CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A crime spree in the Hispanic community started five months ago. Now three young men with strong Spanish accents are wanted by police for robbing Latino stores of tens of thousands of dollars.
There hasn't been much evidence to go on - until now.
"They casually walk in as if they've done this millions of times," said CMPD Detective Tori Roddey as he watched newly released surveillance video of a robbery at Tienda La Luna convenience store on Central Avenue.
Three men walk in slowly, then one pulls a handgun and threatens the two employees.
"They're directing the young lady at the register," the detective said. "They're going to go over there and they tell her, 'give us the money or we'll shoot you.'"
While the gunman threatens the clerk, waving his gun around, the other two make their way to the register and fill up a plastic bag with $31,000 in cash. What the victims told police is these men all spoke the Spanish you'd hear in Central America.
"They're able to tell from their accent they're from Honduras maybe, but that's about all we have other than the picture of their face."
And let's go back to the beginning of this stick-up where we get a good picture of two of the crooks the moment they walk into this store. Both are late covering their faces.
"Normally they come in and their faces are covered up, but fortunately for us, the young man just puts the cloth over his face."
Seven days after this robbery, surveillance noticed the same trio on South Tryon. One of the men was carrying a guitar case, backwards, just before police say they robbed La Pachuquena.
"Which is kind of unusual, a guitar case carrying around and we're not sure if that's where they had an assault rifle, or, is that where they're keeping the money."
Detective Roddey says these three are violent and their five-month spree must end.
"For some reason nobody know who these guys are, they could have not been here very long but they've hit several businesses up in the last few months."
At La Pachuquena, the trio got away with $50,000.
There is good reason to get them off our streets by calling Crime Stoppers at (704) 334-1600. You won't have to leave your name and you will be compensated with reward money.