The Watch with Will Kennedy: Charlotte Check Cashing Robberies Spike

CMPD is seeing a spike in robberies involving victims who have just been to a check cashing business, and the thieves seem to be targeting one group in particular.

CHARLOTTE, NC — Criminals like an easy score, and it doesn’t get much easier than a victim with cash in hand.
CMPD is seeing a spike in robberies involving victims who have just been to a check cashing business, and the thieves seem to be targeting one group in particular.

They wait. They watch. They follow.

“If you think about an ATM or a check cashing store, you know when you go to one of these locations and you’re walking away, chances are you’re walking away with cash,” says CMPD Officer Chris Kopp with the Crime Prevention Unit. “Well these suspects, these criminals, are seeing this. They’re preying on these victims.”

Criminals are casing check cashing stores, knowing their victims are going to have cash in hand. CMPD is seeing a surge in this kind of crime, with 12 in just the last two days.

“It’s happening city wide,” says Officer Kopp. “All of our divisions are seeing some, experiencing this type of robbery.”

CMPD sent out a department wide alert, warning officers across Charlotte to be on the lookout.

And it is Hispanic victims who are are being targeted the most. Victims who often do not report the crime to police.

At one East Charlotte apartment complex, the suspects followed two Hispanic victims home, came up with a gun, grabbed more than 500 dollars, took wallets, cell phones and a car key, then drove away.

In another robbery targeting an Hispanic man, the suspects took the victims’ stuff and then drove off in his car!

“When they get out of their vehicle, that is when they are being robbed,” says Officer Kopp. “So they’re actually being followed all the way to their home.”

CMPD recommends you pay extra attention to your surroundings when leaving an ATM or check cashing store, and says you should call 911 if you feel you are being followed.