Police run undercover operation while searching for robbery suspect

by: Jeff Smith Updated:


CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Police ran an undercover operation Wednesday night in east Charlotte to try and identify the man responsible for a string of recent armed robberies.

Five people have been robbed at gunpoint along Eastway Drive bus stops since late October. The most recent attack happened Sunday night. Police don't have a suspect.

East Charlotte resident Marco Barkley said he's heard about the string of armed robberies.

"It is scary, because I got kids, and a wife, and family. So it is kind of scary that they don't have suspect. Cause I don't want to be a victim of it," Barkley said.

Police said the victims have all been walking to or from a bus stop along Eastway Drive. That's when a man armed with a knife or a gun appears from behind, and demands money.

There have been five armed robberies over the last two weeks. In the most recent attack on Sunday night, the victim was stabbed in the arm.

Police believe the robberies are connected.

"We're adjusting our hours when crime's occurring, and we're out here addressing it," said Lt. Rob Dance, who coordinated the operation.

Dance said the suspect is usually on foot, but officers believe his car is parked down the street.

East Charlotte police doubled their presence Wednesday night in the mile radius around Central and Eastway Drive. There were six marked patrol cars driving around the area.

"Our patrol guys are going to be getting out with people walking the streets, our guys in undercover vehicles are going to park in parking lots, watching the area closely," Dance said.

There will also be unmarked cars parked near bus stops, with undercover officers on patrol.

"To have the police present and don't nobody know, I mean, the person that's doing the robbing might just run up to them," Barkley said.

Police at least hope the suspects get the message that they're being watched.

"If anything, maybe we'll send the message that we're out here in force," Dance said.