Cameron Hallman paid for his food at the drive-thru window at the McDonald’s on South Tryon Street in Charlotte, moments before he and his cousin robbed the place, the FBI says.
Two hours later, Hallman came back for his change.
Hallman and his cousin, Elijah Hallman were arrested last summer on federal robbery and firearms charges stemming from 2017 incidents at the drive-thru windows of two fast-food restaurants in Charlotte. Elijah, 29, was indicted this month and is to be arraigned on Monday, court records indicate. Cameron, 26, pleaded guilty in July and awaits sentencing.
According to an FBI affidavit, the cousins’ chances of escaping arrest were hampered when Cameron returned to the McDonald’s at 4440 S. Tryon St. asking for the change he says he was owed from his food order earlier that morning. Cameron also was searching for Elijah’s cell phone, which the cousin had dropped when he fled the robbery on foot, the FBI says.
Based on the affidavit, neither of the robberies on the morning of April 11, 2017 unfolded according to plan.At 2 a.m., the FBI says, Cameron steered his white Buick into the Wendy’s drive-thru at 7900 Arrowridge Blvd. He ordered food and paid for it by handing the attendant five $1 bills. That’s when Elijah Hallman, who the FBI says was on foot and armed with a semi-automatic handgun, appeared at the drive-thru window and demanded money, the affidavit says.
The Wendy’s employee complied — by throwing the five singles at Elijah that Cameron had just handed him before ducking for cover, the affidavit says. The Hallmans fled with their $5 take.
About 30 minutes later, they reappeared at the McDonald’s on South Tryon between Arrowood Road and I-485, with a reconfigured strategy, the affidavit indicates.
This time, when Cameron was paying for his order, Elijah — who is listed in Mecklenburg Jail records as 5 foot 6 and 115 pounds — leaped through the drive-thru window and ripped out the entire drawer of the cash register, the affidavit says.
Cameron, who the jail says is 6 foot 2 and 280, drove away without his change or his food, the affidavit says. Meanwhile, Elijah ran off with an estimated $360, even as he dropped coins along his escape route.
Video surveillance later captured the cousins’ reuniting around the corner from the Golden Arches, the FBI says.
The footage also shows Elijah dropping an item. It was at the spot where the FBI says the restaurant manager found his cell phone while following — and collecting — the trail of abandoned change.