CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police are investigating after several local gas stations were targeted by violent criminals within the past month.
Over the weekend, there were two more violent crimes, including an armed robbery and a murder at a Steele Creek 7-Eleven. Now, it’s not only gas prices driving people from one store to another.
“Go to well-lit gas stations, and make sure there are other people around. If you see it’s desolate make it to the next one,” Myrna Cooper told NBC Charlotte.
NBC Charlotte learned about a dozen robberies at local gas stations in the past month, including a Circle K on Tyvola and another one on North Tryon. In both cases, arrests were made, but police are still looking for other suspects in other cases.
“It’s dangerous,” said one customer at the North Tryon Circle K.
More stores were hit by violent crime over the weekend. Police have released surveillance images of a suspect connected to an armed robbery at the Circle K on Freedom Drive. CMPD is also looking for the person who murdered a gas station employee at the 7-Eleven on Westinghouse Boulevard. Police said the 55-year-old man was shot and killed inside the store.
“My sympathy goes out to the family of the person who lost their life,” said Cooper.
“It’s a violent world out here today that we live in,” says another customer.
Customers now have new incentive to look twice, as gas stations gear up for the busy holiday season.
“They (gas stations) are very busy, but it’s about being aware,” says Cooper. “Certainly, you can’t mitigate all risk, but I’m going to do the very best I can.”
CMPD tells NBC Charlotte they are investigating whether any of the cases are connected.