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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A one-man crime spree has businesses on alert in East Charlotte.
So far, he's broken into a grocery store and attempted an armed robbery at a fast food restaurant.
"A guy came in and told my cashier give me all the money," said Tony Ramos, owner of the McDonald's on Wendover. After buying the fast food restaurant in April, Ramos modernized and refurbished the old building. He pumped big money into state-of-the-art technology.
"We've got 32 cameras with audio and video."
One of those cameras caught video of a hooded man entering the store late on a Friday night. He went to the counter, ordered a coffee, then demanded money from the clerk.
"She thought the guy was joking because he wasn't really forceful and didn't come across as being serious. And he said, 'really, really I need the money,' and she said get out of here and the guy took off and left and left empty handed."
He struck out at McDonald's. But just across the parking lot, a Food Lion grocery store would be his next target. Two days later. he got his picture taken from surveillance cameras from inside the grocery store at 2:00 in the morning.
"He actually propped a ladder and was able to pry the vent open and gain entry to the store," said CMPD Detective Marty Cuthbertson.
What makes police so certain it's the same crook in both crimes?
"When we compared the two videos, it was the same build, same height and it appears the same weight. He was wearing different clothing, but it's the same guy."
After getting nothing at the McDonalds, all he took from this break-in was some cigarettes and DVD's. It seems he's working very hard and not getting much.
Detective Cuthbertson said, "it's high risk with no returns."
Police say you'll see more of this kind of desperation crime during the holidays.
If you recognize the man, call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 and you could earn up to one-thousand dollars in reward money.
If you'd like to join Charlotte's crime fighting team, you or your company can make a donation to Charlotte Crimestoppers by PayPal. Follow this link http://www.charlottecrimestoppers.com/donation__membership