Metro police search for serial convenience store thief - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Metro police search for serial convenience store thief

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Metro police are looking for a man suspected of burglarizing at least 15 south Nashville businesses in the past five weeks, including a break-in at a convenience market Tuesday morning in the Antioch area.

"He's wreaking havoc in the business community over there in south Nashville," said Metro police spokeswoman Kris Mumford. "There have been restaurants, convenience stores, liquor stores."

Police said the suspect threw a rock through the window of the Kwik Stop store near the intersection of Haywood Lane and Apache Trial around 4:15 a.m.

Surveillance video shows the suspect jumping over the counter and weaving in and out of the store, stealing several items.

"He's running in and grabbing cash and whatever else he can lay his hands on quickly, and then he flees on foot. In a couple of these, we think he's used a bicycle," Mumford said.

Apparently, the crook triggered an alarm, as an officer arrived on the scene in time to see the suspect run from the parking lot.

Officers called in a K-9 unit and searched for the suspect for about 30 minutes, but couldn't find him.

The Kwik Stop may not be the first place the suspect hit overnight. Workers nearby say he robbed La Estrella Bakery just two doors down.

Workers coming in to bake the bread at 6 a.m. found the registers open and the cash gone.

"He just opened the door and he came a said, 'Yeah, stole about $20,'" said the owner's daughter, Ana Vargas Mendoza.

Mendoza says her father thinks the thief kicked in the fan and squeezed through a narrow vent.

A camera inside the bakery apparently caught him rifling through the register.

"The good thing is we were not here. Nothing happened to somebody," Mendoza said.

Police hope the surveillance video will help lead them to identify the suspect, who was described as a black male in his 20s with a thin, groomed mustache and beard. He was last seen wearing a gray hoodie and white gloves.

Investigators said he makes entry into the businesses by breaking out windows and typically gets away with cash, liquor and cigarettes.

Police say because the thief used a bike in some robberies, he may live somewhere nearby in south Nashville.

If you recognize the suspect or have information that could lead to an arrest, contact Crime Stoppers at 74-CRIME.

Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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