CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Criminals don't always have a plan. Sometimes, they see something they want and simply react.
A 17-year-old student was spotted at a convenience store on West Sugar Creek buying lunch snacks. He was noticeably intent on studying his expensive, new iPhone.
Minutes later, two men entered the store. One had a green striped shirt and a receding hairline. The other was younger, slimmer, with a black hat and white tank top.
At the checkout counter, the two men lined up behind the teenager and looked him over. They left suddenly. Minutes later, the teenager started to walk home.
"This kid leaves out minding his own business, paying attention more to the phone than his surroundings," said Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department Officer Tori Roddey.
The student turned down Cinderella Road. A woman in a car saw something she didn't expect.
"She sees a guy walking by with a bat, going back and forth in his hand with a bat, an aluminum bat."
It was the smaller man from the convenience store.
"The suspect hits the young man in the back of the head with the bat and grabbed his phone."
The teen was knocked down with a bad bruise on his head.
"But he was able to turn around and notice it was the same guy he saw in the convenience store."
That man was last seen running into a nearby apartment complex.
Officer Roddey believes the kid's new smart phone prompted the robber into action.
"I'm quite sure that's the reason. Those phones are so expensive, the guy could make some money off it."
You can make some money if you know anything that can help police. Call Crime Stoppers at (704) 334-1600 and you won't have to leave your name.