Investigators in Iredell County showed segments of a surveillance video Tuesday night from a robbery at a Food Lion and said the thieves may be connected to several other recent cases.
In the video, two men can be seen forcing the employees into a room with a safe. A shot was fired in the air and then the thieves emptied the safe.
To protect the victim’s identities, deputies decided against releasing the full video even though it could be crucial in connecting the robbers to at least two other crimes.
The robberies started at a Food Lion in Huntersville last month when two armed men walked into the store around closing time. They fired a warning shot into the air, emptied a safe and left with the cash.
A day later, surveillance captured two men at a Rite Aid in Statesville, who also walked into the store with guns and walked out with money stolen from a safe.
Earlier this week, two men forced employees at a Mooresville Food Lion to open a safe. The robbery happened close to closing time and the thieves fired a warning shot.
“I mean, that’s enough to terrify you right there,” said Iredell County Detective Brian Boyd.
Boyd was charged with mapping out the locations of the robberies and comparing them.
“Clothing descriptions may be similar, things they had done inside the store; maybe even denominations of money that was taken,” he said, discussing the types of things he was examining.
The thieves took about $1,500 in Mooresville and a similar amount in Statesville, where they also shot a man standing by their getaway car, which is what worries investigators most.
“They had no problem firing shots towards an innocent victim, so that’s a big concern to us,” said Statesville Police Chief Tom Anderson.
“You never know, someone might try putting up a fight and they might end up shooting (them),” Boyd added.
In addition to those robberies, investigators said there is also a possible link to another Rite Aid robbery in Cornelius that happened in January.
Officials said they could release that surveillance video as early as Wednesday.