CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Police released surveillance photos in hopes that someone can help identify the man who pepper sprayed a south Charlotte jewelry store owner and his son Thursday afternoon.
The incident took place around 3:00 p.m. at Bonnart Jewelers at 4219 Providence Road near the Strawberry Hill Apartments and the intersection of Providence and Fairview roads just east of SouthPark.
The top left corner of the photos show a man wearing a white long sleeve shirt, an orange traffic vest, black pants and black shoes. The black male suspect brought the duffel bag seen in the photos to the robbery, police said.
Owner Steven Makar said the robber walked into the store, peppered sprayed them and then his son, an employee at the store, scuffled with the thief.
Makar, who has been in business for 50 years, said the man never said a word. He just walked in and assaulted him.
"Thank God my son is OK. He got a couple of stitches in his face and I'm OK," said Makar. "He comes straight to me and he uses a little spray, hot spray and blinds my eye. Thank God with the glasses I can see a little bit."
His 54-year-old son, Mario, tried to respond, but the suspect was too quick.
"He was working on the bench with his head down. When we saw him coming in, my son got up—not much time to do anything.," added the owner.
The son was transported to Presbyterian Hospital. The suspect ran out of the store with jewelry and high-dollar watches. He fled in a dark gray small car driven by a white male.
"We are most concerned about the uniqueness of the bag he is carrying and the fact he is wearing an orange traffic vest,” said CMPD in a statement Friday.
If you have any information about this incident you are asked to call Crime Stoppers 704-334-1600.