by: Mark Becker Updated:CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
Police in Charlotte said they have the man behind at least six violent robberies in the last two weeks, including home invasions and robberies of several neighborhood stores.
Officers arrested Thomas Alexander, 21, on Saturday. They said he led officers on a chase and then wrecked the stolen car he was driving in north Charlotte.
They said his spree started two weeks earlier with a carjacking in west Charlotte and that he used the car to go from one robbery to the next, each time showing his victims a handgun.
One of the victims, Aida, told Eyewitness News it’s a miracle that she’s alive.
“I tried to escape, to leave, but he pushed me inside,” she said.
The attack happened on May 5 when she opened her door and the suspect forced his way in. She said he hit her on the nose with the handgun and that she fell during the scuffle, breaking her ankle.
The crime happened a less than a mile from the SA Food Mart on Morningside Drive, which police said Alexander held up 11 days later.
Surveillance photos showed a suspect pointing a handgun at the clerk and then carrying a cash drawer out of the store.
“That’s actually extremely scary,” said Ashley Wilson, who lives nearby and is a regular customer at the store.
List of the cases that police said they have tied to Alexander:
May 4 at 11:39 p.m.: Freedom Division patrol officers responded to the 3300 block of Timberbrook Drive in reference to a carjacking. The female victim said a man armed with a handgun had approached her and demanded her silver Honda Civic. The suspect then fled with her vehicle.
May 5 at about 8:42 a.m.: Eastway Division patrol officers responded to the 1400 block of Green Oaks Lane in reference to an armed robbery and assault. The female victim said she heard a knock at her door and when she answered it a man armed with a handgun forced his way into the apartment. The suspect severely assaulted the victim, stole an item from inside her residence and fled the scene. The victim was transported to Carolinas Medical Center, where she was treated for her injuries.
May 6 at about 10:35 p.m.: Hickory Grove Division patrol officers responded to the 3700 block of North Sharon Amity in reference to an armed robbery. The victim advised he was approached by two suspects -- one armed with a handgun. The victim attempted to flee from the suspects but the suspects located the victim and demanded money. After realizing the victim had no money, the suspect armed with the handgun struck the victim in the head with the handgun and fled in a Honda Civic.
May 12 at about 1:45 p.m.: An armed man entered the Thomasboro Grocery, located at 235 Bradford Drive in the Freedom Division. The suspect pointed a gun at the employee and demanded money from the business. After obtaining money and cigarettes from the business, the suspect fled the scene in a silver Honda Civic that was similar in description to the May 4 carjacking vehicle.
May 16 at about 12:10 p.m.: Eastway Division patrol officers responded to 1126 Morningside Drive to the SA Food Mart. The victim at the scene said a man armed with a handgun entered the store and demanded money from the business employee. The suspect fled the store in a silver Honda Civic.
May 17: Officer Miranda, with the Metro Division, discovered the occupied stolen silver Honda Civic that was wanted for its connection to the series of armed robberies. Miranda attempted to conduct a traffic stop but the suspect refused to stop and attempted to flee. A pursuit ensued until the suspect jumped out and ran from the vehicle. The driver threw a handgun while attempting to flee. The suspect was taken into custody without further incident and identified as Thomas Alexander. The gun was recovered at the scene.