South Memphis store owners suspect robbery was inside job

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A South Memphis mini mart was recently robbed at gunpoint, and the family that owns the store thinks it was an inside job.

Police said three men stormed into Longview Grocery on South Lauderdale Street around 8 p.m. one day last week and threatened to shoot the clerk if he didn't let them behind the counter.

"It was three against one, so I opened the door," the clerk said.

The clerk said one of the robbers stood watch, while the other two came inside.

"They didn't even go for the register first," he said.

Instead, they went straight for a monitor in the corner. They shoved it aside and ripped out a modem behind it to get rid of any surveillance video.

"The way they were moving around, body language, it's like he had directions of what to do, like they practiced it," the clerk said.

The clerk, who is a family member of the owner, said he was surprised the robbers were so precise and was shocked when he heard them mention a former employee's name: a man who quit two days before the robbery.

Police said the robbers took the cash register and several racks of lottery tickets before running out of the store. Investigators said they also smashed the clerk's phone while taking his wallet and shoes.

"All that can get replaced," he said. "I thought I was going to die, but thankfully, everything, you know, a miracle, man."

Investigators said the robbers were caught on camera minutes later cashing the stolen tickets at another store. The video shows two of the three men with one of them grinning from ear to ear.

"Yeah, they're smiling," the clerk said. "We'll see if they'll be smiling behind jail, behind bars."

He hopes they're caught and locked up soon, along with that former employee he thinks was involved. However, at this point, police have not said if the man's a suspect.

The robbery happened last week, but police just released pictures of the men Monday.

If you know anything about this case, call CrimeStoppers at 901-528-CASH.

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