Charlotte-Area Police Probing Connection in Harris-Teeter Robberies

From News 14 Carolina, May 23, 2012 by Brad Broders

CHARLOTTE — Police across the North Carolina-South Carolina border are looking into whether two armed robberies at Harris Teeters within hours of each other are connected.

The first happened before 10 p.m. Monday at a 24-hour store in Fort Mill; the second, shortly after midnight at another 24-hour supermarket in Cornelius.

Cornelius Police lieutenant Jennifer Thompson has been in contact with York County authorities, comparing notes in two cases with one striking similarity – stores which are open at all hours.

“Stores that are open 24 hours, obviously you’re not going to have as many customers in the store or employees, so i don’t know if that’s the opportunity they are trying to seize,” Lt. Thompson said.

Cornelius Police aren’t ruling out that the robberies might be linked to a broader series of armed robberies or attempted armed robberies in the piedmont in recent months.

Seven such crimes were committed – with a suspect or suspects wearing ski masks – at 24-hour Harris Teeter stores in Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem between December and this month.

In response, the company decided to close the affected Triad grocery stores at 1 a.m.

Customers at the Cornelius store were worried to think a possible armed robbery ring could be operating in the area, especially since the suspect or suspects remain at-large.

In a statement, a Harris Teeter spokesperson said the company has also hired uniformed off duty officers at the Fort Mill and Cornelius stores robbed in recent days.

No word yet if the two stores will move away from its current 24-hour format.

Published in: on May 23, 2012 at 10:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

CMPD Talks About Lessons Learned During Chicago Protest Trip

From http://www.wcnc.com, May 23, 2012

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Over the weekend there were tens of thousands of protesters in Chicago.  Fast forward a few months and the same scene is likely to be in Charlotte.

Observing the clashes between Chicago police and demonstrators were about 100 members of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.

“I was half a block away—saw two-by-four’s, sticks, rocks, bricks cinder blocks, bottles, urine, feces, bags, balloons of paint and other substances,” said CMPD Deputy Chief Harold Medlock.

Wednesday afternoon Medlock talked to the media about the trip and the lessons learned that will help the department when the Democratic National Convention comes to town in September.

Medlock said that Charlotte officers were in a support role in the Windy City.

“Our officers got some great experience.  Not to the level of what some of the Chicago officers experienced,” Medlock noted.

Local officers were most impressed by some of the crowd control tactics, but Medlock would not get into specifics as to what might be transferred here.

“We took away some great ideas how to manage some of the unruly crowds and they did it in a manner that was very minimal in confrontation,” said Medlock.

Published in: on May 23, 2012 at 9:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

Softball Tournament to Honor Slain CMPD Officers

From The Charlotte Observer by April Bethea, May 22, 2012

A benefit softball tournament will return to Matthews next month to honor slain Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers Sean Clark and Jeff Shelton.

The annual tournament, along with a Home Run Derby Contest, is set for June 2-3 at Idlewild Road Park. It’ll feature 16 teams, eight co-ed and eight all-men teams.

Shelton, 35, and Clark, 34, both were fatally shot in 2007 when responding to a disturbance call at the Timber Ridge Apartments in East Charlotte. Demeatrius Montgomery was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder in their death’s and sentenced to two consecutive life prison terms. His recent appeal for a new trial was denied by the N.C. Court of Appeals.

The memorial tournament has been held every year since 2007.

Teams can register for the softball tournament for $200, and the Home Run Derby fee is $20 per person.

To learn more, contact Det. Darryl Seegars at 704-241-8343.

Published in: on May 22, 2012 at 11:23 am  Leave a Comment  

Homeowner Smashes Car Window Helping Police Arrest 5 For Burglaries

From http://www.wbtv.com by Kay Johnson, May 21, 2012

CLEVELAND COUNTY, NC (WBTV) – Investigators in Cleveland County say a homeowner helped them stop a crime spree.

The Sheriff says a homeowner was greeted by the suspects Sunday morning breaking into his home.

The homeowner wasn’t able to stop the thieves but he made it easier for officers to spot their getaway car but busting out a window with a rake.

Deputies say they spotted the car with evidence inside in Shelby.

“It got to a point, to where we were no longer gonna be violated by these individuals kicking in front doors early in the mornings,” Cleveland County Sheriff Alan Norman said.

Five people were arrested. Trask Hopper, Jordan Hosch, Hoza Rivera, Montardro Hopper and a juvenile face multiple charges of breaking and entering and possession of stolen goods.

Their bond ranges from half a million dollars to no bond.

Published in: on May 22, 2012 at 9:44 am  Leave a Comment  

CMPD Busy Investigating Yet Another Homicide Late Monday Night

From http://www.wbtv.com by Ron Lee, May 22, 2012

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police were kept busy overnight investigating the latest shooting that left one man dead.

It’s not an unusual call. A report of gunfire heard in a neighborhood. Many times when called out, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police don’t find anything at all.

This was not one of those times.

When emergency crews arrived at the house on a dark, desolate road in north Charlotte, they found a man who had been shot at least one time.

No one else was in the home at the time of their arrival, including the gunman.

Medics were called to the home located at 3614 Durham Street just off of Statesville Road, and pronounced the victim dead around 11:40 Monday night.

Homicide teams were quickly rolled out to the area, as officers canvassed the neighborhood looking for the shooter.

The investigation remains in it’s early stages, and little information is known about the apparent cause for the homicide.

The CMPD is asking for help from the public. Anyone with information that could help investigators with this case are asked to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

Published in: on May 22, 2012 at 9:39 am  Leave a Comment  

Charlotte Area Transit System ‘Fudging’ Light-Rail Ridership Numbers

9 Investigates: Federal agency wants to know why CATS ridership reports vary by 1 million riders

From http://www.wsoctv.com by Scott Wickersham, May 18, 2012

An investigation into the number of people who ride the LYNX system in Charlotte has uncovered a significant discrepancy.

CATS is required to report pages of data to the Federal Transit Administration. When compared to what the transit group reports to the local group that oversees the LYNX, there was a major gap in the numbers.

The numbers reported to the FTC determine how much federal money comes to Charlotte.

Now, a federal agency wants to know why.

CATS officials and city leaders have called the LYNX Blue Line a success, saying thousands of people use it every day.

In fiscal year 2008, CATS told the FTA it had 2.2 million riders, but they told the Metropolitan Transit Commission and the public they have 2.8 million riders.

In 2009, there was a larger gap. The federal report cited 3.5 million riders, but told the MTC there were 5 million.

In 2010, CATS reported that there were 3.2 million riders to the FTC and 4.8 million to the MTC.

This all means since its inception, CATS has told the public the light rail is a bigger success than it told the federal government.

CATS spokesman Olaf Kinard said the public has been getting the most accurate count possible through devices called automatic people counters that track every person who enters a train.

However, in federal reporting, the transit group is required to use sampling data from just a few hundred trips each year, which may not include big events like Speed Street or the CIAA.

The difference was so great the FTA contacted CATS in 2010, questioning its methods. At the same time, CATS was not reporting those lower numbers to the public or the MTC.

“At the time, we did not feel like that was necessary because one was for federal funding and one was for ridership experienced by the everyday customer,” Kinard said. “We actually have more accurate numbers.”

County Commissioner Jennifer Roberts chaired the MTC during the light rail’s first years. She defended CATS’ publicly reported numbers, calling the federal formula a one-size-fits-all approach.

Robert said CATS could be losing out on more federal funding if the government bases its funding on ridership.

“I think we could actually qualify for more,” she said.

In 2011, the FTA allowed CATS to submit its own rider data, which calls into question how flawed the federal formula is considering it is used by thousands of other transit systems across the country.

FTA officials said the formula used is not outdated or flawed and said that a sample size of several hundred train trips collected properly can accurately predict ridership for an entire system.

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

http://www.wsoctv.com/news/news/local/9-investigates-federal-agency-wants-know-why-cats-/nN87c/

Published in: on May 22, 2012 at 9:34 am  Leave a Comment  

Monroe Rd. Gas Station Robbed as Gun is Held to Clerk’s Head

From http://www.wcnc.com, May 22, 2012

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are trying to identify a suspect in an armed robbery at a gas station.

Monroe road robbery
Monroe Road Robbery

Police released surveillance photos from the Gate Gas Station on Monroe Road.

A man wearing a dark hat, dressed in black with a beard can be seen in the photos.

Surveillance of Monroe Road gas station robbery gallery

 Police told Channel 9 the man actually put a gun to the clerk’s head during the robbery.

Nobody was hurt.

If you know who the robber is, you are urged to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

Published in: on May 22, 2012 at 9:23 am  Leave a Comment  

U.S. Senate Bills are a Slap in the Face to All Americans, But Especially Recent College Graduates

Immediately Contact Your Senators and Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Tell Them to Vote NO on These Bills

From NumbersUSA, May 18, 2012 by Chris Chmielenski

With 54% of recent American college graduates jobless or not in a degree job, Senators of both parties were falling all over themselves this week to push legislation that would add more foreign competitors in their job markets. Two separate bills — the STAR Act introduced by Sen. John Cornyn of Texas and the SMART Jobs Act introduced by Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware — would increase the number of green cards issued to foreign students who graduate from U.S. colleges and universities with degrees in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM).

The STAR Act would eliminate the Visa Lottery (which goes to foreign workers of all skills) and transfer the 55,000 annual green cards to foreign students who graduate with advanced degrees in a STEM discipline. Should any of the new green cards go unused, they roll over to the next year – a provision that doesn’t currently exist in the Visa Lottery program.

The STAR Act not only allows foreign graduates to compete directly with U.S. graduates for tech jobs, but it allows U.S. employers to discriminate against American graduates. Unlike the H-1B temporary visa program, employers are free to hire a foreign worker even if a willing and able American worker is available for the job.

The SMART Jobs Act is even worse. The proposal by Sens. Alexander and Coons has all the bad features of the STAR Act but it allows the Visa Lottery to continue to give out 55,000 permanent work permits to foreign workers each year. And the bill exempts green cards awarded to foreign students from other employer-based numerical limits. The sky’s the limit with this bill!

Sen. Alexander claims to have wide bi-partisan support for this attack on American college graduates. According to an Associated Press analysis of labor data, recent college graduates (under the age of 25) are having a terrible time finding a job that is associated with a college degree. The AP reports that 54% of recent college grads either have no job at all or are underemployed (as in bar-tending, pizza delivery, etc.).

To watch a video report on these bills, copy and paste the link below into your web-browser:
http://www.numbersusa.tv/

Contact Information for U.S. Representative Sue Myrick: http://www.myrick.house.gov

Contact Information for U.S. Senator Richard Burr: http://www.burr.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.ContactForm

Contact Information for U.S. Senator Kay Hagan: http://www.hagan.senate.gov/contact/

Published in: on May 21, 2012 at 10:38 am  Leave a Comment  

CMPD Searching for Yet Another Robbery Suspect Who Cut Off Monitoring Device

By NewsChannel 36 Staff, May 21, 2012

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are looking for a robbery susepct who cut off his electronic monitoring device.

Police search for robbery suspect who cut off monitoring device

Louie Raymond Forney

 Louie Raymond Forney, 21, was arrested in January on felony charges of robbery with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy. Froney was released on bail in February but was ordered to wear a electronic monitoring device.
Forney is the 13th offender to cut off his court ordered monitor in 2012 which is an increase of two more during the same time last year, according to police.
Anyone with information on Forney’s whereabouts should contact the Violent Criminal Apprehension Team at 704-336-VACT or call 911.
Published in: on May 21, 2012 at 9:40 am  Leave a Comment  

2 Shot During Charlotte Home Invasion; 1 Jumps Through Window to Escape

By NewsChannel 36 Staff, May 21, 2012

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are investigating a home invasion that left two people shot in northwest Charlotte late Sunday night.

Police said a robber broke into a home off of Marble Street around midnight Sunday and tried to rob a couple. The couple escaped from the home but were shot in the process, according to police.
Authorities said one victim was shot in the arm and chest and jumped through the home’s front window to escape. He was later found on Cantwell Street near the crime scene and rushed to the hospital.

The second victim was shot in the neck and drove to Fourth and Brevard streets in uptown where she saw fire crews who were able to help her.

Both victims were rushed to Carolinas Medical Center and are expected to survive, according to emergency crews.

The suspect was able to get away before police arrived on scene.  Police are still trying to determine if the victims knew the suspect and the motive for the crime.
If anyone has information on this crime they’re asked to call Charlotte-Mecklenburg police at 704-336-7600.
Published in: on May 21, 2012 at 9:34 am  Leave a Comment  
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