Several armed robberies at local wireless stores leave employees uneasy

Employees at local wireless stores uneasy after armed robberies

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The manager of a Mid-South wireless store tells WMC Action News 5 that he and his employees are scared after several other wireless stores were held up at gunpoint over the past week.

Memphis Police posted two videos of armed gunmen, terrorizing wireless stores and taking off with money and expensive iPhones.

“They want the phones,” Gabriel Martinez, Senior Manager at Cricket Wireless on Goodman Road said. “If they can’t get the money they get the phones. It’s a win-win for them, a lose-lose for us.”

In the past week, these two robberies along with the third robbery of a Memphis wireless store, the Boost Mobile on Faronia, have put employees on edge.

“That put us on high alert,” Martinez said. “One, in particular, was specifically described as brutal.”

Martinez is talking about the armed robbery at Cricket Wireless on Getwell. Police say two men armed with AR-15 style rifles took money and iPhones from the store and its customers.

Business Robbery Cricket Wireless 2729 Getwell Road Report #2002012131ME MEMPHIS, TN – On February 26, 2020, Memphis Police officers made the scene of a business robbery at the Cricket Wireless located at 2729 Getwell Road and were advised at approximately 5:52 p.m., two males entered the business armed with a black AR-15 style rifle and a black handgun then forced the employees to give them several Apple iPhones from the back of the store. The suspects then proceeded to rob the customers inside the store. The suspects then took all the phones and the customers property and fled the business in a dark blue Hyundai sedan. These subjects are also responsible for an attempted business robbery in Germantown on the same day. Additional information is requested in order to help identify these subjects. Suspect #1: black male, about 6’1”-6’3”, 170-190 lbs., medium to dark complexion, wearing a white hoodie, orange shirt, blue jeans, and armed with a black AR-15 style rifle. Suspect #2: black male, about 6’0”-6’1”, 170-190 lbs., medium to dark complexion, wearing a fur hat, black jacket, dark pants, dark shoes, orange mask covering his face, carrying a red backpack and armed with a black handgun. No arrests have been made at this point. This is an ongoing investigation. Anyone with information about this incident should call Crime Stoppers at 528-CASH. You will be given a secret ID number and your identification will remain completely anonymous. You can also submit your tip at http://www.crimestopmem.org where you will be able to review wanted fugitives and safely send investigators any helpful information on the suspect or suspects responsible for this crime. You can submit anonymous tips from our free and secure mobile app by searching your app store for “P3 Tips”. If an arrest is made, you could be eligible to receive a cash reward of up to $1000 from Crime Stoppers of Memphis and Shelby County, Inc. About the Memphis Police Department The Memphis Police Department is a premier law enforcement agency that serves and protects the citizens of Memphis, Tennessee. Our purpose is to create and maintain public safety in the city of Memphis. We do so with focused attention on preventing and reducing crime, enforcing the law, and apprehending criminals.

Posted by Memphis Police Department est.1827 on Friday, February 28, 2020

"We're very concerned," Martinez said. "If you're an employee of one of our establishments you're going to think man, it's not fun to come in every day wondering if you're next."

Martinez says his concern isn't the things or money these criminals might take.

"We have insurance that covers these kinds of things," Martinez said. "But you're not going to cover a life if it's lost or bodily injury. Who's going to cover that? I mean you can't recover from that not to mention the emotional trauma that comes with that."

Meanwhile, outside the Cricket Wireless on Getwell, the store manager tells WMC Action News 5 they've hired security that started Monday to keep their customers and employees safe. Martinez wants more done to protect local wireless stores.

"We want to be safe. We want to feel safe," Martinez said.

Memphis Police say there’s no reason to believe these recent armed robberies are connected but they are still investigating. They ask if anyone recognizes the people in those videos, please call Crime Stoppers at 901-528-CASH.

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