CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Three people are on the run after beating up and stealing cash from a shopper at SouthPark Mall, according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police.

Taylor Hanley, 22, said it happened in a stairwell at Belk. He explained he got separated from his friends, then three guys rushed him and demanded cash. 

"His friend had me bear-grabbed and said if you don't empty your pockets, I'm going to knock you out," Hanley said.

Hanley said the trio got away, but he had a good idea of what they looked like and called police to report the incident.

"I panicked for a minute," he said.

NBC Charlotte has reported on crimes for years at the SouthPark Mall. 

We checked the crime mapping website, and within the past seven days, police reported well over a dozen crimes. Some of those included robbery, car-break-ins, and thefts.

A mall spokesperson sent us a statement that read, in part, there are "a number of proactive security measures in place, both seen and unseen, including maintaining a continuous security patrol of our property and parking lots."

As for Hanley, he said he's not scared to shop at this major shopping mall but learned a good lesson about knowing exactly who is around him at all times.

"It's really unfortunate that these guys did this," he said.