ROGERSVILLE, Tenn. - A string of burglaries is plaguing downtown Rogersville and hurting some small businesses. We learned 12 small businesses have reported burglaries in the past two weeks.
Downtown Rogersville is full of small businesses giving their own unique qualities to the town.
Now some business owners are finding a surprise when they get to work. "When I went to make change for the first customer, I opened the cash drawer and there was nothing in there," says owner of Miss Bea's Perks and Pies, Connie Reeves.
Reeves tells us last week someone broke into the restaurant and took money. "I'm really angry. They stole nearly $500 from us," adds Reeves.
Reeves isn't the only one; just a few miles down the road Jamie's Barber Shop was also burglarized. "I finally got my door open and saw the striker plate had been pried open with a screw driver," says owner Jamie Rodgers.
Rodgers is the owner of the barber shop and he tells us nothing was damaged inside, but things were missing. "They took about $100 cash and I had five pocket knives on my back bar. They took those also," adds Rodgers.
Like Reeves, Rodgers is angry. "It's aggravating when you work hard for what you've got and somebody comes in and they just take it," says Rodgers.
We learned 12 small business owners have reported burglaries through the downtown area. "They wouldn't tear anything up, they would just get cash and things of that nature," says Rogersville detective Charlie Gibson.
Police say one important thing business owners can do is to make sure they lock their dead bolts that will make it harder for people to get inside. "Don't have any cash laying around. Try to take all of that out of the place of business," adds Gibson.
Both businesses we spoke to tell us they've got new deadbolts on the doors and they are keeping a closer eye out.
Police tell us they believe all the burglaries are connected. They tell us are trying to get DNA and fingerprints.
They've also interviewed some suspects and are hoping to make an arrest soon.