Slim thief caught on camera in crafty east Charlotte break-in

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Two businesses were hit by break-ins in east Charlotte this week.

Both Charlotte Tattoo Factory and the Fast Mart near the intersection of Idlewild Road and Margaret Wallace Road  were broken into early Monday morning.

Gary Hunter, co-owner of Charlotte Tattoo Factory, said he noticed the damage from the break-in as soon as he arrived at the store Monday.

"We were heartbroken as soon as we saw the busted window. We feared the worst," said Hunter.

He said the thief used a cement paver to smash their way into the shop.  Hunter said there were several pavers inside the store that appeared to have been used by the break-in suspect.

"Someone decided they needed something out of our store more so than we did," said Hunter.

The store co-owner said the thief took jewelry, retail items, and a cash register during the heist.

"We hate that it happens. We just pray for the individuals that they get help. That's our main concern. Anything other than life is replaceable," said Hunter.

The surveillance cameras from the Fast Mart nearby captured someone breaking into the convenience store the same night Charlotte Tattoo Factory was broken into. Hunter thinks the same suspect is responsible for breaking into his business.

The surveillance footage shows a suspect crawl through bars in front of the Fast Mart. The thief is shown smashing a cash register and grabbing items from the store. The person appears to take cigarettes, drinks, and several strands of lottery tickets.

The incident lasted several minutes. The thief then slid back through the store's security bars and took off into the night, leaving a trail of fallen lottery tickets.

"Watching the video surveillance tapes, you could tell he was distraught. It didn't look like he was too coherent," said Hunter regarding the suspect.

The person responsible for these break-ins has not yet been identified.

"We are praying that the guy finds help and is able to turn his life around before something worse happens to him or his victims," said Derek Van Cleve, the other co-owner of Charlotte Tattoo Factory.

Please call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 if you know who is responsible for the crimes.

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