Four charged in string of Charlotte robberies targeting Hispanic - | WBTV Charlotte

Four charged in string of Charlotte robberies targeting Hispanic community

Salmeron (Source: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department) Salmeron (Source: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department)
Chinchilla (Source: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department) Chinchilla (Source: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department)
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Four people have been charged in a string of Charlotte robberies police say targeted the Hispanic community. 

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Pedro Antonio Rivera-Chinchilla, 18, Christian Jose Salmeron, 19, Joshua Omar Salvado-Gil, 19, and a 15-year-old are accused of being involved in at least seven robberies that all occurred on July 16 in a span of six hours, listed below.

  1. On Sunday, July 16, at 4:46 a.m., police say two people approached people outside their apartments on Kentland Lane, pulled out a gun and robbed them. 
  2. At 6:53 a.m., a victim says he was walking to his vehicle in the 600 block of Archdale Drive when two people approached him, pointed a handgun at him and took his property. The victim said a third person was waiting in a car.
  3. At 8:32 a.m., two people were loading their vehicle on Montcrest Drive when they say two people approached them while a third person waited nearby, The pair pointed a handgun at the victim and took their property before running off, police say. 
  4. Minutes later, at 8:56 a.m., a man was in his vehicle on Dunlavin Way when two robbers approached him. He said one of the robbers pulled out a gun and pointed it at him while demanding his wallet. The second robber took the property and swung a knife at the victim, cutting his finger, police say. 
  5. At 9:22 a.m., a victim was near his vehicle on Airport Drive when three people approached him. Police say the robbers pulled out a gun and demanded money before getting into a car and driving off. 
  6. At 11:06 a.m., a man said he was in his vehicle on Falls Creek Lane when three people approached him. The three pointed a handgun a the victim and demanded money, police say. The man said the three people got into a car driven by a fourth person and fled. 
  7. At 11:38 a.m., the victims said they were outside their apartment on Weston Street when four people approached them. The robbers reportedly pointed a handgun at the victims and demanded property before fleeing in a vehicle. 

Officers say they located a vehicle Thursday that matched the suspect description. Officers say they stopped the vehicle due to a traffic violation and smelled marijuana inside the vehicle. The three occupants were arrested and brought to police headquarters to be interviewed. 

A 15-year-old juvenile was identified as a fourth suspect and was arrested early Thursday morning. 

"They were targeting the Latino community. You know, they specifically targeted those areas," Sgt. Brian Sharp said. WBTV asked police why the four suspects would target the Latin-American community and Sharp said "a lot of it is the fact they carry cash."

Over the last 20 years, a number of financial institutions have opened in Charlotte and are catering to the needs of Latin American families.

Supporters of these places like Jose Hernandez-Paris of the Latin American Coalition said many Latinos are not using banks because of today's political climate.

"I think with the environment, I think some of the individuals have been more reluctant to maybe use some of those services, because their afraid that maybe they'll deported or targeted by ICE and that's something they do consider," Hernandez-Paris said.

Sharp agrees and encourages crime victims regardless of their nationality to call 9-1-1.

"It's unfortunate, but that is the case," Sharp said."We want them to come forward and we want them to report things."

Rivera-Chinchilla was charged with four counts of armed robbery with a dangerous weapon, five counts of conspiracy to commit armed robbery, attempted murder and attempted armed robbery.

The 15-year-old has been charged with attempted murder, armed robbery and conspiracy to commit armed robbery.

Salmeron was charged with two counts of armed robbery and two counts of conspiracy to commit armed robbery.

Salvado-Gil was charged with three counts of armed robbery with a dangerous weapon and three counts of conspiracy to commit armed robbery with a dangerous weapon.  

Police say they continue to review numerous robbery cases that may be connected, and that additional charges are forthcoming. CMPD called the work of police officers exceptional in these arrests. 

Chinchilla, Salmeron and Salvado-Gil are all expected to be charged as adults. 

The investigations are active and ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

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