SPRING HILL, Tenn. (WKRN) – Police in Spring Hill are asking for the public’s help in finding the ones responsible for a series of vape store burglaries.
One incident happened at around 1 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 21 at the Old School Vapor shop.
That’s where a thief allegedly used a rock to smash the glass, steal expensive vape products and leave before police arrived.
The good news is that the thief reportedly cut his hand and left a trail of blood and fingerprints that have been sent to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s crime lab for analysis.
The owner of Old School Vapor, Kim Proctor, told News 2 the continual costly crimes will force him to put bars on his stores.
Proctor owns five vape shops in the area; two in Columbia, two in Spring Hill, and one in Franklin.
He said vape store bandits are costing him thousands and are severely testing his patience.
“It use to be 18 years old to buy tobacco products. They raised it to 21 and it has created a black market kind of thing where people think they can break in and steal what they want because they cannot buy. I’m trying to do the right thing by employing 35 people in five different stores, and all I have is people breaking out my glass and stealing stuff.”
Police in Spring Hill are also looking for another vape store thief who allegedly stole from the King of Vape store on Port Royal Road on Wednesday, Oct. 4.
The thief was wearing a motorcycle helmet and reportedly come back to the crime scene multiple times. Surveillance video from the store shows the thief smashing the glass with a hammer.
When he entered the store, police said he cut his hand. Video shows the bandit hopping the counter and stealing expensive vape products before leaving in an older model Lexus SUV, possibly silver in color.
It just so happens a man driving by the store heard the break-in and captured video showing the SUV driving away. It’s unknown why the man did not immediately notify police.
It’s also unknown why the thief returned to the scene of the crime 26 minutes later, this time without a helmet.
Now just wearing a cloth over his face, the thief came and went multiple times over the next four minutes, stealing more products.
Body camera video shows the police officers responding to the break-in the moment the alarm company finally notified them of the crime.
When officers first arrived, it was unclear whether the thief was still in the store, so officers made a plan.
“We got a room to the back and bathroom to the right,” an officer said.
With guns and flashlights drawn the officers moved in, sweeping the building until it was clear.
Anyone with more information is asked to call the Spring Hill Police Department at 931-486-2252.