CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Robbery at a grocery store just after it opens on a Saturday morning is very rare.
And now, it's not unheard of.
The Food Lion on North Graham was surprisingly busy for 7:21a.m.
From surveillance cameras, two men rush inside. One goes straight to the manager behind the courtesy counter. The other pulls a gun and orders everyone down to the floor. Customers and cashiers all comply.
As one of the bandits threatens people and waives his gun around, the other tells the manager to open the safe.
Little did they know there was a man waiting at a propane gas cylinder exchange bin just outside the front doors, watching it all unfold.
"He looked back inside the store and saw two individuals inside pointing guns at a person on the floor," said Detective Marty Cuthbertson.
Realizing it was a robbery in progress, the witness got in his car, locked his doors and called 911.
"As he made that phone call, he saw the robbers come out of the store. As they exited the store, they ran around the side of the building toward Graham street."
They ran about a block, then the witness say them jump into a waiting green minivan and speed away.
"The witness actually followed them a short distance up Graham street and realizing they had a gun he just backed off and came back to the store."
Fortunately, the surveillance video reveals the robbers wearing dark, but identifiable clothing.
"It is really distinctive, maybe somebody will see that, but it did have like on the back of one of those jackets it did have Kingsford Charcoal."
Fortunately, nobody got hurt.
"Nobody hurt was the main thing," said the Detective, "just psychologically torn, but, no injuries."
The store was full of shoppers at the time, so if you recognize the Kingsford Charcoal jacket or know something that could help, call Crime Stoppers in Charlotte at (704) 334-1600 and you could earn a reward.
And don't forget you can download the new Crime Stoppers app for your smart phone. You can get it free on our website, wbtv.com/crimestoppers.