CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Sixteen handguns were stolen in a brazen daylight robbery at a local pawn shop. A combined reward now pushes near $25,000 to catch three frightening men who robbed the Cash America Pawn shop on North Tryon.
When they rushed in the front door at 6:30 p.m. on a Thursday, they knew exactly what they wanted.
"Soon as they got inside," said CMPD Detective Tori Roddey, "Two went directly to the guns, one went to the cash register."
The customers inside were shocked at seeing masked men with guns. Some ran out and some just got down to the floor. But the armed men didn't threaten anyone. Instead, they went to work trying to break into a glass gun case.
"They were trying to hit it with the end of their gun because each one had a handgun. They couldn't get it open, so what they decided to do was shoot to loosen up the glass," the detective said. "They shot into the glass six times."
The six shots did it. One man cherry-picked which guns he wanted to take. And good news for investigators - they left a little evidence behind.
"The shell casings and actual bullets are still in there, possibly a little bit of blood when one of the guys was pulling open the glass," Detective Roddey said.
Police think the 16 stolen guns may already have been sold on the street. But what Detective Roddey is counting on is that large reward offered for information.
"We're talking about 16 to 25 thousandd dollars, and the guys are only getting $100 to $150 a pop on these guns. You do the math. I'll take the 25 thousan," the detective said.
The crooks were last seen driving away in a black Chevy Impala with a silver sticker on the rear driver's side bumper.
If you know something and would like to cash in on that huge reward, call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600. All calls are anonymous.