MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Many businesses have suffered plenty due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Now, some are suffering from damage during recent protests.
People in the community said they think it’s people who aren’t protesting but use the protests to steal.
We talked to the owner of this Mid-American Pawn Shop that was damaged late last night during what started out as relatively peaceful protests.
He didn’t want to go on camera, but we saw windows busted out, items were stolen, and people in the community are wondering why it’s happening.
“It’s unreal,” said Eldrick Moore, customer. “You see everything on tv, and you come to your own part of your neighborhood and see it going on, and it’s unreal.”
Moore came to his business Monday afternoon and saw it boarded up after someone broke windows and doors late last night.
“I just think it’s people trying to take advantage of the situation, and it’s not helping any cause,” Moore said.
The owner said more than 30 men were seen on surveillance footage.
He believes they were trying to steal guns and one of the suspects left their own gun on the floor while trying to escape.
Repair crews were also at Southland Mall.
“I don’t understand why they came here and busted out the windows and protested here,” said Timothy Hammonds, barbershop employee at Southland. “It’s been a black neighborhood for as long as I can remember. I know they call it Whitehaven, but we even call it Blackhaven so...”
At the City Gear on Lamar Ave., thieves got away with shoes and clothes.
People said the burglaries are from people trying to profit from a heartbroken community.
“It makes a big difference if you go out and protest something that’s justified, but they’re hiding behind the protests and that’s not right,” Hammonds said. “It hurts more than it helps.”
All of these stores are still open, according to their management teams with the exception of some Walmart locations who reportedly have changed their hours in Memphis and West Memphis.
Businesses said they’re hoping for more peaceful means in the future.
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