When Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police spotted a car that had been stolen only hours before in an armed carjacking, it seemed like a stroke of luck.
Officers tried to get the driver to pull over, but the car sped away instead, leading to a chase through the eastern edge of Charlotte on Saturday afternoon.
The stolen car hit another car, police said, and kept going until damage from the wreck meant the driver had to stop.
One man inside the car jumped out and ran away – with a gun. Police pursued him with dogs, which found the gun but not the man.
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The other two people inside the car were detained and interviewed. Police expected to take them to jail, but then officers learned they were just unfortunate participants in a carpool.
“The evidence showed that they had just gotten a ride with the suspect and were unaware of the robbery that had taken place,” a police statement said.
So police let the two passengers go, and no charges were filed against them.
Police are still looking for the suspect in the carjacking, which happened near the intersection of Providence Road and Ballantyne Commons Parkway.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.