• Man points gun at employees while trying to shoplift from Macy's at Northlake Mall

    By: Kristin Leigh

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A registered sex offender pulled a gun Thursday afternoon on Macy's employees at Northlake Mall, police say.

    Jacob Rowlette, 30, who has served jail time for indecent liberties with a child, is accused of threatening to shoot two employees while trying to steal merchandise.

    Rowlette, who has a Queen City crown tattoo on his chin and the word "blessed" tattooed on his neck, was just released from prison in the summer.

    According to police, he also has past convictions of assaulting women and drug possession, among other crimes.

    [Teen arrested after shots fired outside of Northlake Mall, police say]

    Rowlette was trying to steal clothes at about 3:45 p.m. Thursday before pointing the gun at the employees, police said.

    According to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s online crime database, police have responded to at least 93 crimes within a half-mile radius of the Northlake Mall Macy's since Nov. 1.

    The most common crime reported was theft, with 75 reported larceny cases. There were seven reported robberies and seven reported assaults, among other crimes. 

    "I stay away from the crowds because you never know what's going to happen,” shopper Marilyn Belk-Jones said.

    “I definitely keep my purse close and stay vigilant of my surroundings,” shopper Marie Jones said.

    Scott Anderson, a Northlake Mall spokesperson, told Channel 9 in an email Friday that the shopping center has not seen an increase in reported crimes during the holiday season, but the mall amps up security during the holiday shopping season. 

    "The safety of our guests, tenants and employees is our highest priority," Anderson said. "Our security teams are on-site 24/7. While we don't share security and response details we have implemented additional measures, some of which are visible to shoppers and guests, while others are not." 

    Channel 9 reached out Friday morning to a representative, but had not received a response.

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