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Victim, off-duty officer aid in Charlotte robbery arrest

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- Mecklenburg County Jail photo
Police say they have charged Robert Jay Harris in connection with an armed robbery Thursday outside a store at Commonwealth and Thomas avenues in east Charlotte. (Mecklenburg County Jail photo.)

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say quick work by a crime victim, an off-duty officer and patrol officers played a big role in the arrest of a suspect in a robbery case Thursday.

Police said Robert Jay Harris, 20, was charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon, possession of a stolen firearm, and possession of a firearm by a felon.

The robbery was reported about 11:30 a.m. Thursday at Commonwealth and Thomas avenues in east Charlotte, police said.

A man said he left a grocery store and was getting into his car in the parking lot when an armed man got in the passenger side door and demanded the victim’s personal property. The suspect then ran off.

Investigators said the victim spotted an off-duty police officer who was working in the area and told him what had happened. The officer broadcast the information, including a description of the suspect. A short time later, patrol officers spotted a man matching the suspect’s description, behind a building on Central Avenue.

The suspect, later identified as Harris, was taken into custody. Police said the handgun in his possession had been reported stolen in Charlotte last Friday.

Lyttle: 704-358-6107; Twitter: @slyttle
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