said.

It’s an increased awareness and a recipe for business owners such as Gabriel Harris to work even closer with deputies to keep criminals out.

“You got to work with them(deputies) because you’re being attacked(by criminals) not them,” Harris said.

“I’d like to tell the criminals that we may not get you today, we may not get you tonight sooner or later we’ll get you,” Hughes said.