Police investigating string of armed robberies targeting Latino Community

CMPD: Criminals targeting Latino community

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said they are currently investigating a string of armed robberies in East Charlotte that occurred over a 48-hour period.

The armed robberies occurred near Central Avenue and North Sharon Amity Road between Sunday evening and Tuesday evening.

Police say in the seven reported cases, all the victims were Latino males and in all but one of the cases, a weapon was used.

"There could be others out there that are afraid to make that call," said Captain Torri Tellis with CMPD.

Capt. Tellis says Eastway Division officers are working around the clock investigating and making sure residents know precautions they can take to protect themselves.

Police do not currently have a good description of the suspects but say there could be up to four of them.

"People still see it as a target rich environment. If people think it is an easy target, then they will come," said Tillis.

Police are warning people in the area to be aware of their surroundings and to not give criminals an easy opportunity.

Police say not only are these criminals capitalizing on an opportunity, but they are using mistrust of police.

"I think they are being targeted because the people that are targeting them have realized that they can use trust against us," said CMPD Chief Kerr Putney. "We care about people. I don't care what your race or religion is, I care that you are not victimized while you are here in this city."

Captain Tillis says those that may have been victimized could provide vital information in solving the case.

"We are not interested in your immigrant status, we are interested in the crime," said Tillis.

Chief Putney says CMPD is working to hire more Latino officers and getting more officers that are bilingual. Putney says CMPD is working hard to build relationships and earn trust in the Latino community.

"What happens nationally does impact us, but the work we are doing is not being done in vain," the Chief said. "What we are doing is connecting with the kids because the kids are the true heart of the parents."

If you have any information about these crimes you are asked to call police.

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