Police investigate possible spread in string of robberies

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. —

A string of violent robberies in Charlotte seems to be getting much longer and the thieves may be branching out.

Earlier this week, Channel 9 reported about the crooks using guns to rip people off in the driveways of their homes.  It happened five times in the University area earlier this week.

Police are investigating two new incidents possibly committed by the same crooks -- one of them in south Charlotte.  

One of the latest crimes happened in the Woodside Falls neighborhood.

Police said a woman who lives in the neighborhood was in her driveway when two men came up to her with a gun and demanded money.  She said one of them used his elbow to bash her head before getting away with her purse and cell phone.

The crimes involved armed robbers meeting people in their driveways and usually roughing them up before stealing their money -- a wakeup call to this south Charlotte neighborhood that just started a neighborhood watch weeks ago.

Police are offering a $5,000 reward for any information that leads to an arrest.

In the meantime, police said they're increasing patrols in this area and talking to neighbors about how to keep themselves safe.