NOLENSVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Nolensville police cracked a string of aggressive business burglaries where bandits reportedly stole tens of thousands of dollars worth of expensive liquor.
The thieves broke into the same liquor store three times in the course of 36 days, according to authorities.
Police said the same bandits even broke into the same store on back-to-back nights, breaking out another section of glass despite the fact that the door they broke the night before was boarded up.
Detectives told News 2 the first break-in at R&B liquors on Nolensville Road happened on Sept. 4 around 2 a.m.
Video showed four men in a pickup truck stolen out of Nashville using a sledge hammer to shatter the glass. Then, over the course of several minutes, the men removed case loads of expensive liquors.
Police told News 2 the alcohol was top shelf; Courvoisier and Johnny Walker products, along with Crystal Champagne, Crown Royal, and Dom Perignon; not to mention wines and other products.
The next break-in happened Oct. 9. Police said it was the same crew in the same stolen truck.
Adding insult to injury, the thieves reportedly came back to the liquor store the next day at approximately 12:30 a.m., driving the same truck.
Assistant Nolensville Police Chief Michael Terns told News 2, “This is a victim who has suffered three separate burglaries and tens of thousands worth of product was stolen. We need to stop these folks dead in their tracks and put them in jail and make them pay for their crimes.”
The third time, however, was the charm for Nolensville police officers, who used license plate recognition technology to track the stolen truck to a Nashville apartment complex off Nolensville Road.
According to Detective Josh Combs, officers found the stolen truck at the apartment complex and saw the suspects getting out of the truck.
Officers then ran after the suspects, eventually catching one of them, a teenager, now identified as 18-year-old Andre Mendoza.
Mendoza ran into the building which caused some tense moments as officers, guns drawn, swept the long corridor full of hiding spots and stairwells.
A minute into the search, officers learned that the suspect was apprehended on the other side of the building by Metro police officers.
Combs said they chased the suspect from the back of the building to the front where he reportedly hopped a fence and ran right into the waiting Metro police officers, who took him into custody without incident.
Body camera and dash camera footage showed Mendoza being arrested and loaded into the back of a Nolensville police car on his way to the Williamson County Jail.
Police told News 2 they have warrants for a second teen suspect.
Mendoza and the second suspect are charged with two counts of burglary and possession of stolen property. The whereabouts of the second, third, and fourth suspects remain unknown.
A check of Metro records revealed Mendoza has similar crimes for burglary and theft over $10,000 over the same time span as the Nolensville thefts.
According to court records, Mendoza has seven counts of burglary in Metro Nashville. The offense date was listed as Sept. 7 for theft over $10,000.
Mendoza was also charged with multiple counts of felony burglary from an incident on Sept. 15.