UPDATE: As of 7:20 a.m. Mt. Juliet Police say their enhanced search for an 'armed and dangerous' burglary suspect has ended after he was not located.
Police say additional patrol units will remain in the area throughout the day.
Our enhanced search is over after approx. 30 officers, a tactical team, K9, and aviation conducted extensive searches of the area. Additional patrols will remain in the neighborhoods throughout the day. The suspect was not located. Thank you all for your patience! pic.twitter.com/VEgJgRSSBH— Mt. Juliet Police (@MtJulietPolice) July 29, 2021
MT. JULIET, TN (WSMV) - Police in Mt. Juliet are searching for a burglary suspect they say stole three loaded firearms, including a rifle, from a car dealership.
That car dealership is MotorCars of Nashville on Athens Drive. Investigators say the burglar broke into the dealership using a rock to break a window.
“It came as a shock when you get woken up in the middle of the night to say there’s someone breaking into your place of business,” said David Palacios, the finance Manager for MotorCars of Nashville. “First thing I see is the big hole in the glass that they broke into,” Palacios said when he arrived on the scene about 15 minutes.
He said he got a call from his boss just after 3a.m. that a burglary was happening at the dealership. Police said the owner of th dealership was watching the burglary play out in real time.
“He was watching this live on his surveillance system on his phone he was calling in giving us live updates as our officers were responding to this incident,” said Captain Tyler Chandler with he Mount Juliet Police Department.
Management at the car dealership said the burglar was inside the dealership for a while
“As soon as we walked in we could tell everything had been ransacked. All the cabinets had been open. Every single door was open. that’s when we started to check what had been taken,” said Palacios. “Gladly we didn’t have any huge deposits here. Any thing we do get goes straight to the bank so we were good on that end,” he added.
Police said the suspect stole a Dodge Charger from MotorCars of Nashville and fled from the business as officers responded to the scene while also setting up a perimeter nearby.
Police were able to spike the suspect's car as he attempted to flee from the scene. The car later broke down on Legacy Park Road and the suspect fled on foot.
“Obviously our officers did not give immediate chase to that because that person is armed,” said Captain Chandler. “We did an initial search with our K9 and there was a brief track but that track was lost in a deep wooded area near one of the homes, but we still have aviation over head and we’re still doing some ground searched,” he added.
Police recovered the stolen rifle but have not recovered two loaded handguns. At this time the suspect is considered armed and dangerous.
The dealership says there isn’t much of a financial impact to their business but their main concern is their customers
“We just don’t want that happening again. We don’t want that stigma on the dealership. That’s our main priority. Making sure our clients feel safe here,” Palacios said.
The suspect — described as a thin Black male, wearing a gray hoodie and black pants with a red stripe — was reportedly last seen hopping a fence on the 900 block of Legacy Park Road.
“We don’t know for sure if he has left the area. He could have associates in the area. He could have gotten picked up. However we have to do our due diligence to take care of our community. Which our officers do very well to make sure he is not somewhere out there in the neighborhood,” said Captain Chandler.
Captain Tyler Chandler said the suspect description matches that of a suspect wanted for the burglary of five other Mt. Juliet businesses in recent weeks, though could not confirm that it was the same suspect.
Mt. Juliet Police, a Mt. Juliet tactical team, a K-9 unit and a THP helicopter were part of the search for the suspect this morning.
Police did not issue a shelter-in-place at this time, but want people in the area to remain alert and cautious.
Police encourage anyone who may be able to identify the suspect to submit an anonymous tip by calling 615-754-8477 or visiting MJPD.org.
There is currently a $500 cash reward for information leading to his arrest.