Study: “Tough Targets – When Criminals Face Armed Resistance from Citizens”

From The Buckeye Firearms Association by Chad Baus, February 27, 2012

The Cato Institute is offering a special publication by Clayton Cramer and David Burnett, which uses an extensive collection of news reports from over an eight-year period to survey the circumstances and outcomes of defensive gun uses in America.

Federal and state lawmakers often oppose repealing or amending laws governing the ownership or carrying of guns. That opposition is often based on assumptions that the average citizen is incapable of successfully employing a gun in self-defense or that possession of a gun in public will tempt people to violence in contentious situations.

Those assumptions, illustrated in this report, are false. Such cases are an exceedingly small minority of gun uses by otherwise law-abiding citizens and a great number of tragedies – murders, rapes, assaults, robberies – have been thwarted by self-defense gun uses. The vast majority of gun owners are ethical and competent – and thousands of crimes are prevented each year by ordinary citizens with guns.

This report’s analysis begins with an overview of the academic studies that have tried to estimate the frequency of defensive gun uses. It then examines recent legal issues and trends surrounding the law of self defense, and then explores the manner and circumstances in which people use guns against criminals.

This paper also examines instances of gun use in self-defense in order to provide a better understanding of their character. When ordinary Americans use guns in self defense, what is the nature of that use? How frequently do these events occur and what are the consequences? Finally, a lengthy Appendix provides scores of documented examples in which ordinary people have used guns to defend themselves.

To review the report online or to purchase a physical copy of it use the link below or copy and paste it into the address bar of your web-browser:

http://www.cato.org/store/reports/tough-targets-when-criminals-face-armed-resistance-citizens

Published in: on February 28, 2012 at 11:22 am  Leave a Comment  

Violent Crimes Task Force Arrests 9 on Weapons and Drug Charges

From http://www.wcnc.com by GLENN COUNTS, February 27, 2012

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — More than 10 motels line the I-85 Sugar Creek corridor, but the area is not known for hospitality, it’s known for crime.

Early Monday morning Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police and other members of the Violent Crimes Task Force arrested 9 suspects on drugs and weapon charges.

“Pretty much they used a lot of the hotels to set up shop 24-hours a day 7-days a week”, said CMPD Chief Rodney Monroe.

The Chief says the investigation started 5 months ago. Lt. Ken Schull is responsible for the area.  He has heard complaints from the neighboring Hidden Valley community for years.

“It’s been a struggle dealing with the problem and the reputation the hotel corridor promoted is not good for the Hidden Valley community,” said Schull.

One of the people arrested Monday was not a target. Police went to the home of retired CMPD officer Ted Kennedy.

Sources tell News channel 36, they were looking for the boyfriend of Kennedy’s daughter.  They didn’t find him, but located drugs and weapons in the home and arrested Kennedy.

U.S. Attorney Anne Tompkins says the number of guns they found during this investigation speaks to the violence of the suspects.

“18 firearms were taken off the street including an UZI Assault Rifle, a bullet proof vest, 1.3 kilos of cocaine, and over 100 grams of crack were seized”, said Tompkins.

In addition to the arrests the City of Charlotte has filed a nuisance action against “America Best” located on Sugar Creek. Police say the management would not work with them to clear up problems on the property.

“We also believe it’s going to send a strong message to others that seek to come in and out of that area,” said Chief Monroe

Published in: on February 28, 2012 at 9:02 am  Leave a Comment  

Local University Police Train for School Shootings

From http://www.wcnc.com by RAD BERKY, February 27, 2012

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A shooting at a high school outside Cleveland, Ohio is another example of why police are now training more and more on how to handle a situation that used to be unthinkable.

“You just can’t sit and wait for something to happen. You have to be ready at a moments notice,” said Josh Huffman of the University of North Carolina Charlotte’s police SWAT team.

UNC Charlotte is one of a number of schools across the country to establish their own SWAT teams. They train in some of the very buildings on campus where they might one day be called upon to save lives.

“In the event there is an active shooter on campus we will be deployed,” Huffman said.

Officers train to break down doors that are locked or chained, as they were during the Virginia Tech shootings.

Since Columbine in 1999, there have been other changes too. Officers no longer wait to set up a perimeter at a school where there is an active shooter and then wait for other officers to arrive.

First responders are now trained to immediately go into a building and try to stop the shooter so that he or she does not have time to reload and go after more victims.

“That is our main focus,” Huffman said. “To prevent the loss of life and stop a threat if there is one on the campus.”

Published in: on February 28, 2012 at 8:56 am  Leave a Comment  

Identity Thieves Trying to Steal NC Tax Refunds

From http://www.wcnc.com by Bill McGinty, February 27, 2012

RALEIGH, N.C. – If you haven’t filed your taxes yet, be aware that ID thieves are stealing and then using social security numbers to file phony returns to collect refunds.

“ID thieves will use your personal information to open accounts in your name or even to steal your tax refund,” North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper said.   “Guard your personal information carefully and check your credit report regularly to protect yourself.”

Cooper’s office says that identity thieves are using stolen Social Security numbers to file fraudulent tax returns.

“Consumers usually don’t know that they’re a victim of the scam until they try to file their tax returns and learn from the Internal Revenue Service that someone has already filed in their name — and claimed their refund.”

Cooper’s office is hearing from as many 15 victims of this form of identity theft a week. If you suspect that someone has falsely filed taxes in your name,  Attorney General Cooper’s office sent the following tips to NewsChannel 36:

– Contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit immediately at 1-800-908-4490.

– Check your credit reports for any unauthorized activity.

– You can get one free credit report per year from each of the three national credit bureaus at www.annualcreditreport.com

.- Request a fraud alert from any of the three national credit bureaus.

– Consider a security freeze to stop access to new credit in your name. NC residents can get security freezes for free online

– File an ID theft complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.

One phony email reported to Cooper’s office this week includes a very official looking IRS logo and claims that the recipient owes a $10,000 “penalty for not filing the income tax return prior to January 31, 2012.”

The message says that the penalty may be waived and prompts the consumer to click on a link and enter a website for more information.

Published in: on February 28, 2012 at 8:51 am  Leave a Comment  

Public’s help Needed in Locating Missing 87 Year-Old Pennsylvania Man Whose Car was Found in Charlotte

Joseph DeVivo is a white male, 5 feet 5 inches tall weighing 140 pounds, with green eyes

From The Charlotte Observer of February 28, 2012

Police in Charlotte and in northeast Pennsylvania are trying to unravel the case of a missing 87-year-old man whose car was found in Charlotte, being driven by another man.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are not commenting on the case, but their counterparts in Pennsylvania say CMPD homicide detectives are talking to a man who was found Saturday, driving a Chevrolet Malibu owned by Joseph DeVivo, of Stroud Township, Pa. DeVivo, a widower and former teacher, was last seen Thursday when a caretaker dropped him off at his home.

Family members told the Pocono Record in Stroudsburg, Pa., that DeVivo failed to show at a birthday party on Saturday. The same day, they say, police in Charlotte spotted the car, being driven by another man. Family members told the Pocono Record they do not know the man who was driving the vehicle.

A spokesman for the Stroud Area Regional Police said DeVivo was not suffering from Alzheimer’s or other senility issues.

The Pocono Record also says some of DeVivo’s personal belongings were found in the car when it was discovered in Charlotte.

DeVivo is a white male, 5 feet 5 and 140 pounds, with green eyes.

Anyone with information in the case is asked to call Crime Stoppers, 704-334-1600.

Published in: on February 28, 2012 at 8:43 am  Leave a Comment  

Bill Boosts North Carolina Lawmakers’ Retirement

From The Salisbury Post, February 27, 2012

RALEIGH (AP) — A North Carolina law that allows part-time lawmakers to add an expense stipend to their base salary when calculating retirement benefits boosts their pensions by more than 30 percent, according to a newspaper report.

The percentage of salary lawmakers receive as an annual payout is more than double the rate afforded most state workers, the News & Observer of Raleigh reported Sunday.

Retiring House Minority Leader Joe Hackney can expect to receive a $41,000 annual pension for life starting next year. The paper reports that the expense stipend adds more than $10,000 to the 66-year-old Chapel Hill Democrat’s annual pension.

Among other lawmakers retiring in 2012 with hefty pensions are Democratic Reps. Dewey Hill and Maggie Jeffus and Republican Sen. Jean Preston, each of whom will draw $15,494 a year, and Democratic Reps. Bill Owens and Larry Womble, who will retire with $14,949 a year. Democratic Sen. Bill Purcell will draw $13,288 a year, and six more lawmakers will receive about $10,000 or more a year at age 65, the paper found.

In all, the paper says the pension bonus means the state will pay $102,000 extra a year to the 28 lawmakers in the system who are retiring this year.

But even some lawmakers said they were unaware of the pension perks.

“As deep and wide as I’ve been into the pension system, I didn’t know about it,” said Republican Rep. Dale Folwell, who sponsored the pension reform bill signed into law last June and is retiring to campaign for lieutenant governor.

Lawmakers calculate retirement by taking their highest salary in 12 consecutive months. For most state workers, it’s an average of their four highest-paid consecutive years.

Folwell said he believes lawmakers should be on the same pension system as state employees.

Toni Davis, spokeswoman for the State Employees Association of North Carolina, said her group agrees.

“Our members would say, ‘What’s good for the goose is good for the gander,’” Davis said. It’s unfair for the legislature to receive a full-time pension for part-time work.”

Published in: on February 27, 2012 at 10:02 am  Leave a Comment  

CMPD Makes Arrest in Deadly East Charlotte Shooting

From http://www.wsoctv.com by News Channel 36 Staff, February 27, 2012

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said they’ve arrested a suspect in a deadly shooting in east Charlotte Sunday night.

The incident happened at 5805 Hunting Ridge Lane around 10:00 Sunday night.  Police tell NewsChannel 36 they found a man dead from a gunshot wound at an apartment complex.

Police said the suspect lived at the apartment complex and he’s the one who called 911 after the shooting.

The suspect and the victim knew one another, and this is not a random act of violence, according to police.

Police have identified the man, but are not yet releasing his name.

Detectives are trying to determine if anyone heard or saw anything in the moments leading up to the shooting.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call 704-432-TIPS and speak directly to a Homicide Unit Detective.

Published in: on February 27, 2012 at 9:55 am  Leave a Comment  

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Identifies Heroin “Hot Spots” in Charlotte

Parking Lots at Fairview/ Sharon Roads, Rea Road / Ballantyne Commons Pkwy., and Monroe Road at Sharon Amity and Wendover Roads Identified by U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration as Busy Black Tar Heroin Distribution Points

From http://www.wsoctv.com by Natalie Pasquarella, February 16, 2012

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Walking through the busy Arboretum shopping center on Providence Road, most people would not believe the Drug Enforcement Agency has identified it as a hot spot for drug dealing.

The head of North Carolina’s branch of the DEA, Bill Baxley, said people are going into heavily trafficked business areas like the Arboretum to buy and sell black tar heroin, a type of heroin from Mexico with a tar –like texture that is growing in popularity among Charlotte’s teens.

Baxley said the locations make sense to the sellers.

“Traffickers aren’t dummies. They want to come to places that they’re not going to stand out,” he said.

The area around the Arboretum isn’t the DEA’s only concern. Officers have also targeted parking lots in the SouthPark area, near South Boulevard and Tyvola, and by Carolina Place Parkway.

Agents said the deals are also happening near the intersection of Monroe and Sharon Amity roads, near Monroe and Wendover roads, and near StoneCrest in Ballantyne.

The buy areas are not a surprise to Diane Cureton, a former heroin addict who is now a substance abuse counselor.

“There’s a certain boldness about it,” she said.

Cureton works with local teens battling drug addiction. They tell her exactly how easy it is to get the drug.

“A teen can be in the mall with a parent and, ‘I’m going in this store, mom.’ Meet you, get what they need to get and go on back and meet up with their parent,” she said.

The easy access to the drug is why agents are stepping up their enforcement with a newly formed task force. They are concerned that, with all the drug activity, an increase in neighborhood crime might not be far behind.

“Deals go bad. We are talking about violent Mexican trafficking organization,” Baxley said. “We can put that focus like a laser beam on those organizations and completely dismantle them.”

The task force if federally funded and included officers from Mecklenburg and surrounding counties.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said they have not seen an increase in heroin activity at the Arboretum or an increase in crime, but the DEA said its information is not based solely on arrests and crime.

Agents said it is also based on intelligence and tips they receive.

Officials at the Arboretum said Thursday afternoon they had not heard about the DEA’s assessment. The two sides are now communicating.

If you have a tip for the Drug Enforcement Agency, you can call 704-770-2050.

To watch a video report about this issue, copy and paste the link below into the address bar on your web-browser:

http://www.wsoctv.com/news/news/local/dea-heroin-hot-spots-charlotte/nH63j/

Published in: on February 27, 2012 at 9:46 am  Leave a Comment  

N.C. State Property Reported Stolen, Damaged and Lost in Charlotte

From http://www.wsoctv.com by Linzi Sheldon, February 22, 2012

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — According to records from the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation, about $220,000 in state property was reported stolen, damaged or lost in Charlotte last year. Also, $1.88 million was reported from state-funded agencies across North Carolina.

UNC Charlotte Controller Kendra Cooks is in charge of tracking thousands of pieces of equipment on UNC Charlotte’s campus.

“We take those resources very, very seriously,” Cooks said. “Every dollar is precious to us.”

Last year, university officials reported more than $47,000 in stolen, damaged and lost property, including stolen computers and stolen and damaged golf carts.

UNC Charlotte officials said they have been enhancing security systems in buildings and restricting who can get inside with their swipe cards and during what hours.

It’s an issue at state-funded agencies throughout North Carolina.

The list of items includes 91 computers and iPads, 16 digital still cameras, nine types of guns and 51 pieces of equipment used to track offenders reported stolen.

PDF: Complete list of lost, damaged or stolen items (The SBI keeps full corresponding incident reports on file.)

In fact, the N.C. Department of Correction had more than $150,000 in stolen, damaged and lost property in 2011.

“Oh, it’s definitely concerning,” Tim Moose, the Community Corrections Director at N.C. Department of Correction. “It’s something that staff and the divisions work hard to try to prevent.”

Moose said for missing guns, they enter the serial numbers into two databases and if an employee is at fault, there’s an internal investigation.

The equipment to track offenders is covered in a $2 million contract with a monitoring service. The problem is so bad they included a clause that replaces up to 15 percent of all the items. The department has never gone beyond that 15 percent.

The SBI’s Assistant Director Erik Hooks said local law enforcement agencies are often assigned to the cases because they are closer and because of budget cuts with the SBI.

“I would dare say that the SBI needs more agents,” Hooks said. “All law enforcement resources have somewhat dwindled throughout the years.”

Some are reported as initially stolen and then recovered. Eyewitness News went through hundreds of reports and found that sometimes an employee, contractor or student is behind the thefts, but much of the time, it’s unknown.

That’s because local law enforcement is not required to report back to the SBI what items are actually recovered, which makes it difficult to track entire investigations at the state level.

N.C. Sen. Malcolm Graham, a Democrat, said agencies need to review how they’re tracking their equipment from start to finish.

“Hopefully we can do a better job on the backside as well in terms of getting information on the recovery,” Graham said. “A lot of work to be done.”

Published in: on February 27, 2012 at 9:24 am  Leave a Comment  

Man Wanted for Firing Shots, Threatening to Kill Woman

Jayme Robinson photo

From http://www.wsoctv.com, February 27, 2012

Iredell County Sheriff’s Deputies are searching for a man wanted in connection with firing shots at a woman and threatening to kill her.

Police said Jayme Robinson is believed to be armed and dangerous.

Deputies said he got into a fight with a family member and fired shots Saturday night at his home on Rock Springs Road in Harmony.

Officers said Robinson may be driving a small white Ford or Chevy truck.

Published in: on February 27, 2012 at 9:04 am  Leave a Comment