Why East Texas dollar stores are getting robbed

Why East Texas dollar stores are getting robbed
Surveillance video shows another dollar store robbery from January. (Source: KLTV Staff)
Surveillance video shows another dollar store robbery from January. (Source: KLTV Staff)

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Statistics show a slight increase in dollar store robberies over the last five years in Tyler.

There have been two dollar store robberies in the last week in the Tyler area. Neither suspect has been caught and officials said with the holiday season coming up, that means we could be in for even more robberies.

One Family Dollar in Tyler was robbed last week. The suspect held up a gun and demanded money. Then the next day another Family Dollar was robbed. The clerk was pushed to the ground and one round was unloaded. Neither suspect has been caught and officer Don Martin with Tyler Police said that could mean we're in for more.

"If a criminal is brave enough to pull an armed robbery and they get away with it more than likely they're going to do it again," Officer Martin said.

He calls those thieves career criminals. He explained it's how they make their living until they get caught. In the last five years Family Dollars and Dollar General stores have seen a slight increase in robberies with just three in 2010, six last year and already four this year.

"They have been getting hit," Tony Hair ford with ISIS Investigations said. "If you remember last year or two years ago they kept getting their safes, I think it was them or Family Dollar, one of those, like that kept getting their safes hit and one thing about them is they're cookie cutter stores. They're all the same."

The same policy, set-up, and security, he said, making it easier.

"Once they hit one they go, 'man that was easy compared to the others.' Way better than burglarizing somebody's house and getting shot," he said.

Another robbery at a dollar store in January had a similar set-up. Hair ford said robbers get used to it, hone their skills, remember it's likely their career, and know what to expect.

"There's less chance of those clerks being armed because it's a corporate deal it's not a mom and pop where the guy's have a shot gun on the counter himself," Hair ford explained.

Less customers and less employees could be another factor or location.

"The one on the north loop over there, you look at that and there's not a lot there at night and they're open until nine or 10 and everything else around there is a church a school," Hair ford continued.

Once they're caught those statistics might even go down, but until then officials said be alert.

"Look in there first for safety reasons because, again, you might be walking into an armed robbery," Officer Martin said.


7 contacted both stores, Dollar General and Family Dollar, to see what security measures are in place at their stores or if they had anything to say about the recent burglaries, but we have not heard back at this time.

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