TIPTON COUNTY, Tenn. — We have seen a rash of liquor store break-ins in Memphis, but the crime is crossing county lines, and the Tipton County sheriff says it will not be tolerated.

Judson Naifeh watched surveillance video of five thieves busting through the window at Whiskey Business on Highway 51 in Covington and stealing thousands of dollars worth of liquor. 

“It was just matter of time. We knew it’s been coming out of Memphis,” Naifeh said. “We’ve had three break-ins in Tipton County recently that are Memphis-style break-ins. And of course, there are no consequences in Memphis for breaking in.”

But Tipton County Sheriff Shannon Beasley says this isn’t Memphis, writing in a Facebook post, “If you think we are going to let you run back to Memphis, or anywhere else, without any consequences…you’ve got us confused.” 

“It’s no shade at Memphis. It’s all across the country, especially in our larger cities, where it seems the criminals are not punished, they’re treated like the victim instead of the criminal,” Naifeh said.

Sheriff Beasley said we see too many cases where criminals get away with a slap on the wrist in Memphis and that crime is now seeping into Tipton County. But he promises Tipton County won’t handle it the same way. 

“One thing going to happen in Tipton County. If you come here and you bring those stupid crimes to us, we promise you you’re going to pay bail and you’re going to pay your time,” he said. “And if you want to come up here and commit those crimes and you’ve got the time to sit in jail, I promise you I’ve got the place to put you.”

That’s exactly what happened to three of the men responsible for the burglary at Whiskey Business. They remain in the Tipton County Jail with no bond.

Naifeh said if the store had to be burglarized, he’s glad it happened in Tipton County. 

“We all know each other. We all want to have a nice safe place to live. And if they’re going to bring that stuff out of Memphis to here, our law enforcement officers and our DA’s and our judges, they’re going to pay for it. They’re going to pay for their crime here,” Naifeh said.

Two other men involved in the burglary are still on the run. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Covington Police Department at 901-476-5282.