Surveillance video shows thieves breaking into the Sprint store on Bell Road in Antioch on Mar. 29.
“They came in and stole an old computer and a phone that happened to be left out,” said Robert Hartline, owner of Absolute Wireless.
Hartline says it’s the fourth time one of his stores has been broken into or robbed since November.
“It’s definitely traumatizing,” Hartline said. “The most important thing when an event like that happens and when there is an armed robbery is making sure our employees are safe.”
The latest incident comes just months after teens with guns robbed his Mt. Juliet store in January.
They stole phones and cash and forced workers to the back of the store.
“Our team did exactly what they’re trained to do,” he said. “They complied.”
The back to back crimes have caused Hartline to step up security and encourage other business owners to do the same.
“You have to do something,” Hartline said. “You can’t just sit by and hope for the best.”
He’s now sharing that message through YouTube videos where he encourages other business owners to buy security cameras.
He also says parents and community members need to reach out to teens going down the wrong path.
“Get involved with your children,” the business owner said. “What are they doing? Who are they with?”
“We need to inspire them to realize that there is an absolute better way than maybe committing a crime like this,” he said.
Hartline says he’s also hired private investigators to help catch some of the suspects.
Arrests have been made in three of the four incidents, according to Hartline.