Thousands of robbery cases remain unsolved in Nashville - WSMV Channel 4

Thousands of robbery cases remain unsolved in Nashville

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Metro police say armed robbers held up two businesses on Tuesday, one in East Nashville and the other in Joelton. So far there have been no arrests.

The Channel 4 I-Team has uncovered thousands of unsolved cases of violent robberies in Nashville.

The reality is the majority of these cases in the last three years still have no arrests.

The cameras on Villa Place haven't always been there. Metro police put them there just within the last few weeks after several recent robberies.

One of the victims is Walter Searcy’s 66-year-old wife, who was held up at gunpoint in broad daylight.

“At some point shortly thereafter I heard her yelling help,” Searcy said.

Almost a month later, the suspects still haven't been caught.

“What’s it like knowing the person who did that to your wife could still be out there?” the I-Team’s Lindsay Bramson asked.

“It's not a comfortable feeling. It's unlikely lightning is going to strike here again, but that just means somebody else is at risk,” Searcy said.

Documents from Metro police show thousands of robbery cases with no arrests over the last three years. More than 80 percent of robberies that happened in 2015 and 2016 have no arrests.

So far this year, police have made arrests in 15 percent of all robbery cases from January through May.

“We have to have evidence or a confession to clear a robbery case,” said Metro police spokesman Don Aaron.

Robberies are currently up 21 percent in Nashville. Aaron said while these numbers are alarming they don't tell the whole story.

"More than 700 robberies just this year still open, how do you explain that?” Bramson asked.

“A number of those robberies are open but the police department knows who committed them,” Aaron said.

Aaron said they don’t have enough evidence against the suspect to charge them. In many of those cases he said the suspect could already be in jail accused of another crime.

“You can see here just how many cases say open. Is this acceptable?” Bramson asked.

“Well, again you have to look at the entire scenario of what the police departments faced with,” Aaron said.

Police said in some cases the victims are criminals too and don't always cooperate, making it hard to make an arrest.

“The fact is much of the time risky behavior on the part of the victim – prostitution, drug activity, being somewhere where you probably know you shouldn't be – can translate into a street robbery,” Aaron said.

"Is it concerning to see just how many cases are still open?” Bramson asked.

“Yes it is, sure. You can’t have people preying on the weak and the frail simply because they can,” Searcy said.

Metro police said the majority of these violent robberies are be committed by teens. So far this year, 74 juveniles have been arrested and charged with robbery.

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