Crimetracker: Former employee among 2 charged in Cricket store robbery

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Knoxville Police said Matthew Hargis and Jimmy Franklin robbed the Cricket wireless store on Schaad Road Tuesday.

"It's actually making me feel really unsafe because recently we had another robbery just next door at the nail place. So it's kind of scary - who's next?" said Katherine Owenby, who works a few doors down at Paws Pet Supply & Grrooming.

"We're a small group here and we really trust each other - we're like a family. So as far as the employees go, we don't expect that happening here," Owenby said.

Officers said the robbery wasn't random - suspect Matthew Hargis used to work at Cricket. They said he went in wearing a ski mask armed with a gun around 6:30 p.m., demanding cash. They also arrested Jimmy Franklin, the getaway driver.

Police said inside jobs are not uncommon:

"It's because they know how the business works - they know the operation, how to get in, how to leave. They know the timing of how the business operates," said Darrell DeBusk, with the Knoxville Police Department.

DeBusk said Franklin hid the gun in his mom's bedroom. He said he put about half the cash in a Bible in his truck.

"That is just sick! I mean seriously, it just shows - I mean, I think what they probably thought is if they got caught, that they wouldn't look in the Bible," said Owenby.

"People, they'll hide items whether it be money, drugs, weapons - they'll hide items anywhere that they can hide it," said DeBusk.

The rest of the stolen money was found at a home in Hargis's neighborhood hidden behind a heating unit.

Both men are being held in the Knox Co. Detention Facility on $20,000 bond.


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