CHARLOTTE, N.C -- Robberies in Charlotte have increased by 15.7% this year according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg police and the most serious cases are handled by the Robbery Unit at the Law Enforcement Center.
But the department has another line of defense -- a core group of investigators that are at the division level.
Thursday, CMPD allowed NBC Charlotte to ride with Brian Wakeland, a 25 year veteran.
“Well, we're very busy. It comes and goes,” said Wakeland, who works robberies in the Hickory Grove Division.
The department has a robbery investigator assigned to each patrol division.
"That is my responsibility. As soon as one occurs I’m called in to respond immediately to begin that investigation so we don’t lose any vital information," said Wakeland.
Robberies are up citywide. Last year at this time there were 1,134 cases. So far this year there are 1,312.
Part of the responsibilities of the Division Robbery Investigators is to understand the lay of the land, known trouble makers and hot spots so that investigations don’t have to start from scratch.
Investigators like Wakeland are also responsible for building a rapport with victims like Davant Bryant, whose home was shot up several weeks ago.
"If you're outside and you’re in the street and you know the signs and where to go and how to get there I think you have a better chance of stopping or preventing more," said Bryant.
Although robberies are up, police said they have done a better job of clearing cases, as arrests are up by 25%.