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Arrest made in robbery, abduction

A 53-year-old Charlotte man was arrested Thursday in connection with the robbery and abduction at a west Charlotte veterinary hospital last week.

The suspect, identified as Robert Jolly Rhinehardt, has been accused of committing another robbery over the weekend, police said.

Rhinehardt has been charged with three counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon and three counts of second-degree kidnapping. He was found early Thursday by Charlotte-Mecklenburg police detectives at a motel and taken into custody without incident.

The first case was reported about 12:45 p.m. last Friday.

Police say a man entered the Freedom Animal Hospital, in the 3000 block of Freedom Drive, and robbed the business at gunpoint. Investigators say the suspect then forced an employee into the animal hospital’s vehicle and ordered her to drive to a bank.

According to police, the man ordered the woman to withdraw money from her bank account, but he released the hostage without taking money. The woman was released unharmed a short time later on Freedom Drive. The animal hospital’s vehicle, a Nissan minivan, was found abandoned on Freedom Drive.

Investigators also accuse Rhinehardt of a robbery about 11:35 a.m. Saturday in the 4100 block of Welling Avenue, near Glenwood Drive and Interstate 85, in the same area as the Friday crime. According to police, the suspect approached a man and ordered the victim at knifepoint to go to an ATM and withdraw money. The suspect took money from the victim, and police say the victim suffered minor injuries during the robbery.

Police got a good description of the suspect, and detectives were able to identify a suspect this week, according to authorities.

Lyttle: 704-358-6107 Twitter: @slyttle
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