by: Eric Philips Updated:CORNELIUS, N.C. —
Huntersville police said they were searching for a man near Highway 21 at the Huntersville-Cornelius city limits after a pizzeria was robbed Wednesday night.
Officers said the thief robbed Uncle Maddio's Pizza Joint and when police tried to pull him over, he refused to stop.
Police pursued him and he crashed a short time later and ran off.
Police said a man wearing dark clothes and a bandana, armed with a gun burst into the restaurant just after 10 p.m., when it was already closed.
They said he stole money from the register. In the process, police said he bashed the manager in the face with the gun. Witnesses said he shoved the workers into the freezer before taking off.
Workers at the nearby Thai Emerald restaurant were just hearing about what happened.
“Usually, in this shopping center, it's very quiet and very safe. I didn't think that would happen like this,” one said.
After the robbery, police spotted the man who he led them on a short chase and crash.
People in neighborhood said you could not have missed the loud crash at the end of the chase. It ended up taking out a cable box in the process.
Witnesses said the suspect jumped out of his car and ran behind those homes.
Joe Andrews said it made him came outside to see what all the commotion was about, but decided it was best for him to go back inside.
“I didn't know if he had a gun or anything or if it was going to be a shootout or something, I didn't know,” he said.
The manager was not seriously injured in the crash.