CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Thieves waited until just after closing time to strike a pizza place, netting more than a thousand dollars in cash and checks.
Police think they were either very lucky or had some good inside information about what they'd find.
It happened 18 minutes after closing time. Surveillance shows a disguised man with a gun sneaking into the kitchen of the Hungry Howie's restaurant on Sardis Road North.
There's a worker cleaning up and when he suddenly sees a gun pointed at his face, he shrieks in fright.
Shortly thereafter, the first thief is joined by a second man wearing pink gloves. With a gun in his back, the 19-year-old worker is forced to take them to where the money is stored up front.
"I'm shocked, because I still don't know how they got in," said CMPD Detective Tori Roddey.
Perhaps a back door was left ajar. But with only one young man in the store cleaning up, it begs the question if they had prior knowledge.
"They knew somehow nobody was going to be there except him at that time of night," the detective said.
At the front counter, the thieves demanded the worker punch in codes to open the deposit box. They wound up getting more than a thousand dollars in cash and checks. But when they told the worker to open the store safe, he told them he didn't have that code and couldn't.
That's when the thief in the pink gloves throws a punch to his face.
"It really burns me up, Paul, to see," Detective Roddey said. "They're already in there robbing this place. They've got a gun pointed at him, he's terrified and you haul off and hit him once he's unable to open the safe? That really gets to me."
It gets to everyone who has a conscience.
If you know anything about this Sunday night robbery, please call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 and help police stop this kind of crime. There's reward money available and you don't have to leave your name.