Thieves Strike US Cellular In Newport
Police responded to a break-in at the US Cellular location in the Newport Towne Center early Tuesday morning. The alarm call came in approximately 3:42am. Police arrived and found the lights on inside and the front door of the business had been pried open. There were also 2 doors open on the back wall and a hole knocked into the wall next to the bathroom door. Upon clearing the building, officers noticed that security cameras had been knocked down, the alarm system had been stripped from the back room wall and damaged, and the ADT alarm screen was also ripped off the wall and damaged. Before they were disabled, the cameras caught an individual entering the store, covered head to toe, so they could not be identified. A few moments later another individual entered the store, dressed in the same fashion and knocked down the cameras. The store manager told a detective that the US Cellular stores in Sweetwater, Maryville, Halls and Maynardville had all been victimized in the same way and they believed by the same crew. The Newport location is now the fifth location the thieves have hit in East Tennessee. The manager estimated inventory loss to be around $4,000 with another $4,000 in damages to the building and security system.