CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- There is an urgent search for a serial armed robber in Charlotte after police said Thursday the suspect is now connected to a total of six armed robberies. They released new surveillance photos in the hope that someone in the community will recognize him.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police said the same man who robbed a Starbucks on Providence Road last week also targeted five other businesses in the past three weeks.
“We believe that they’re all related and all committed by the same suspect,” Sgt. Brian Sharp said.
The suspect is described as a white male in his 30s, approx. 5’10”, muscular, and bald or very short hair. Police say he dresses different in every robbery and is armed.
“He’s out there,” Sharp said. “Somebody knows him. We have pictures of him. He’s somebody’s family member. Somebody’s neighbor, a co-worker. Someone. Somebody will recognize him.”
Police say the suspect targets businesses where employees are often alone, or have very few people inside.
It’s a wake-up call for Starbucks customers like Colin Pillay.
“I think people should take a stand against it,” said Pillay. “If I was in there at the time I would defend myself.”
“This is usually a pretty safe area, so to know something like that could happen, particularly in the early part of the evening is pretty unsettling,” said another customer in the shopping area.
Before the latest robbery, police said the same man targeted five other businesses since mid-November. That includes a Dairy Queen and Smoothie King on Prosperity Church Road just days apart.
“That’s scary. Wow,” said a customer near Starbucks.
“It’s a big deal whenever you have armed individuals robbing businesses at a clip like this,” said Rob Tufano, a CMPD spokesman.
Tufano said investigators are concerned the situation could escalate and result in someone being hurt.
“Be a good witness, comply if they’re just asking for your property give them the property,” explained Tufano.
“Police certainly have their work cut out for them and they need to catch this guy,” said a customer.
Starbucks customers say they’ll be on alert too.
“I will keep my eyes out,” said Pillay.
Fortunately, no one was hurt in any of the robberies. If you have any information about the suspect you’re asked to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.