Crime's golden moment

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Crime happens any hour of any day. But there is one golden moment on the clock that crooks always favor - closing time.

At 7:59 p.m., one minute before the AT&T store in the Arboretum ends its business day, we see several customers shopping for phones. The surveillance camera captures a pair of men - one in a dark, hooded jacket - the other, a very large man with a camouflage hat and big smile.

"He's large. Probably 6-foot-3 and 350 pounds," said CMPD Officer Tori Roddey. "What was distinctive was what he was wearing - his hat. A camouflage hat, kind of like a fisherman's hat."

When the manager got busy with another customer, these two poked around. The big man found a camera, then checked to see who was looking, and stuffed it in his coat. The smaller man picked up a bluetooth speaker and did the same thing.

It takes real chutzpah to walk in and steal stuff.

"These days, it's the sign of the times," Roddey said. "People just come in with no regard for safety of anybody."

These two then slowly made their way to the front door and at 8:03 p.m. they walk out without paying.

So why it closing time seems to be the golden time for this kind of criminal activity? Officer Roddey has a theory.

"A lot of time when clerks are trying to deal with people at the end, they're just trying to hurry up and get everyone out. At the end of the business day, these people are occupied and they're tired, they've been there all day, so they're not as aware of their surroundings as much."

The value of the stolen items comes to about $650. Hopefully, someone recognizes the big man in the camouflage hat and calls Crime Stoppers at (704) 334-1600. Crime doesn't pay. Crime Stoppers does.

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