Plastic wrapped gun

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Cigarette thieves strike again.

Two men rob a local convenience store-- using distraction and a gun hidden in a plastic bag.

This happened at a busy time-- 5:45 p.m.-- when lots of people stop in for a quick drink or snack after work at the Tru Food Mart on Westerly Hills Drive, just off Wilkenson Boulevard in west Charlotte.

From surveillance video, we see a customer at the counter when two men saunter in.

One is wearing a beard and a knit cap over what appears to be very long hair. The other has sunglasses and a Panthers hat on.

The bearded man stays in camera view so we get a good look at his face. His accomplice walks around the counter and begins peppering the clerk with questions.

Detective Marty Cuthbertson-- "One guy distracted him and the other guy came up to the counter and pulled a gun out."

When the clerk turns to answer, the bearded man strikes.

He moves to the counter and pulls out a large handgun wrapped in plastic. He demands cigarettes.

"Newport cigarettes again. No money taken, just cigarettes only."

At this point, his partner is seen running out the front door with ten cartons of smokes.

Detective Cuthbertson believes the gun was wrapped in plastic for a reason.

"The gun was covered up. He had it in a little bag of some kind. Kind of like disguised it so if anyone did come in they wouldn't see the gun."

When they left, they ran into nearby woods.

"One guy dumped the clothes he had on and they found some of those items he had on."

From those clothes, police could get a DNA match if these are career criminals. If you know either crook, call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600. Crime doesn't pay but Crime Stoppers does. A reward of up to $1,000 is available.

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