Tough Economy Blamed For Rash In Robberies - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Tough Economy Blamed For Rash In Robberies


NASHVILLE Tenn. - Tough economic times could be the cause of a recent rash of crimes in Nashville, according to Metro police.

On Monday, police responded to two downtown bank robberies and over the weekend several convenience stores were hit.

Police and victims alike believe some of this could point right back to a bad job market and a tough economy.

"I was just having an ordinary day until about an hour ago," said Eugene Higgins Monday afternoon.

Police questioned him in the wake of two Nashville bank robberies Monday.

"I'm still shaking, scared to death," he said. "The person who robbed the bank fit my description."

A man robbed the Renasant Bank branch on Fourth Avenue and a nearby Bank of Nashville branch.

"They just had to make sure that I wasn't him," Higgins said.

He was cleared once police reviewed surveillance photos of the culprit.

"I'm very luck. Praise the Lord," he said.

"I didn't know if he had a gun or not or knife or whatever," Anne Cross, who was robbed over the weekend at a Nashville market.

"He just told me to open the register. He grabbed the bills out of it and went out the door," she said.

The three crimes are the latest in a rash of hold-ups around the city.

Most, investigators believe, are not connected.

"Of course, no money or property inside the store is worth getting hurt over," said Metro Sgt. Robert Weaver.

He said the East Precinct is working on several reported convenience store robberies.

Could the economy be behind the uptick in crime? He thinks it's worth considering.

"When see an economic downturn people living paycheck to paycheck, if they stop getting a paycheck, some may be inclined to turn to criminal activity," he said.

Police are warning area business owners to be on the lookout for their own safety. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is handling the bank robbery investigations. The FBI is working to locate the culprit.

In the first robbery, the dye pack went off and the guy dumped the cash. In the second, he grabbed the money off the counter as a customer attempted to make a deposit. But investigators said he didn't make off with much money.

No one was hurt in either incident.

Metro police were also looking Monday afternoon for the suspects in several weekend robberies.

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