Crime wave hits Knoxville during the holidays

Crime wave hits Knoxville during the holidays

Posted:
The holiday season just brings out more criminals trying to get their hands on quick cash. The holiday season just brings out more criminals trying to get their hands on quick cash.
"The entire city is seeing an increase in robberies, which is typical this time of year," said KPD spokesperson Darrell DeBusk. "The entire city is seeing an increase in robberies, which is typical this time of year," said KPD spokesperson Darrell DeBusk.
"That's a punk. That's not desperate people that's doing this," said Vic and Bill's owner Sherry Captain. "That's a punk. That's not desperate people that's doing this," said Vic and Bill's owner Sherry Captain.

By HAYLEY HARMON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Over the last few weeks, Knox County has seen an increase in the number of robberies and burglaries.

The Knoxville Police Department says the crime wave happens every holiday season.

A number of businesses have been hit, including Nixon's Deli and Subway off Merchant's Drive in North Knoxville, Vic and Bill's Deli off North Broadway, and Papa Murphy's Pizza and Sprint in Fountain City.

Police officers say some of these crimes are probably connected, but some are not. The holiday season just brings out more criminals trying to get their hands on quick cash.

The recent increase in robberies is an unwelcome trend that comes with the holidays.

"The entire city is seeing an increase in robberies, which is typical this time of year," said KPD spokesperson Darrell DeBusk. "Every law enforcement agency in the country will see an increase in robberies and burglaries this time of year because it's the holiday season."

DeBusk says robbers are hitting stores that do mostly cash business, which they do a lot more of during the Christmas season.

Vic and Bill's Deli was robbed last Sunday.

Surveillance footage obtained by 6 News shows two male suspects as they make their way into the deli.

They stole more than $700 out of the register. That's a huge dent in a small business's budget.

"That can be your payroll. That can be your stock for the next week," said Vic and Bill's owner Sherry Captain. "I've just been here about a year and a half and I'm still building."

The store's employees and customers were robbed at gunpoint. Even the customers' wallets and cell phones were taken.

"People would be willing to help desperate people. That's not desperation. That's a punk. That's not desperate people that's doing this," said Captain.

Police think there is a connection between some of the recent robberies.

"A couple that's occurred in different parts of town, we do believe may be related, but we can't say definite at this time," said DeBusk.

Now that the holidays are over, store owners are hoping the string of robberies will be coming to an end.

"Just still plugging away everyday and trying to make it back," said Captain.

And so do customers of these recently robbed businesses.

"It makes you really cautious about the places that you go now," said Lyndia Smith, of Knoxville. "Around the Christmas season and around the holidays it's really hard for people. I understand that. But it gives nobody the right to take something that's not their's."

Police say despite this recent increase, robberies in Knox County over the last year have actually gone down about 10 percent, as compared to 2011.

Captain says during the robbery at Vic and Bill's, one of the suspects held a gun to the cashier's head.

That cashier was so traumatized by the incident she hasn't been back to work since.

If you have any information about any of these recent robberies, call the Knoxville Police Department at (865) 215-7212.

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