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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A simple shoplifting at a boutique store in Plaza-Midwood turned into something much more serious.
It happened shortly before 5:30PM on a Wednesday inside a store on Central Avenue named "Social Status."
There were a number of people in the business. Surveillance shows a manager and his helper opening boxes of merchandise.
One man is seen looking at a rack of slacks near the front door. When no one else is near, he grabs an armful and walks out without paying. The manager and a clerk go after him.
"He picked up five items, and when he picked those five items up he ran out the store," said CMPD Detective Marty Cuthbertson. "They ran down the sidewalk, to the end of the building by Nova's bakery. Being chased by two employees, this individual jumped in a car and as that car pulled up, the driver jumped out and threatened the employees with a gun."
Those employees quickly backed off.
Was it a smart idea to chase him? "Not at all," said the detective. "Small amount of items, really inexpensive, it's not worth you getting hurt or getting you killed."
Police tracked the black 2001 Chevy Tahoe they drove away in, going down Central at Hawthorne and they were spotted again where Louise crosses Central, headed towards town.
It had Virginia plates, XEB-8035.
Was the detective surprised someone would pull a gun over five pairs of pants? "We usually don't see this, for robberies, yes, but not for a small amount of items."
If you've seen that vehicle and would like to earn a reward, call Crime Stoppers at (704) 334-1600 and you won't have to give your name.
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.