Memphis protests provided cover for more crime, and fed-up businesses have closed there and in other cities.
By Eileen Griffin
Memphis Protests after the death of Tyre Nichols while in police custody led to looting and robberies of area stores.
While the police were distracted covering the protests, criminals took advantage of the opportunity to loot several stores, Julio Rosas reported for Town Hall on January 29. Multiple smash and grab and break-ins were reported all over the city.
“Local business owners are fed up with crimes because the criminals show no fear of facing consequences for their actions, which are costing small business owners thousands of dollars each time,” wrote Rosas.
A Memphis cellular store was robbed of more than $70,000 worth of merchandise in a smash and grab, ABC 24 reported. Another Memphis store, Game Xchange, lost $7,000 – $10,00 in merchandise when approximately 16 or 17 people used a Ford truck to ram the door, Action News 5 reported. The front door was damaged, and glass was broken.
Smash and grab burglaries are on the rise, KAIT8 reported. Criminals working in groups attacked multiple stores in the same neighborhood. Some members of the group remain behind to watch for the police while the rest take sledgehammers and crowbars to forcibly enter the business.
Memphis Police responded to 85 business burglaries in January compared to 62 last year at the same time. Police have also received a total of 33 reports of business robberies this year compared to 13 the previous year.
The trend of smash and grab type attacks on businesses has been increasing steadily for the last two years in cities across the country. Attorney Jonathan Turley, in an article for The Hill at the end of 2021, said that brazen crime will continue as political elites and the media make excuses for criminal activity.
“Whole stores have been ransacked by gangs, and the crime is sweeping large and small businesses alike,” Turley writes. “At the same time, shoplifting has reached such high levels in cities like San Francisco that stores like Walgreens are closing up due to the losses.”
Bank of America is taking to advising employees on how to avoid becoming victims. Citibank is providing car service to employees so they can avoid walking the streets.
Chase Bank recently closed some of its ATM locations due to the rising crime, FBN reports. When questioned about the closures, Chase told FBN that the move was necessary in New York City due to the vagrancy and crime.
“For the safety of our customers and employees, we may temporarily close some ATMs overnight,” the bank told FBN.
The New York Post reported back in August of 2022 that banks began closing locations when it was discovered that homeless people were sleeping in the ATM vestibules and using them as toilets.
Citizens Bank also told the outlet that they closed locations due to safety concerns.
“The post-Floyd era has been marked not just by a sharp leftward turn on the policing and criminal-justice policy front but also by sharp rises in serious crime and disorder,” wrote Rafael Mangual, head of research for the Manhattan Institute’s Policing and Public Safety Initiative.
“And while we can be sure that much commentary will focus on the role that race plays in incidents of police abuse, it’s worth remembering that black Americans have borne the brunt of rising crime, including violent crime, since 2020. Having set an all-time record for homicides in 2021, residents of Memphis know this all too well.”