$25,000 awarded to two tipsters
in liquor store thefts; 18 arrests made
Memphis — Two CrimeStoppers tips helped detectives break a string of organized retail liquor store burglaries in the past several months, earning for each tipster a share of the $25,000 in extra awards posted by the Memphis Area Liquor Retailers.
Each citizen who provided information detectives say helped solve the cases has been awarded $12,500. So far, 18 arrests have been made of individuals believed involved and the Memphis Police Department says more arrests are pending.
More than 40 stores were been hit in grab and run break-ins starting in May of this year. A similar MO was used in each. One of the bigger incidents occurred in the early morning hours of August 5 at Buster’s Liquors & Wines store on Highland Street near Poplar Avenue.
The theft began when five cars with tinted windows and bogus drive-out license tags sped up to the store and more than a dozen individuals hopped out and began busting windows. Some individuals went into the store and filled laundry baskets, while others broke other windows to grab bottles on display. The break-in was over in minutes. Besides the physical damage of about $10,000, more than $15,000 in goods were stolen, according to Josh Hammond.
Two stores were hit two hours apart in late June. Masked men using stolen cars and wielding sledgehammers took about $4,000 in high-end alcohol from Natalie’s Liquors in Cordova, then hit Kimbrough’s Fine Wine and Spirits on Union Avenue in Midtown, stealing about $6,000 in goods.
Some of the burglars set up sales from apartments where stolen wine and liquor was sold, police said.