CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - It wasn't the element of surprise that helped an armed man rob a convenience store, it was a clerk who apparently didn't heed the red flags before hand.
At 2:05 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon, a hooded man went into the Xpress Mart on The Plaza - a place robbed several times before.
"I'm shocked the guy didn't immediately know something was going on," said CMPD Detective Tori Roddey.
The detective was talking about the clerk, who's also the owner of the convenience store. There's a man in a hoodie who goes to the back and just meanders from one cooler case to the other and back again, without deciding on something to buy.
"The guy had the hood on," Detective Roddey said. "Nobody else was hooded, and that particular day it was a warm day and he was just hanging out, looking around at the drinks."
The owner/clerk was obviously busy, but when the store emptied out of customers, the man in the hood approached and wanted cigarettes. As the clerk turns to pull them from the rack, out comes a large handgun.
It happens almost casually, as the robber seemed very calm and never really points the weapon.
"He takes it out of his waist band and tells the guy, 'don't make me have to use this,'" Detective Roddey said.
The clerk seems more annoyed than frightened.
"He kind of should have known this guy was up to no good," Roddey said.
The robber not only wanted money from the till, he demanded the clerk's cash from his pocket. That seemed to upset the clerk.
"We're looking for a 6-foot black male, light skin in color with a goatee," Detective Roddey explained.
If you were in the area or passing by The Xpress Mart on The Plaza on the afternoon of April 3, and can offer information that can help, call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 and reward money could be yours.
Also, if you ride motorcycles, Crime Stoppers is holding a fundraiser ride on May 21 at 8:30 a.m. For information and registration, go to charlottecrimestoppers.com.