Gatlinburg businesses targeted in smash and grab burglaries

Gatlinburg businesses targeted in smash and grab burglaries

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"We were trying to get the door replaced quickly. You can't have a shop without a door. It was a pretty stressful day to say the least," said Lawrence. "We were trying to get the door replaced quickly. You can't have a shop without a door. It was a pretty stressful day to say the least," said Lawrence.
"They smashed the door in. They broke the door completely out. We had to replace the whole door and there was glass everywhere," described McAvoy. "They smashed the door in. They broke the door completely out. We had to replace the whole door and there was glass everywhere," described McAvoy.
At Alwine Pottery their wooden door was pried open with a crowbar last weekend. At Alwine Pottery their wooden door was pried open with a crowbar last weekend.

By MONA NAIR
6 News Reporter

GATLINBURG (WATE) – About a dozen businesses in Gatlinburg are on edge after a string of smash and grab robberies. Most are small businesses that sell things like crafts and little trinkets.

They cater to tourists and don't really have a whole lot of security.

"They smashed the door in. They broke the door completely out. We had to replace the whole door and there was glass everywhere," described Gay Ann McAvoy who runs Smoky Mountain Pottery.

She says there were several expensive items they could have taken from the store. Instead the criminals only hit the cash register.

At Pizza Express, it was a similar story. The expense to repair the damage at these businesses was much more than what was actually taken by the criminals.

"We were trying to get the door replaced quickly. You can't have a shop without a door. It was a pretty stressful day to say the least," said Reba Lawrence who works at the shop.

At Alwine Pottery their wooden door was pried open with a crowbar last weekend.

They've done a little construction to the doorframe to make it less likely for the same thing to happen again.

Victims hope the culprits are caught soon and that they won't get hit again.

"So they'll put them in jail, and they won't be out doing this anymore. We'll feel more comfortable," McAvoy said.

There is one solid lead in this case. On Thursday, the Sevier County Sheriff's Office arrested a couple for a very similar set of crimes in their jurisdiction. They think those suspects could be linked to these crimes but can't say for sure yet.

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