CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A new trend has appeared in Charlotte crime - armed robbers waiting to strike when businesses take out their trash at night.
The latest example happened at a Wing Stop restaurant on North Tryon Street when a female employee was taking the trash out at closing time.
"As soon as she opened the door, she sees a guy pointing a gun at her and she screams," according to CMPD Detective Tori Roddey.
A second employee hears her scream. When he rushes to her aid, two men surprise him as they force the female at gunpoint through the kitchen.
"He's got the gun pointed toward the second employee and has the young lady by the neck as they're making their way in," the detective explained.
They ordered a third employee to open the safe. When he hesitates, he gets cracked over the head and falls to the floor.
"When he pistol whips him with the gun, the gun went off," Detective Roddey said. "A shot is fired inside the building as he struck the employee."
The employee suffered a cut on his forehead from the pistol whipping, but it could have been worse.
But why did they have to hit him?
"I chalk it up to nervousness. If things are not happening immediately, it makes them nervous which makes them more dangerous."
Two days prior to this crime, the same kind of attempted robbery during trash take-out took place a few doors down.
"So what the suspects are doing, they know they gotta take the trash out, they're just basically waiting in the back. As soon as the trash is taken out, they make their way in."
Detective Roddey suggests local businesses go out and around the back of their buildings to see who might be lurking before taking out trash.
Please help us catch these crooks by calling Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600. You could earn yourself a nice little Christmas bonus.