Sticks up: Security cam captures Pantops heist
On Monday night, October 4, someone made a late-night run to Sticks Kabob Shop on Pantops; but the lure was cash, not kabobs.
Smashing out the glass of the front door at around 2:15am, an as yet unidentified black male made off with an undisclosed amount of cash. Although County police haven't nabbed him yet, his image was caught on security cameras at the restaurant.
"It's a pattern we've seen before," says Sticks owner Bill Hamilton, who has another Sticks in Preston Plaza and who owns Hamilton's on the Downtown Mall.
"Sunday, late at night, it happened before, about two years ago. But the guy gave a beauty shot to the camera. The police were like, oh, yeah, we know that guy; and they went and arrested him."
Indeed, Sticks security cameras also got a clean face shot of the latest bandit.
Hamilton says these kinds of robberies are common in shopping centers along major roads and interstates, as thieves cruise down the highway, make a quick exit to knock over a store or restaurant, then hop back on the highway.
"The thing is, its says there are security cameras right on the entrance," says Hamilton. "For some people, I guess, getting some cash is worth the risk. It's pretty sad."
As there wasn't much cash at the restaurant, says Hamilton, the real annoyance is all the broken glass and the mess.
"So many people use credit cards that we don't keep as much cash as we did even five years ago," says Hamilton, "not enough to commit a felony over."
Still, Hamilton says he plans to redesign the restaurant's office to make this kind of heist a little more difficult.
Meanwhile, Albemarle County Police are asking for assistance in identifying the suspect shown in the photo. Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Phil Giles at 434-296-5807 or Crime Stoppers at 434-977-4000