MEMPHIS, TN - (WMC-TV) – The brightly lit signs on Beale Street attract up to 10,000 visitors on any given night. People from all over the world come looking for a good time. Many of them assume they'll be safe.
"Maybe I'm a little naive and don't think about it too much," said tourist Kevin Kelly. "The day I get robbed I'll start thinking about it."
He was surprised to learn someone reported being robbed at Beale and Fourth late Friday night given the location's proximity to a recently opened Memphis Police substation.
In addition to the robbery, we also found two simple assaults and a pocket-picking reported along the same stretch of Beale since Friday. The pocket-picking victim lost his iPhone and the robbery victim a cell phone and Memphis Tigers baseball cap.
We spoke with MPD Director Toney Armstrong after he spoke at a news conference concerning the city's blighted neighborhoods.
"If you look at that club across the street there," said Armstrong about Club Crave. "We've had more than our share of problems at that particular establishment."
The new substation opened late this summer following a number of highly publicized violent crimes on or just off Beale, including several related to Club Crave.
Armstrong said it is too soon to tell the difference having officers stationed on the street might make.
However, he admits they cannot prevent every crime from occurring.
"But with that said, we hope it can be a deterrence to those who do come down there with ill intentions," said Armstrong.
Many merchants with whom we spoke were glad the MPD had a presence again on Beale.