The Watch with Will Kennedy: Burglary by Vehicle Targets Gun & Pawn Shops

Burglary by vehicle is a crime on the rise in the Charlotte area. But CMPD says there are ways to protect your store.

CHARLOTTE, NC — There was a time when criminals used crowbars and hammers to break into a business. But these days, the crooks are going bigger.

Burglary by vehicle is a crime on the rise in the Charlotte area. But CMPD says there are ways to protect your store.

“Obviously, a vehicle could smash through any type of window,” says CMPD officer John Frisk. “And it’s something they can do very fast.”

We’ve seen it time and again..

Criminals using a vehicle, often a stolen one, to drive right into a store, literally!
Just this week, a gun shop in Fort Mill was hit. And thieves left a truck behind, stuck in the front of a pawn shop in East Charlotte, during a botched robbery.

There have been nine cases of burglary by vehicle in Charlotte alone this year, and several more in the surrounding area. Often times the criminals are targeting gun stores and pawn shops.

“Guns being stolen out of pawn shops,” says Officer Frisk. “You know we’ve seen a lot of that here lately in Charlotte. And when guns get into the wrong hands of the wrong people, it’s very dangerous for citizens, and for the police.”

Officer Frisk works with CMPD’s Crime Prevention Unit, and says the crooks often case the store they’re going to rob first, and know exactly what to take.

“Even if our response time is two or three minutes, you know these criminals have already cased the inside of the building,” says Frisk. “You know, they can can potentially be in and out of there within a minute.”

There are steps a business can take to protect itself.

A little concrete can go a long way!

“We suggest the pillars out, you know, and definitely keeping them close enough to so a vehicle can’t go through the pillars,” says Frisk. “A lot of people put a lot steel, concrete in front of their doors.”

Three of CMPD’s nine burglary by vehicle cases have been cleared by arrest. Those arrests include six teens who tried to break into two guns stores back in March.