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Dyersburg Police: Two Armed Robbers Remain on the Loose

By Natalie Potts
By npotts@wbbjtv.com

DYER COUNTY, Tenn.- Dyersburg Police are investigating an armed robbery at the Jr. Mart in Dyersburg.

Investigators said two masked men, armed with a handgun, barged into the store and held up the two women who were working behind the counter Thursday night.

"They came in with guns, told us to get on the floor, then ripped the cash registers off," said cashier Christy Epperson. "Both of them had ski masks on, and both of them had camouflage jackets with the hoods pulled over their heads."

Owners said the gunmen were able to get away with two cash registers carrying an undisclosed amount of cash. Employees told WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News the thieves also robbed cashiers of their trust in customers.

"He forced us around the counter, then got us on the floor, then made the other girl get up to try and open the register," said Epperson. "Now it's always something in the back of your mind. I'm wondering if that's him and pretty much everybody is on edge. We are all cautious about anyone walking through the door because we're not sure anymore."

Some residents said they were saddened but not surprised, as crime in the area has risen over the past few years.

"It's pitiful really," said resident Kimberly Parson. "It's really sad this is a really bad neighborhood. I don't like it. I just live a couple of streets over and it makes me really nervous."

Epperson, who has worked in the mart for more than a year, told WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News that she has watched the neighborhood decline drastically this past year.

"The area has went terribly bad," said Epperson. "It used to be a great place to live, used to have factories, and people who worked in the factories. Now we have no more factories around here and it's pretty much just people doing drugs, stealing and robbing people."

Residents said this robbery serves as a serious wake up call for change.

"If nothing is done and organizations don't pull it together as a whole, it's going get to the place, well it's almost there now, to a place where people are afraid to walk on the streets," said resident Stewart Edmonds. "You know it's just getting that bad.This sends a message to us that our youth need help, our community is unsafe, and we need to reach out more."

So far police have made no arrests. If you have any information in this case call Dyersburg Police at (731) 285-1212 or Crime Stoppers at (731) 285-8477.