• Police: Gun held to sandwich shop employee's head during robbery

    By: Catherine Bilkey


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Police are investigating two robberies at two sandwich shops just hours apart.

    In one of the robberies, two men with guns help up the employees, police said.

    The first happened at the Firehouse Subs on Mallard Creek Road. The second happened at Panera Bread on J.W. Clay Boulevard.

    Channel 9 talked to one of the employees who said she tried to stall the robbery.

    She pulled out the cash slowly because a customer had just left the shop and had gone feet away to a McAllister’s Deli.  He said he would be back for his sub sandwich.

    She was hoping he would be back in time to call police, but the robbers got away.

    Police said the two black men wearing ski masks, with dreads and carrying guns, told everyone to get down on the ground except for two employees.

    One employee was taken to the back office to the safe and told to get down on her knees.

    “He hit me in the back of the head and he was like, “Open it,’” said Latisha Johnson.

    “It was real when I saw her on her knees with the gun to the back of her head like, ‘Open the safe, open the safe,’ and that’s when it hit me like, ‘Oh my gosh. We’re really getting robbed,’” another employee said.

    But when Johnson got the safe open, there was no cash inside.

    The other robber turned to her friend, Ayana Turner, and had her empty out the registers.

    “They guys behind me, put the gun to my ribs like, ‘You better not press that panic button,’” she said.

    She tried to stall him, hoping a customer would come through the doors and stop the robber, but the robber didn’t seem to mind.

    He seemed very interested in the young girl.

    “So, what’s your name? Where are you from? And I’m thinking in my head, you’re robbing me right now like, ‘Why are you trying to have a conversation,’” Turner said.

    Meanwhile, her friend was still at gunpoint.

    “I had my head down the whole time because I didn’t want to look up.  I didn’t want him to see me like do the wrong thing. I wasn’t trying to get on the bad side,” said Johnson.

    After they got the money, the robbers took off.

    Police sent Channel 9 two surveillance photos of the robbery.

    A Panera Bread restaurant was robbed just hours later.

    Police won’t say if the two robberies are linked, but only that they are searching for the robbers.

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