Police search for man who robbed Charlotte animal hospital

Police search for man who robbed Charlotte animal hospital


by GLENN COUNTS / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @GCountsWCNC


Posted on July 19, 2013 at 1:59 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 22 at 11:06 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police responded to the Freedom Animal Hospital on Freedom Drive Friday after the clinic was robbed and a veterinarian kidnapped.

The call to 911 came in around 12:45 p.m. that the animal hospital at 3055 Freedom Drive had been robbed at gunpoint.

When police arrived, they found out that the gunman had also taken the veterinarian hostage.

According to CMPD, the armed man drove the victim to an ATM.

“That’s when he drops the towel and I could see he really did have a gun,” said Dr. Margurette Straley, who was the hostage.

According to Dr. Straley, before she was forced into her own vehicle, the gunman put a gun to her co-worker’s neck.

Dr. Straley also said at one point she considered jumping out of the car, but changed her mind.

“We had about 15 near misses from car accidents,” she said.  “I’m a chicken.  I couldn’t get my courage up.  No, I guess I also thought it wasn’t bad at this point,” she said, thinking back on the incident.

She has operated Freedom Animal Hospital for 30 years and has never been robbed before.  Although she wasn't physically hurt, the suspect managed to hurl a few insults about her weight.

"If you're going to hold me up, keep your insults to yourself," she said thinking about those tense moments.

“He was frustrated by the construction.  He was pissed off, he was running his mouth: 'I’m a drug user, I need to pay my dealer,'” recalled Dr. Straley.

The man drove her to an ATM with the intent for her to withdraw her money.  That's also the moment she was released.

Police described the suspect as a black male approximately 6'0" - 6'3" approximately 260 pounds, bald or shaved head.  The suspect may be in his mid to late 40s.

Authorities were able to release photos of the suspect from images captured at that ATM.  Anyone with information on this incident should contact police.