Stealing your wi-fi to trade child pornography

Posted: // Nov 11, 2009 8:11 PM EST Updated: // Nov 11, 2009 11:32 PM EST

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) – Police say sexual predators are using other people’s computers to stash their collection of child porn.  In this special WBTV On Your Side Investigation, Anchor Molly Grantham shows us just how often child porn is traded in Mecklenburg County, and how you can protect yourself from being framed to look like a child predator.

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“The trade of child porn is pretty prevalent in Charlotte, Mecklenburg,” says Detective Chris McNeil.  “I think people would be surprised.”

McNeil showed Grantham a computer-generated Mecklenburg County map that puts red dots in the places child porn is being traded.  Dots covered all areas.

“It’d be nice to go after all these people,” McNeil said, “But we’re trying to go after the worst we can.  Most of these people have no idea we’re tracking them.  They’re oblivious to the fact.” 

Only, McNeil says, the growing problem is that predators drive around and find unsecured internet connections.  Whatever they download then looks like it came from someone else’s computer.  That’s what happened recently in south Charlotte.  A woman had unsecured wi-fi.  Someone logged on and traded lots of child porn.  To police, it looked as if it was coming from her IP address. 

That woman did not want to talk on-camera with us, but police say she was floored to be accused of such a disgusting crime, and appreciative of police teaching her to secure her internet.

“When you buy a router,” McNeil says, “read the manual.  Also, I like to enter the password every time I log on.  I think that’s the safest method.  Never save passwords.  Have good passwords with letter-number combinations with special characters.  Usually 8-10 characters long or better. That’s usually a good rule of thumb. Those are very difficult to crack and very difficult to guess.”

Click the red camcorder to see the full report.

Published in: on November 12, 2009 at 4:56 am  Leave a Comment  

2 suspects in gang-related murder out of jail

Posted: // Nov 10, 2009 8:30 PM EST Updated: // Nov 11, 2009 10:10 AM EST

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) – Police say two of the five Hidden Valley Kings involved in a dangerous shoot-out on busy Tryon Street are out on ankle monitoring bracelets.

All five are charged with murdering Juan Lawrence in November 2005.  The U.S. Attorney’s office says that murder was the first crime which really put the Hidden Valley King gang on their radar.  
 
WBTV told you about the first suspect, Justin Joy, being released five weeks ago.  The District Attorney’s office pled his murder charge down to assault with a deadly weapon and he got out on bond.

Late last week, 23-year old LaMarcus Seabrooks was also released on ankle monitoring bracelet.  His next court date is in January.

The other three men charged with this murder are

 27-year old Toney Robinson, 23-year old Antonio Pruitt and 24-year old Exzaviar Hoey.

Published in: on November 12, 2009 at 4:49 am  Leave a Comment  

SCP Will Have Vehicle for 7th Consecutive Saturday

 Thanks to daonations received from Mrs. Laura Mercer of Charter Place and Mr. & Mrs. Robert D. Brown of Red Coat Drive, the SCP will have the use of a vehicle for patrolling the greater Stonehaven Area for the 7th consecutive Saturday.

 The SCP will be on patrol during the evening of Saturday November 7, 2009 into the early morning hours in a “marked” vehicle with a light-bar.

 We hope to take possession of a former police vehicle in the near future which will enable us to serve the community more often & efficiently.

We want to thank Mrs. Mercer and Mr. & Mrs. Brown as well as everyone who has contributed to our efforts to keep Stonehaven safe and we look forward to serving Stonehaven for a very long time.

 

Published in: on November 7, 2009 at 5:14 pm  Leave a Comment  

Police seek murder suspect near Reedy Creek Park

By Steve Lyttle
slyttle@charlotteobserver.com
Posted: Saturday, Nov. 07, 2009

davon

This file photo shows Davon Thomas, who police are seeking in connection with the shooting death of his girlfriend on November 6, 2009.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police continue to comb an area near Reedy Creek Park on Saturday morning, looking for a man they say was involved in the fatal shooting of a woman several hours ago.

Police say the man they are seeking should be considered armed and dangerous.

The area being searched is between Interstate 485 and the park.

The man’s name is Davon Londell Thomas. He is being sought in connection with the shooting death of his girlfriend, shortly before 5 a.m., police say. The shooting happened in the home of Thomas’ parents, in the 9600 block of Willowglen Trail. That is at the southwest edge of the Reedy Creek Park area.

After the shooting, police say, the man ran into the woods at the edge of the park.

Police have called in their K-9 dog search unit and helicopter to look for Thomas. Additional officers on foot and in patrol cars are combing the area of northeast Charlotte.

Charlotte police Officer Robert Fey, a spokesman for the department, said witnesses told police that Thomas shot the woman several times after they arrived at the house. The woman was declared dead at the scene.

Thomas, 27, is described by police as being 6 feet 2 and 225 pounds. He was wearing dark clothing when last seen.

Anyone spotting the man is asked to call 911 immediately.

Police say they found a weapon at the scene of the shooting, but they are not sure if Thomas has additional weapons with him.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call 704-432-TIPS and speak directly to a detective. Detective Garry McFadden is the lead detective assigned to the case. In addition, you may also call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

Published in: on November 7, 2009 at 4:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

City councilman shot at

By Cleve R. Wootson Jr.
cwootson@charlotteobserver.com
Posted: Saturday, Nov. 07, 2009

 Charlotte City Councilman Warren Turner, who works as a N.C. probation officer, was shot at Friday as he went on a routine probation visit in southwest Charlotte, sources said.

 Turner, a Democrat from District 3 who ran unopposed in Tuesday’s election, wasn’t injured. He briefly pursued but lost the man who shot at him.

 Police arrested 18-year-old Derrick Alan Daniels in connection with the incident shortly afterward. The charges against him haven’t yet been released.

 During the incident, a man could be heard screaming over the police radio: “I am 10-4, I am 10-4,” police code for affirmative, or OK. The man then gave a description of a suspect car, which he said was headed toward Interstate 77 near Tyvola Road.

 Turner has been a city councilman since 2003. He heads the community safety committee, which oversees the fire and police departments.

 According to one source, Turner was headed to a house in the Windsong Trail neighborhood on a routine probation visit when he approached two men. One man began shooting, then ran and fled in a tan car. Turner followed the man in his own car but lost him and radioed for help.

 Reached on his cell phone early Friday evening, Turner didn’t deny his involvement in the incident, but declined to comment.

Published in: on November 7, 2009 at 4:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

Police seek murder suspect near Reedy Creek Park

By Steve Lyttle
slyttle@charlotteobserver.com
Posted: Saturday, Nov. 07, 2009

davon

This file photo shows Davon Thomas, who police are seeking in connection with the shooting death of his girlfriend on November 6, 2009.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police continue to comb an area near Reedy Creek Park on Saturday morning, looking for a man they say was involved in the fatal shooting of a woman several hours ago.

Police say the man they are seeking should be considered armed and dangerous.

The area being searched is between Interstate 485 and the park.

The man’s name is Davon Londell Thomas. He is being sought in connection with the shooting death of his girlfriend, shortly before 5 a.m., police say. The shooting happened in the home of Thomas’ parents, in the 9600 block of Willowglen Trail. That is at the southwest edge of the Reedy Creek Park area.

After the shooting, police say, the man ran into the woods at the edge of the park.

Police have called in their K-9 dog search unit and helicopter to look for Thomas. Additional officers on foot and in patrol cars are combing the area of northeast Charlotte.

Charlotte police Officer Robert Fey, a spokesman for the department, said witnesses told police that Thomas shot the woman several times after they arrived at the house. The woman was declared dead at the scene.

Thomas, 27, is described by police as being 6 feet 2 and 225 pounds. He was wearing dark clothing when last seen.

Anyone spotting the man is asked to call 911 immediately.

Police say they found a weapon at the scene of the shooting, but they are not sure if Thomas has additional weapons with him.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call 704-432-TIPS and speak directly to a detective. Detective Garry McFadden is the lead detective assigned to the case. In addition, you may also call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

Published in: on November 7, 2009 at 4:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

Man Apprehended by Stonehaven Community Patrol Pleads Guilty

 The individual at the center of the incident that spurred the establishment of the Stonehaven Community Patrol (SCP) pled guilty in Mecklenburg County Criminal Court on Tuesday November 3, 2009.

 Scott B. Deese, a white male, was found with a bottle of Wild Turkey whiskey between his legs, behind the wheel of a black Volvo sedan that was stopped headed toward Rama Rd., with the passenger side wheels in the front yard of 6001 Gate Post Road around 10:30 p.m. on a May 2009 night.

 The vehicle also contained a white female front-seat passenger who was wearing only a bra and panties when they were discovered by the founder of the SCP, Brian Lutes, who was able to detain Deese and his passenger until Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officers arrived and placed Deese under arrest.

 Deese was charged with Driving With a Revoked License (North Carolina General Statute 20-28 et seq.) and Transporting  an Open Container of Alcoholic Beverage (North Carolina General Statute 20-138.7 et seq.). Both charges are misdemeanor grade offenses.

 The November 3, 2009 court date marked the third time Deese appeared to answer the charges and the third time that Lutes appeared to testify against him as two prior court dates were continued, once by the prosecution and once by Deese’s attorney.

Published in: on November 3, 2009 at 7:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

Teens accused of beating 82-year-old man with cane

By GLENN COUNTS / NewsChannel 36

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Police have arrested three teenagers accused of robbing an 82-year-old man and beating him with his own cane.

//

November 2nd, 2009

82-year-old helps police nab

Eulah Robinson says it happened as he was taking his daily walk.

“They wasn’t raised. Them kids wasn’t raised,” Robinson said of the teens who are accused of robbing him on Sunday.

It happened at about 11 a.m. as he was walking down Holt Street.

“Well, three boys run up behind me. One of them grabbed the cane and hit me across the leg three times,” Robinson said.

Robinson said he tried to fight back as best he could.

“They tried to get me down on the ground, but they couldn’t get me on the ground,” he said. “What they did was grab my billfold. They thought I had some money.”

The retired handyman didn’t give up after he was robbed. He and a friend searched for the suspects and found them in a vacant lot.

“About 10 carloads of police drove up,” Robinson said.

Police arrested a 13-year-old, a 14-year-old and 16-year-old Leon Alston. All three teens are charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon.

“They wasn’t raised for one thing,” Robinson said. “If I had done that when I was coming up, my daddy would have killed me.”

The investigator who is working on this case says she has talked to all of the teens’ parents and they were all stunned. One of them questioned her son, asking him how he could do this when he has grandparents.

Published in: on November 3, 2009 at 3:16 am  Leave a Comment  

2 Charged In Rowan County Shooting, Home Invasion

Posted: 4:54 pm EDT October 31, 2009Updated: 6:33 pm EDT October 31, 2009

ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. — Two arrests have been made in a home invasion, robbery and shootout in a Rowan County home.

Rowan shooting

 Police charged Timani Stark, 18, with attempted murder and robbery and Tiffany Horne, 19, also with robbery.

 The pair, along with another suspect, threatened the homeowners and fired shots Friday inside their home in Mooresville.

 Gunfire was exchanged between the homeowner’s son and the suspect and injuring him. The suspect was taken to Carolina’s Medical Center.

 He has not been charged.

 Both Stark and Horne are also charged with robbery at the same house on Monday night.

Published in: on November 1, 2009 at 5:28 pm  Leave a Comment  

Officers Surprise Sex Offenders During Operation Trick Or Treat

Posted: 10:28 pm EDT October 31, 2009Updated: 10:43 pm EDT October 31, 2009

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Mecklenburg County sheriff’s deputies and several local police officers made surprise visits to registered sex offenders on Halloween night. The spot checks were all a part of the “Keeping the Scary out of Halloween” campaign sponsored by the sheriff’s department.

Deputies went door to door, performing spot checks on more than 400 registered sex offenders. Officers made sure their registration information was correct and that no one convicted of crimes against children was handing out candy or doing anything to lure children to their home.

 Deputy Roberto Marquez made the rounds in south Charlotte and said, “If anything, it makes us aware of where they are and the public is always appreciative of that.”

 Parent John Mrzygod praised the deputies efforts and said being aware of potential predators is a top priority for his family year-round.

 Mrzygod said, “My wife checks the (NC sex offender) website frequently just to see if there are sex offenders in the neighborhood and see where those houses are at and inform our neighbors who have children as well.”

 

Published in: on November 1, 2009 at 5:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
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