Police have arrested a man in connection with robberies that occurred in a Huntersville shopping center parking lot Monday.
Detectives arrested Darrin Keith Patterson, 47, at his Cornelius home around 9 p.m. Tuesday after receiving a tip to Crime Stoppers.
Police said Patterson is currently on federal probation for a previous carjacking in New York and is a registered sex offender.
On Monday, a woman told Channel 9 she was leaving Homegoods in the Target Plaza with her 6-year-old daughter when the man started walking behind her.
He said, "I've got a gun and I'm going to kill you. Get in the car." However, she didn't. Instead, the woman said she screamed and took a picture of the man before he ran away.
Police said he then approached a woman outside the Rack Room shoe store. The woman had two children in her car.
She told us the man said, "Keep your head down and give me your money." She did, and he ran away.
Police said following the robberies, Patterson ran across Sam Furr Road and got into a cab on Holly Point Drive. The cab took him to Old Statesville Road just south of East Catawba Avenue in Cornelius, where he was last seen, police said.
Police said the break in the case came from the cab driver who picked up Patterson at the crime scene.
Investigators said the cab driver became suspicious and passed information along to police. When another tip call came in to Cornelius police on Tuesday, officers said they knew they had their man.
“I can stress to the citizens enough, when we put things out like this, please pay attention. This time it paid off,” said Huntersville Police Officer Kevin Johnston.
Police have charged Patterson with two robberies that occurred at the parking lot on Sam Furr Road, and an attempted robbery that occurred moments earlier in an adjacent parking lot.