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Late Friday night, criminals targeted cars in five restaurant parking lots around the City of Gastonia. Police reports show thousands of dollars in cash, credit cards and other items were stolen from the cars. Two guns were also stolen.
Sandy Moss was out for his weekly family get together at the Cracker Barrel in Gastonia. After dinner, he found shards of glass coating his back seat. His mother's purse was gone.
"I couldn't believe it," Moss said.
Moss says the purse had over $1,000 in cash and other merchandise combined. A few hours after his break in, Moss found out he wasn't alone.
"I couldn't believe that somebody was going around and breaking into everybody's car like that," he said.
Within four hours, five restaurant parking lots all within about a mile of each other were hit by thieves. First, Logan's Roadhouse on East Franklin Boulevard was hit. The next restaurant, Milano's on New Hope Road.
Olive Garden on Cox Road was the third parking lot hit. Moss' car in the Cracker Barrel on Remount Road was fourth and the Outback Steakhouse parking lot on New Hope Road was the final location.
"The police officer told us they were coming out of a group in Charlotte and doing all that," Moss said.
Moss believes the crimes are all related and says two of his mother's six credit cards were used minutes after being stolen. He says online records show both were used at gas stations on Freedom Drive in Charlotte.
"I wish they'd get a job instead of going around and taking stuff from people," he said.
Gastonia Police are currently reviewing surveillance tapes from several of the locations. Police are not saying if they believe the crimes are related.
WBTV checked and Friday's night of break-ins is unusual. Gastonia Police say the city's East District saw 29 car break-ins for the entire month of December. That's less than one a night. On Friday night, there were five.
If you have any information, call Gastonia Police at 704-866-6702.