• CMPD addresses spike in armed robberies in east Charlotte Hispanic community

    By: Gina Esposito , Glenn Counts

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Armed robberies in an east Charlotte Hispanic community have spiked in the past three days.

    The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department held a news conference Thursday to reach out to the Hispanic community.

    "Ultimately, we don't want this to be a situation where people have seen something, and they don't trust us enough to let us know," Chief Kerr Putney said.

    One of those armed robberies happened Monday night in the parking lot at Woodford Estates in east Charlotte.

    The victim told Channel 9 the robbers stole his wallet. It was dark and he said he couldn’t see their faces.

    According to police, he was one of 10 people in the Hispanic community targeted by suspects with guns in the past three days.

    Jose Campos, with CMPD, has been in the community letting residents know not to worry about their immigration status. If they are a victim, report it, he said.

    "I guess every time something happens with immigration, people are afraid and we always having that problem," Campos said.

    Investigators said it's possible that's why the Hispanic community is being targeted and why there could be others who haven't gone to police.

    CMPD does not ask for immigration status and that's a point Putney strongly emphasized at the news conference.

    "It ain't about politics,” Putney said. “It's about people. We care about people. I don't care where you are from or what your status is, I care that you are not victimized while you are here in our city."

    The crimes all happened within 2 miles of each other near Central Avenue and Sharon Amity Road near the Greenbriar and Teal Point apartments.

    Most of the robberies happened on Spanish Quarter Circle.

    In an attack Tuesday, the robber fired shots at a victim before taking the person's cellphone, investigators said.

    On Monday, a neighbor told police he was stabbed when someone demanded money.

    “God, that’s ridiculous,” another neighbor, Calvin Gardner, said. “We used to have security up here, so they need to beef it back up.”

    Gardner, who said he has lived off Spanish Quarter Circle for nearly a decade, had heard about one of the robberies and hopes no one else becomes a victim in his neighborhood.

    “I hope they find out who did what and fix the problem,” Gardner said.

    A resident who lives off Spanish Quarter Circle said his apartment complex sent out notices warning tenants about the attacks.

    Police believe four people were involved in the crimes and that they seemed to work in pairs.

    Police said no arrests have been made.

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