CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - One of Charlotte's iconic businesses was robbed and terrorized by two men who not only threatened with guns, they brought their own zip ties.
Pike's Pharmacy is a family operation. Four generations of Pike's have worked under the multi-colored awning on Shamrock Drive since the store was opened in 1919.
It's been robbed before, but not like this, when two armed men burst in shouting to "get your hands up and get down on the floor."
All four workers were forced down to the floor at gunpoint. One robber went in search of drugs, while the other kept watch over the workers.
"They told them they wanted the 'narcs,'" said CMPD Detective Tori Roddey. "The narcotics - the hydrocodone, the oxycontin, those type pills that sell really well on the streets right now."
Store owner Jesse Pike, who is a fixture in the community, is proud of the way his people responded.
"They did exactly what they should have done - they complied," said Pike.
The crooks used plastic trash bags to haul seven thousand dollars' worth of drugs.
But then, something odd... they brought out zip ties and forced one worker to tie up everyone else.
"I've seen it before," said the detective, "but it's rare you have somebody bring zip ties to a robbery and tie the people up."
With hands tied, just imagine what was going through the victims' minds.
"That takes it to a whole other level," Roddey said. "Just being at a robbery and having a gun pointed at you is one thing already, but you take somebody and tie them up - you're automatically thinking the worst."
The crooks left calmly and no one was harmed. But it leaves Detective Roddey with a real desire to catch them.
"This breaks your heart, because someone who is the fabric of the community, everybody knows him around here, you hate to see that happen. We're making sure there's a hefty reward for somebody with information, definitely if you know somebody who's getting rid of a lot of pills right now."
The store says they'll make some changes to their security to prevent any reoccurrence.
As for descriptions, both men were heavily-disguised. One man had a full beard showing under his orange mask. He also had paint on his trousers, which makes you wonder if he was a painter.
The other was dressed in all black with few distinguishing marks.
Please call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 if you know these men or anyone selling pills on the streets. Detective Roddey says they are upping the reward to get information leading to an arrest.