The Columbia Daily Herald reported the 28-year-old man was sleeping in a hammock around 2 a.m. inside the B&B Fireworks stand, which is located in the parking lot of Ace Hardware off East James Campbell Boulevard, when four men yelled at him to wake up and get on the ground.He told police four men wearing stocking caps, including one with a gun, tied him up with duct tape and stole all the money in the cash register along with about $1,000 of their most expensive fireworks. They also took his car keys and cell phone.
Merritt was able to break through the duct tape, and walked to a nearby 24-hour financial loan business to call police.
The newspaper reported it was the second time this week the stand had been broken into. On Sunday, two men slashed the tent of the stand, and also slashed the tires of the worker who was there.
The worker was able to scare them off before they got any of the fireworks.
So far, no suspects have been arrested in either incident.
The family who owns the stand also owns another stand in Murfreesboro, the paper reported, and the owner’s two sons take turns guarding the Columbia stand at night. They said it was the first time in eight years of business that they have been robbed.
Anyone with information was asked to call Columbia Police Department at (931) 2720, or police dispatch at (931) 388-2727 ext. 1. Callers can also contact Maury County Crime Stoppers at (931) 381-4900, or Columbia Police SAFE Tip Line at (931) 380-2930.