CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A very large and violent man used his arm strength and something sharp to rob a drug store and a female customer. This happened at the CVS on South Boulevard on a Sunday afternoon.
"Any one of us would be terrified," said Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police (CMPD) Detective Tori Roddey.
And for good reason. Who thinks they'd be assaulted and robbed while paying for items at a checkout counter?
One woman was seen on surveillance checking out. Behind her was a routund man wearing white shorts, shirt, shoes and a black ball cap.
He begins pacing and looking around. Then, he moves behind the woman at the counter and grabs her around her neck. She immediately wonders what's going on.
"And you can kind of tell she's thinking, 'is this a joke?'" Detective Roddey said.
It's no joke, and that becomes very clear when he issues a threat to the clerk.
"Saying, 'listen, I'm going to stick her unless you give me the money,'" Roddey explained.
Police aren't sure if he had a knife or just something sharp.
"At first, he was whispering something to her," the detective said, "then he grabbed the full arm around her in a chokehold and stuck the thing in her side."
The longer the robbery lasted, the tighter the chokehold became.
"She wasn't hurt, but of course she was visibly upset," Roddey said.
At that point, a customer walked in, saw what was going on and quickly made a bee-line out. Back at the counter, the woman was forced to open her own pocketbook and give him cash and her cell phone.
But police say this was a two-man stick-up.
"But the other guy came inside checking to see what was taking so long," the detective said.
Eventually, the chokehold crook got his money and released his unfortunate victim.
"(It was) Definitely an armed robbery, but also a kidnapping because he grabbed the lady and also took her to the back of the store where he let her go. But anytime you move somebody from place to place against their will, it's kidnapping," Roddey explained.
The two men left in a gray Nissan Sentra with a donut tire on the back driver's side. They are criminals police want to round-up.
Please help by calling Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 and there is a $1,000 reward posted.