by: Jim Bradley Updated:
CHARLOTTE - A string of armed robberies has police searching for patterns, suspects, and possible connections.
Eight times since Friday morning bandits have hit restaurants or convenience stores. The latest happened early Monday morning at a Hardee's restaurant on Sunset Road in North Charlotte. Employees say two armed men burst into the restaurant around 5:30 a.m. and pointed guns at workers before running off with money.
Police say they're still trying to determine if there are any connections between that robbery and seven others in the area. A Q-T Convenience Store and McAlister's restaurant were robbed in Mooresville on Friday morning. Saturday a Taco Bell and Wendy's on Freedom Drive were hit. At about the same time another Wendy's on Independence Boulevard was robbed. Then Sunday evening a Pizza Hut on Kings Drive and a Domino's Pizza on Rea Road were hit, too.
Police in Charlotte say they believe the two Freedom Drive robberies are related and say they're still looking at whether a larger group of criminals could be behind all eight robberies.
"We've had that before where we've had a group of individuals who go out and different parts of the group do different robberies at different times and different parts of the city. So that's something we're looking at," said Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department Capt. Michelle Hummel.
Hummel said police want restaurant workers and customers to be watchful for the possibility of more robberies.
"We do want to make sure that people are safe. That's why we're putting this out there and making sure folks know it's going on," Hummel said.