Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say Sunday night’s armed robbery of a restaurant at Northlake Mall was planned and rare.
Police say two men armed with guns came into Bravo Cucina Italiana restaurant as employees were taking out the trash about 30 minutes after closing Sunday night
No injuries were reported, and no arrests have been announced.
Word of the robbery stunned shoppers like Kara Jesse.
"It must show that they are very desperate,” Jesse said. “The security, you always see cars around the parking lot. I'm just shocked that someone would try and do that over in the mall area."
Security at the mall was already beefed up for the holiday shopping season. Last Friday management added extra officers -- both private and with CMPD. The security cameras were set up, and an observation tower that watches the parking lot was installed.
Police believe this case is an isolated incident.
"We think it was a pre-planned event,” said Lt. Brian Foley, of CMPD’s North Division. “Nothing has ever happened at that restaurant before, and as a matter of course, looking back historically, it's a very rare occurrence in and of itself for any major restaurant chain to have something like that happen.”
Police say they are talking to merchants and may alter the security plan. Officers say that anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.