Homicides, Rapes Up In Charlotte; Overall, Crime Down In 2017

From WFAE.org by Gwendolyn Glenn, January 31, 2017

CMPD Chief Kerr Putney painted a mixed picture Wednesday of how his department did in terms of reducing crime in 2017. Putney says overall crime was down by more than 5 percent, but homicides were up 25 percent and rapes increased by 12 percent.

It’s been well reported that homicides were up significantly–from 68 to 85 last year. CMPD Chief Putney says 60 of those cases have been solved. Domestic violence incidents accounted for more than a quarter those homicides. Putney says his officers will be required to take more domestic violence training to better equip them to deal with and prevent these types of incidents. Reported cases of rape increased to 306.

“We believe that in no small part, the reason people are stepping up and reporting these sexual offenses is because of what is going on nationally,” Putney said. “It is becoming a part of who we are as a society to report this kind of thing to hold people accountable. We applaud these sexual assault victims for their courage.”

Putney says other violent crimes and auto thefts were down by nearly 4 percent last year and property crimes and burglaries decreased by about 5 percent.

“What we take solace in is the fact that with that crime reduction, 3,000 fewer people were victimized in 2017 than the year prior, 3,000 fewer families impacted by robbery, car break-ins and having their homes burglarized.” Putney said.

Putney credited some of the crime reductions to his officers getting to know residents better in the communities they patrol. He pointed to initiatives where officers are mentoring and tutoring youths and says it helps that nearly 200,000 residents attended CMPD community engagement functions last year.

Putney made his comments at Faith Memorial Baptist Church in the Lakewood community, just northwest of uptown. That’s where CMPD is expanding one of its new initiatives. Together with non-profit groups and government agencies, the department is trying to reduce crime by focusing on the needs of families. It kicked off last year in the Hidden Valley neighborhood and Putney wants to take it citywide.

“We know if we heal an individual and a family we’re preventing crime. Everybody knows that research demonstrates that if you have mental health issues, lack of education and employment opportunities, and drugs you’re likely to engage in criminal behavior and we want to break the cycle,” Putney said.

Published in: on February 1, 2018 at 9:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

York County, SC Sheriff’s Detective Pronounced Dead One Day After Shooting

From Crime in Charlotte, January 18, 2018

A York County, SC Sheriff’s Detective critically injured in a shooting on Tuesday morning, January 17, 2018 was pronounced dead on Wednesday night, January 18, 2018.

The detective was shot during an incident in which three other officers were injured. Michael Doty, who had been a member of the Sheriff’s office for 12 years, was part of a manhunt for a suspect following a domestic incident in an area outside of York on Farrier Lane.

According to reports, the suspect, 47-year-old Christian Thomas McCall, fled the home after a call was made reporting an attack in progress on a woman. He fled into a nearby wooded area where members of the SWAT team as well as K9 officers were involved in a manhunt.

During the incident, McCall opened fire, striking Michael Doty. K9 Deputy Randy Clinton, Sheriff’s Sgt. Buddy Brown, and York Police Sgt. Kyle Cummings were also struck with gunfire.

Doty received critical injuries and was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead on Wednesday night. This newest development in the case will likely exacerbate the expected charges of the suspect.

McCall was also shot by officers during the incident and was taken to the hospital for treatment.

The other three officers are expected to survive their injuries.

Published in: on January 20, 2018 at 12:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

Man Arrested in East-Charlotte Circle K Robbery

From Crime in Charlotte, January 16, 2018

A man has been arrested in connection to the robbery of a Circle K in east Charlotte.

The robbery took place at the convenience store at approximately 1:00 a.m. on Monday morning, January 15, 2016. According to police, the suspect arrived at the location at 7225 Albemarle Road and proceeded into the store where he held a gun to the clerk at the counter and demanded that they open the cash register. An undisclosed amount of money was stolen from the register before the suspect fled in his vehicle.

The clerk was able to write down the license plate number of the suspect’s vehicle which assisted police in finding the vehicle before the night was out. Officers located the car and attempted a traffic stop. The suspect refused to stop, leading police on a chase before he lost control of the vehicle and crashed it at a location on Idlewild Road. Police then identified and arrested 40-year-old Melvin Lorenzo Jones Jr.

The suspect was charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon, careless and reckless driving, driving while license revoked, and operating a motor vehicle while fleeing law enforcement.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

Published in: on January 20, 2018 at 12:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

CMPD, Ex-Inmates Team Up to Find Crime-Fighting Solutions

From http://www.wsoctv.com by Dashawn Brown, January 19, 2018

Police Chief Kerr Putney said that the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is now working with ex-inmates to tackle violent crime in the city in the Save Our Kids program.

“So, I went to prison the first time when I was 16 years old,” Cedric Dean said.

Dean, 45, who is a Charlotte Native, has spent nearly half of his life in prison. Dean started Save Our Kids in 2012 while he was in prison.

“When I got sentenced, the judge told me that, ‘If you die and come back to life, you’ve still got five years to do,’” Dean said.

Dean is now home 22 years later.

“I had a praying mother that never gave up on me,” he said.

Dean said his work now is to help find solutions in the same community where he was a part of the problem.

“I was the person that the warden would work hand in hand with,” Dean said. “He would say, ‘You know what? Dean, right here, he is closest to the problem, so he is closest to the solution.’ And that’s what Chief Putney has subscribed to.”

Putney voiced his support for Dean’s initiative Friday night and it will be added to an existing community empowerment initiative that CMPD launched last summer.

They’ll also work with officers, educators, professionals and local churches.

It’s a chance that Dean wasn’t sure he’d ever had.

“I’m not a psychologist. I’m a ‘thugologist’ because when it comes to ‘thuggery,’ I know the cause and cure because that was me,” Dean said.

Putney also put out a call for anyone in the community who’s able to help with giving money to help fund these community programs.

Published in: on January 20, 2018 at 12:33 pm  Leave a Comment  

CMPD Searching for Suspect in January 11, 2018 Murder

From http://www.wcnc.com, January 11, 2018

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police said a man is on the run following a deadly shooting in west Charlotte.

Shortly after 2 p.m. officers responded to the 4100 block of Carlyle Drive and discovered the body of a woman. Her name will be released once family is notified.

Investigators said they are searching for 23-year-old Jonathan Bennett. He was last seen driving an older, white Ford Expedition with New York license plates HUP3071.


Detectives said Bennett took an infant with him, Journei Bennett. Around 5:30 p.m., police tweeted the child had been found safe, but the suspect was still at large.

Police told NBC Charlotte another child was found on the scene of the homicide unharmed.

Anyone with information about Bennett is asked to call 704-432-TIPS or visit the Crime Stoppers website.

This is the first homicide reported in the Queen City in 2018.

We checked into Bennett’s criminal history. He’s been charged in the past with assault on a female, communicating threats and misdemeanor larceny.

Published in: on January 11, 2018 at 8:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

Stonehaven Patrol Attempting to Locate Witness to Dog Attack

Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Stonehaven Patrol is attempting to locate a witness to the dog attack that happened on Thursday, August 17, 2017 around 8 PM near the intersection of Thermal & Pineburr Roads in which a woman and her dog were injured.

The witness being sought has been described by the victim and another witness as a white male, who was accompanied by his daughter, driving a dark gray or blue Honda sedan. The man and his daughter rendered assistance to the victim and may be able to provide a description of the man who was walking the dog that attacked the victim.

If you know who this witness is please ask them to contact me or provide any information you may have that will help us to identify the dogs owner.

Brian Lutes Stonehaven Community Patrol



Published in: on August 25, 2017 at 1:13 pm  Leave a Comment  

Charlotte Elementary Teacher Wanted on 26 Counts of Indecent Liberties With a Child

From WBTV, August 18, 2016

An elementary school teacher in Charlotte who was accused of inappropriately touching several young boys and assaulting them during a camp that he held at his home over the summer is facing more charges after police say three more alleged victims came forward.

Taji Brown, 29, is now being sought by police on the additional 26 warrants, which include 13 counts each of indecent liberties with a child and indecent liberties with a student.

According to warrants, an investigation into Brown began in late July when a 10-year-old boy told his mother that Brown inappropriately touched him in the shower while he was spending the night at Brown’s home.

Brown reportedly ran a program called “G.U.D.B.O.Y.S.” (Gentlemen Understanding Destiny By Overcoming Your Statistics), which was supposed to be a mentoring and summer program, from his home.

Anyone with information on Brown’s whereabouts is asked to immediately call 911 or Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

Taji Brown, 29, is now being sought by police on the additional 26 warrants, which include 13 counts each of indecent liberties with a child and indecent liberties with a student.

Brown is a 5th-grade teacher at Billingsville Elementary School. Charlotte-Mecklenburg School officials told WBTV earlier in August that Brown, who has been with CMS since 2011, was currently suspended with pay.

According to a search warrant, Brown’s home along Pebble Creek Way was searched by police on August 7.

During a press conference the following afternoon, police said Brown had been arrested by the Mobile Enforcement Team and charged with two counts of indecent liberties with a child and two counts of indecent liberties with a student.

Investigators said they were aware of 7-8 juveniles who attended Brown’s summer camp but said they were working to learn if more boys took part in the camp.

According to warrants, an investigation into Brown began in late July when a 10-year-old boy told his mother that Brown inappropriately touched him in the shower while he was spending the night at Brown’s home.

Brown reportedly ran a program called “G.U.D.B.O.Y.S.” (Gentlemen Understanding Destiny By Overcoming Your Statistics), which was supposed to be a mentoring and summer program, from his home.

Anyone with information on Brown’s whereabouts is asked to immediately call 911 or Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

Published in: on August 19, 2017 at 12:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

CMPD Report: Violent Crime Is On The Rise in Charlotte

From The Charlotte Observer By Jane Wester, August 15, 2017

You’re less likely to be a victim of property theft in Charlotte than you were in 2016, but police have seen a worrying increase in violent and gun-related crime, according to the most recent statistics available from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.

The biggest jump, by far, is in the murder rate.

Between March and June 2017, Charlotte’s homicides increased 113 percent compared to the same period in 2016.

“Of course we’re not satisfied with that number,” Deputy Chief Jeff Estes said. He said the department has seen particular increases in types of homicide that are hard to suppress – those that involve domestic violence or arguments. Police have said people are too quick to bring out guns to settle disputes.

CMPD hasn’t classified any of the 2017 homicides as gang-related.

 Domestic violence-related homicides have already reached the mid-teens, compared to nine in all of 2016. Two married couples have been killed together. In both cases, the suspect is a relative.

More than 30 percent of Charlotte’s homicides this year are still unsolved.

The city has also seen increases in other types of violent crimes. Rape is up by about 20 percent, from 138 between March and June 2016 to 165 in the same period this year.

Estes said CMPD sees many cases in which the victim and suspect connected on social media before meeting in person. He said about 85 percent of victims and suspects are known to each other.

On crime overall, Estes pointed out that police have made some progress – aggravated assault fell by almost 5 percent, residential burglary decreased by 10 percent and overall larceny and larceny from vehicles declined.

“However, we’ve seen some increases in areas that are concerning to us,” Estes said.

Along with the jumps in murder and rape, robbery increased by about 8 percent, and car theft went up, too.

The third quarter of the year is already halfway complete, but Estes said it’s too soon to predict whether crime will continue to increase. If homicides continue to happen at the same pace for the rest of 2017, Charlotte will see a year-end total higher than any since the early 1990s.

Published in: on August 16, 2017 at 9:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

CMPD Seeking Public’s Help in Identifying Fraud Suspect

From WBTV.com, August 15, 2017

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are working to identify a man linked to financial fraud.

Source: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department

The man is accused of using a victim’s personal information to open multiple credit card accounts. The cards were used at various stores in Charlotte, Pineville and Concord.

Anyone with information concerning this case or the suspect is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

Published in: on August 16, 2017 at 9:32 pm  Leave a Comment  

Surge in Crime costing CMPD in Overtime for Officers

From WBTV.com by Colleen Harry, August 16, 2017

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say so far in 2017 the department has seen an increase in violent crimes and that increase is costing the city.

“No matter what it takes for us – hours it is, how much lab time, what kind of leverage we have to bear, we’ll do that to make sure we investigate every single incident fully,” said Deputy Chief Jeff Estes. “For us, when you get an increase in crime particularly like homicide that does require us and the officers to work extra hours. The detectives to put in extra hours. Of course that costs money in funds for overtime.”

WBTV checked overtime costs for the department.

Police officials say between January and June of 2017, the overtime costs for the Violent Crimes Division was $203,835. Those numbers are compared to $175,803 for all of 2016.

“The chief is adamant that we investigate these cases and we do so quickly and thoroughly and to the best of our ability,” Estes said.

We also checked overtime for the entire department. Between January and June 2017, CMPD says the department had $2,255,612 of overtime. The total overtime for the entire department last year was $2,760,746.56.

On Wednesday, during the weekly press briefing, the department released the crime stats for the second quarter.

Police say at the end of June, property crimes decreased by nearly six percent and violent crime increased by less than one percent, which is compared to the same time last year. 

Compared to the end of June 2016, CMPD says there were:

  • 47 homicides {57 total for the year}
  • 982 robberies reported compared to 911, which is nearly a eight percent increase
  • 165 rapes were reported compared to 138. That’s an increase of nearly 20 percent. Investigators say “85 percent of those cases are the parties are known to each other prior to the instances that are taking place.”
  • 1983 aggravated assaults were reported compared to 2077 at the end of June 2016. Police say that’s around a five percent decrease.
  • Burglary has increased so far this year.
  • Total larceny cases have decreased by around nine percent
Published in: on August 16, 2017 at 9:25 pm  Leave a Comment  
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