MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The Front Street corridor is usually known for the fresh smell of fried chicken. But lately it’s also been known for crime investigations, including vulnerable families losing precious items.
One family had just gotten in to town from Texas when someone smashed their car parked near Gus's Fried Chicken and stole everything inside, including a camera memory card and fund-raising shirts.
“This is the only thing that would’ve brought me any sort of joy and it’s ruined," Sarah Halter said.
Others also became victims in the area last week.
“There was glass and I noticed immediately my bag was missing,” said Katrina Dorse, who said her car was smashed and robbed.
“A young gentleman hopped out of his car with a pistol and pointed it at me, told me to get everything out of my pocket,” said another man who reported a robbery to police last Wednesday.
Col. Gloria Bullock with MPD said the area is vulnerable and people are not listening to them when it comes to protecting their stuff.
“They leave laptops, purses, phones in view of the people walking around. There’s a lot of pedestrian traffic Downtown,” Bullock said.
She said something police have reiterated a lot: don’t leave anything out in your car.
Still, Dorse became a victim last Friday when she said someone smashed her window and stole a laptop with priceless photos of her son who died in 2016.
“Kellen is no longer with us so that laptop is the last physical connection that I have to my son," she said.
Police said the good news was about 200 cameras watch the downtown area. They’re all plugged in to the Real Time Crime Center. But the bad news was the cameras don’t guarantee you’re safety.
“Sometimes the quality is not very clear," Bullock said. “It’s a good tool but it’s nothing we can count on."
A crime map of the area showed multiple incidents on the 300 block of South Front, plus two other car thefts within a block.
“I thought this was my last day. I thought I’d never have a chance to see my mom, son," the car theft victim said.
Police hopes his message would be a good reminder to all to stay alert, especially late at night and early in the morning when they say these incidents are most likely to happen.