(Northeast Memphis) The commotion began a little after 7:30 Saturday when at least five or six men, covered in black, head-to-toe, reportedly came into the Wolfchase Galleria Mall with guns and sledgehammers.
They made their way to the Reed’s Jewlers location on the second floor, near Sears, and started swinging.
Many said the sound of smashing glass sounded like gunfire.
Others said they had no idea what was happening, but witnessed utter chaos.
“All we Heard was screams and saw people running and we really couldn’t find out anything we didn’t know what was going on”, said one customer.
The robbers apparently knew exactly what they wanted, and how to get it.
They made off with more than 700-thousand dollars worth of Rolex watches, stuffing them into pillowcases.
Hours later, store clerks were still taking inventory, but it appeared the thieves made off with about 65 rolexes, costing about eleven thousand dollars apiece.
During the robbery, many store employees reported closing up, to protect employees and shoppers, though mall security said the mall was never on lockdown.
”I went to try to go to the food court and I said did something happen and they said yes ma’am something happened they weren’t letting anybody in”, said another customer.
Witnesses said the confusion lasted about fifteen minutes. By that time, the suspects had apparently escaped through two exits near the Reed’s store. Police were looking for a gray van and a red sedan with three men in one vehicle and two in the other.
Amazingly, nobody was hurt in Saturday night’s incident. The robbers reportedly never fired a shot.
The wolfchase robbery is almost identical to one in Atlanta last June, which took place at the Lenox Square, where thieves got away with 17 Rolexes valued at just under a million dollars from a Mayor’s Jewelry store.
Another shocking thing about the Wolfchase robbery: Memphis police have reportedly said that because the employees ran from the store and weren’t present during the actual smash and grab, they may not be able to charge the suspects with armed robbery. Officers may have to go for a lesser charge, if they can find their suspects.