Police arrest NC men who ‘terrorized dollar stores’ in possibly 40 armed robberies

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – Police have arrested two thieves who they say may have robbed possibly 40 dollar stores in Charlotte since 2017.

According to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, officers charged 34-year-old Jonathan Gardin and 26-year-old Mandale Huntley for their involvement in several armed robbery incidents.

On Saturday, officers were conducting a zone check at the Family Dollar, located on Valleydale Road, when they pulled into the parking lot and saw a man running from the business carrying cigarettes.

Officers chased the man on foot and were able to arrest him a few minutes later. Officers found a gun and additional evidence the man threw down during the foot chase.

Police determined that the man, who was later identified as Jonathan Gardin, had just robbed the store at gunpoint moments before they arrived.

A getaway vehicle was located nearby that was being driven by Mandale Huntley and officers were able to arrest him without incident. Gardin and Huntley were both taken to police headquarters where they were interviewed by robbery detectives.

In addition to this robbery, detectives determined that Gardin was involved in three other business robberies and Huntley was involved in one other business robbery.

CMPD says they partnered with the FBI during the weekend and made arrests they consider very important to the community.

In a press conference Sunday, Sgt. Brian Scharf and FBI Supervisory Special Agent Jason Kaplan spoke about the men and their history of robberies in Charlotte.

“It’s been 17 months of no sleep because we don’t take these things lightly,” said Scharf.

CMPD says Gardin has “terrorized” dollar stores in the area for over a year by coming into them with a mask on and holding employees at gunpoint. He’s charged with five robberies. Huntley was charged with two.

Police estimate Gardin and Huntley robbed about 40 stores, though they have currently just been charged with five since 2017.

Detectives are currently reviewing other open business robbery cases and additional charges may be forthcoming.

“I think that Mecklenburg County residents should be proud of the resources that are put in by the FBI and by CMPD to put some extremely qualified detectives,” said Kaplan.

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