MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A man is calling on the city to make changes after it took two and a half hours for police to respond when his car was broken into, and a woman’s car was stolen at a neighborhood Kroger on Tuesday.
Herbert Phillips said he went into the store at the intersection of Poplar and Kirby to pick up one thing, but he was left with a broken truck window. According to a police report, Phillips was in the store for less than five minutes when his Mercedes G500 was broken into.
“I parked very close to the entrance and about 40 feet from this sky cop you can see there, and I walked out and my truck had been broken into. They tried to steal it,” he said.
This location has seen its fair share of crime, but that’s no different than other places in the city. Phillips said he blames police for the lack of response.
“When this incident happened to me, it took MPD two and a half hours to respond, which is sad,” he said.
Surveillance video shows a vehicle matching the one described in the police report making its way to the Kroger fuel station. At that point, the suspects stole a woman’s car while she was paying for gas.
“It’s a battle zone and the City of Memphis is negligent in their duty to protect their citizens,” Phillips said. “The city has an awareness that this is a high crime spot, but they’re not dedicating resources to protect people coming into the store.”
Phillips said he is worried about more vulnerable populations and hopes to see a change sooner rather than later.
“The city really needs to do something before someone else gets hurt here because they’re aware of it,” he said.
We spoke with Memphis Police and were told they do have additional patrols out this time of year. They also said they did respond two and a half hours later and they have to prioritize violent crime.
In a statement, Kroger told us safety is their top priority, and they are working with the police on any pending investigations.