TYLER, TX (KLTV) - While firework stand staff slept Monday night, thieves took an estimated $6,000 worth of merchandise, just a few feet away.
The robbery took place at the Wilkinson Firework stand on the corner of Loop 323 and Highway 271. Owner Jackie Bryan has been in the firework business 12 years, running the stand at the highway intersection the past 10 years.
Her daughter, Patricia arrived around 9:00 a.m. Wednesday to open the stand. When she unlocked the door and spotted the empty shelves she assumed it was due to good business the night before. Closer inspection revealed the door at the far end of the stand taken off its hinges missing the outdoor lock. Realizing what had happened she called her mother and police.
The thieves didn't steal Bryan's entire inventory, but made off with some of the stand's best sellers, priced from a few dollars to close to $100. Since each stand is independently owned and operated, Bryan is responsible for each bit of inventory, including the stolen $6,000 worth. Even with great sales through the July 4th, she says the best she can do now is hope to break even.
Smith County Sheriff's department is investigating the robbery.