CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police are investigating a shocking New Year's Eve robbery at SouthPark Mall.
Investigators said an employee at the Winter Wonderland outdoor skating rink was robbed at gunpoint. The victim was duct taped during the armed robbery, according to sources close to the investigation. Both suspects are still on the run.
Police said the employee was robbed just after 10 p.m. Sunday, as people were getting ready to ring in the new year. No one expected a big celebration to turn into a brazen crime.
“I was shocked honestly, I didn't think something like that would have happened here, especially on a busy night like that,” said Indira Andrade, an employee at Event Espresso.
“It could have happened to literally anybody,” said Andrade. “It's a terrifying situation to think about it having happened.”
Police say one of two suspects pointed a gun at an employee and demanded money.
“That's pretty scary to know that someone robbed someone in a family friendly place and it's in a nice area of town,” said Heather Stratton.
Stratton says she's now thinking twice about when to visit the skating rink.
“I'll still come here, maybe not at night, different times of the day,” she said.
Others are trying not to let the robbery put a damper on the new year.
“I've seen a lot of nice people, you would hope it's just a couple of bad apples,” said Andrade.
Meanwhile, police are now searching for the suspects who got away with an iPhone and $5,000 cash.
NBC Charlotte also reached out to Winter Wonderland for comment but has not heard back. Fortunately, no one was hurt during the armed robbery.