Suspect Charged For Armed Robberies And Attempted Murder Of 3 Gastonia Police Officers

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Detectives have charged a 33-year-old Gastonia man with multiple felonies for his involvement in two armed robberies and the attempted murder of three police officers.

Charles Cole, 33, is charged with seven counts of Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon, three counts of Attempted 1st Degree Murder, 1st Degree Kidnapping, two counts of Possession of a Firearm by a Felon, and Larceny of a Firearm, according to a news release.

Cole

Charles Cole

Police say Cole is being held on a $5 million dollar bond.

Detectives say they believe the following incidents they investigated were committed by Cole:

  • On December 17th, officers responded to a law office on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Way for the report of an armed robbery that just occurred. Investigators say that a man and woman were outside the office building when the suspect approached them. The suspect displayed a gun, threatened the victims with it, and then demanded property. Police say the suspect took off after stealing the property.
  • On December 29th, officers responded to a Waffle House on W. Franklin Boulevard for an armed robbery that has just occurred. Responding officers say the suspect entered the restaurant, threatened employees with a gun, and demanded cash from the business. The suspect stole cash from the business and then threatened a 67-year-old female customer. The suspect then stole money from this victim as well before fleeing in a dark-colored Dodge Ram truck. Police say after receiving a description of the suspect truck, they were able to locate one matching its description driving on N. King Street at W. Rankin Avenue. Officers then attempted to conduct a traffic stop when the suspect fired multiple rounds at them, with several rounds striking a marked GPD police car. After officers returned fire, the suspect sped off in the truck.
  • On December 30th, police located the suspect’s vehicle parked in front of a home on N. Pryor Street. Detectives responded and obtained a search warrant for the home. During the search warrant, investigators located Cole and evidence from the robberies inside the home.

Update (12/31/21):

A suspect wanted in connection with two armed robberies and shooting at police in Gastonia has been arrested, according to authorities.

Detectives say took him into custody without incident around 8:15 p.m. Thursday night, after locating him at a home on N. Pryor Street.

Investigators now believe that this same suspect committed another robbery on December 17th on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Way.

Original Story (12/29/31):

GASTONIA, N.C. — Detectives are actively searching for an armed robbery suspect in Gastonia who fired shots at officers. According to Gastonia Police, they responded to the Waffle House on West Franklin Boulevard around 6:30 p.m. for a robbery call. Officers say a black male suspect robbed a person outside the business and then went inside and robbed the restaurant. The suspect left the scene in a black Dodge Ram pickup truck with a United States Marine Corps sticker displayed on the back of the truck.

The suspect and the truck were located shortly after in the area of W. Rankin Avenue near N. King Street. Authorities say the suspect fired at officers and Gastonia Police officers returned fired. After shots were fired, police say the suspect left the area in the truck.

No officers were struck by gunfire.

Police are asking that the public avoid the area of W. Rankin Avenue near N. King Street as they continue to investigate.

We will update this story as more details become available.