CHARLOTTE, N.C. — An armed kidnapping at a popular Charlotte shopping center happened in broad daylight on Friday. Police say the suspect pulled a gun on a 30-year-old woman at the Arboretum Shopping Center around 3:30 p.m.
That’s when the victim says she was kidnapped in her own SUV, and was driven to South Carolina, where the suspect eventually let her go.
This comes as many people are rushing to stores to do their Christmas shopping.
The victim said she was leaving a restaurant and walked to her SUV in the parking lot when the suspect pulled a gun on her.
“I'm really taken aback, this is my first time hearing about it,” said Camari Jones, who works in the Arboretum Shopping Center. “It’s normally not like that at all, I can't believe something like that happened, it's right next to my job.”
The victim said the suspect drove her to South Carolina and eventually let her go at a gas station in York County.
“I would be thinking like, ‘I need to figure out how to get out of this car’ or anything trying to escape,” Jones said.
Fortunately, the victim was not hurt during the kidnapping. However, Chad Johnson, who manages a restaurant in the shopping center, is on alert.
“It’s quite concerning to see an actual kidnapping this close to where I work,” Johnson said. “I feel a lot more comfortable with this many people shopping, and it's always a really busy place but you never know obviously.”
Jones says even though she feels safe in the area, she is always vigilant about looking out for crime.
“I always watch my back because of my job, I make straight cash so you have to make sure you watch your surroundings when you walk out of work, especially late at night,” Jones said.
No arrests have been made in the case.
“It’s pretty much at your own risk, these days wherever you go,” Johnson said.
The victim said her SUV has not yet been returned to her.