Crime Stoppers: Assault rifles stolen during violent armed robbery

Police search for men who stole assault weapons

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A violent robbery at a Charlotte pawn shop, and 28 assault rifles were stolen by three men. Now, national and local law enforcement agencies have combined to track down the crooks who terrorized customers and employees at the EZ Pawn on Monroe Road.

"They came in the day before and they actually cased the place out," said CMPD Detective Tori Roddey.

Surveillance video shows two of the three men dressed as construction workers with hard hats and a traffic vest. They were seen taking an interest in a wall full of assault rifles.

One man is stocky with a full beard and Jamaican dreadlocks. The other has a very oddball disguise.

"And all he's wearing is a black wig and a yellow hat, and a [traffic] vest," Detective Roddey said.

One day later, they were back in the store with guns drawn.

"They pistol whipped the manager as he was getting money out of the safe."

There was also a third man involved in the stick-up. Earlier that same morning, surveillance at another pawn shop caught him wearing an all-red colored outfit. During the robbery, he wore a hard hat and yellow vest with his red clothing very visible underneath.

"And he comes in and immediately puts a gun up to the female employee's back," the detective said. "He told her, 'I'll shoot you if you don't keep still,' and he told everybody else to get on the ground."

With everyone on the floor, the stocky man grabbed an armful of weapons off the wall.

"You can see on the video, the manager is on the ground and the suspect grabs all of the assault rifles, putting them on the counter, getting them all together and wrapping them up in a sheet of some kind."

They were able to get away quickly, which begs the question - are police concerned about the theft of those 28 assault rifles?

"We're very concerned, because it adds up to several shootings and more homicides because, of course, anyone they sell the guns to are more than likely criminals themselves," Detective Roddey said.

The ATF and the National Shooting Sport Foundation together have put up $15,000 for a conviction.

Crime Stoppers will pay up to an additional $1,000 for an arrest. If you can help these law enforcement agencies catch these bad men and get those guns off our streets, call 704-334-1600 and your call will be anonymous.

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