Crime levels rise at Eastgate Shopping Center

HIGH POINT, N.C. -- The manager of a Family Dollar in High point was robbed at gunpoint Thursday morning outside of the store, according to police.

The suspect fired shots that shattered the window of the manager's car. In a 911 call, the victim says he was inches away from being shot.

Employees of the Eastgate Shopping Center say the parking lot is a hot spot for drug-related and violent crime. FOX8 looked at police calls for service to the shopping center over the past year-and-a-half. The call list shows hundreds of responses to crimes.

"We see this all day long. The question that runs through the majority of our heads out here is, are we next?" said Shauna Clemons, who works at Five Points Beauty & Barber Shop.

A 911 call tells the story of what happened to the manager around 7:30 Thursday morning

"I just got robbed. The guy shot at me," the victim tells the 911 dispatcher.

Employees in the Eastgate Shopping Center are on edge.

"Ran up to my car. I got in the car and locked the door. He pulled out the gun and started hitting the glass, and then he shot," he says in the 911 call.

He's was not hurt, but was clearly shaken up.

"I think today is my last day. I don't think I'm gonna do this anymore," he says in the call.

The victim tells the dispatcher he was about to head to the bank to drop off money when the suspect ran up from around the corner of the shopping center.

"They probably had to know his routine, because it was early in the morning, weren't nobody here," said LaPorchia Clowney, a Family Dollar customer.

The suspect ran off after he robbed the manager. Eleven officers responded to the scene, but they couldn't find the suspect.

"It does worry you, when you work in the same parking lot," said James Clarida, who works next door at Metro PCS.

Some employees who have worked in the complex for years aren't surprised this happened. Clemons says crime and drug deals are common sights in the parking lot.

"A lot of people shooting up heroin," she said. "We see a lot of overdoses out here, to the point where there's been several occasions where us at the barber shop had to call police."

Employees say the shopping center is busy all day, every day, and many people in this neighborhood rely on stores like Family Dollar and the Save-a-Lot.

Now, many shoppers are worried too.

"It touches me very deeply because I have two younger children, and I don't want them growing up, to seeing all these crimes, all these deaths, and think that's the way to live and think that's OK," said Chiqutia Little, a Family Dollar customer.

And loyal customers are rethinking when they'll shop here.

"I'm gonna have to be a little bit more cautious and definitely check my surroundings before getting out of the car, and also while I'm inside the store," Little said. "If I see something that doesn't look right, I'm gonna give them a heads up."

Police wouldn't say how much money the suspect stole.