Police are searching for a man who tied up and assaulted a tobacco shop worker during a robbery

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) – Detectives from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department are hoping members of the public can help them identify the person responsible for a violent armed robbery at a Northwestern tobacco store of Charlotte.

The incident happened Saturday, May 14 around 9 a.m. at the Catawba Village Tobacco and Vape store on Mt. Holly-Huntersville Road, northwest of Charlotte.

Surveillance footage from the store shows a man entering the business and jumping over the store counter. The video shows the man pointing a gun at the employee behind the counter.

“This guy is going into this case with a gun, pointing the gun, which in itself is very dangerous,” said CMPD Crime Stoppers Detective Rick Smith.

Surveillance footage shows the intruder tied the employee’s hands and legs, leaving him behind the counter while he retrieves items from the store. Smith said it’s rare to hear of a robber tying up people during a robbery.

“It’s a bit rare, but it’s not unheard of and once again it was at 9:30 in the morning. This suspect here was pretty bold,” Smith said.

Surveillance video shows other people entering the business as the theft occurs, but Smith said people appeared to be unaware that a theft was taking place. Footage shows the employee trying to get up and walk towards the thief, but the man pushes the employee down and hits him with a gun.

“This particular victim was fortunate to have suffered only minor injuries,” Smith said.

After several minutes of collecting items, the thief leaves the store with his hands full of products taken from the store.

Smith said the suspected thief stopped by without a disguise at an area grocery store. The grocery store’s surveillance cameras were able to capture a clear image of the man’s face.

Anyone with information about the tobacco store robbery is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600. Tipsters can remain anonymous and they can receive a cash reward if they have information that leads to an arrest. Community members can also submit crime tips through the P3 Tips app.

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Mark M. Gagnon