CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Using a taser to rob a store may not a first-ever in the annals of crime. But it's certainly one of the most unusual methods of robbery CMPD officers have encountered.
And, it recently happened in what's considered a "safe" part of town-- near Piper Glen.
It was 3:40 a.m. Surveillance video shows a man in a dark hoodie ambling into the 7-11 convenience store off Rea Road. A woman, driving a silver car, pulls up to park.
When the hooded man goes in he pays $8 cash for gas.
But then, he asks the clerk for something he can't have at that time of the morning.
"He tried to buy some beer," said CMPD Detective Marty Cuthbertson. "It was after beer hours and the clerk told him no."
He can't have the beer, but he asks the clerk for a carton of cigarettes.
When the clerk delivers, the hooded man grabs the smokes, then pulls out a taser and zaps the man behind the counter.
The crook runs out the front door to the waiting car.
But the clerk is ticked. He grabs a plastic "wet floor" sign and gives chase. When he gets outside, the thief is already in the car and about to peel away.
The clerk uses the sign to bash the car as it makes its getaway from the parking lot.
So, why did he use a taser on a clerk to steal $48 worth of cigarettes? "It may be out of meanness, said Detective Cuthbertson. "The clerk complied he didn't try to resist. He just gave him what he wanted and for no reason, he shocked him."
The clerk did get a look at the tag number, but it turned out to be wrong. And, after getting stung by a taser, this clerk decided he'd had enough.
"In the long run he decided he didn't want to work anymore, he has since quit the company and I guess working somewhere else."
This may seem like a petty crime, but the clerk was injured and quit his job. Police would like you to help them find the taser bandit. Call Crimestoppers at (704) 334-1600. You could earn a reward and you don't have to leave your name.
As an update to last week's story-- CMPD confirms Thomas Anthony Hammond was arrested after a tip was generated from my Crimestoppers report.
Police say Hammond was the man in the painter's mask and fishing hat who was caught on video robbing the B-B-and-T on Albemarle Road in August, and then trying to rob it again in September.
He was arrested in Georgia.