CMPD Seeking Armed Robbery Suspect

From by Elizabeth Thomas, January 23, 2012

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police say an armed robber made off with products from the Queen City Smokes and Novelties store on Monday.

CMPD seeks armed robbery suspect

Photo Credit: Chalotte-Mecklenburg Police

Monday evening, the Queen City Smokes and Novelties store in the 3600 block of East Independence Boulevard was held-up by an armed robber.

The suspect is described as 25 to 35-years-old, standing approximately five-foot-10 with a thin build. He may be driving a dark green SUV, officials say.

CMPD did not say what items were stolen in the crime.

If you have any information in this robbery, please contact Crime Stoppers at (704) 334-1600.

Published in: on January 23, 2013 at 6:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

FBI Still Looking for Suspects Year After Charlotte Armored Car Robbery

From News14 Carolina, January 23, 2012

It has been one year since the robbery of a Loomis armored car employee in south Charlotte, and the FBI is still looking for the suspect.

It happened at an ATM on Fairview Road in the Foxcroft shopping center. Agents received a lot of tips, and while they work those leads, they’re asking if anyone knows of someone who came into a lot of money around the time of the robbery or had large amounts of unexplained cash.

“What we’re missing in this case is the last bit of information or the last piece of the puzzle to put the mystery to rest and solve the case. The FBI view this as an extremely egregious case. The offender or offenders that committed this crime are a danger to the community and we would like to see them removed from the community,” said FBI Special Agent Scott Rottman.

The FBI offers a reward of up to $20,000 for information about the case. If you can help, call the Charlotte office at (704) 672-6100.

Published in: on January 23, 2013 at 6:33 pm  Leave a Comment  

Child Sex Trafficking in the U.S.: The Girl Who Got Away

From by Alison Singh Gee, January 21, 2013

Most Americans think sex trafficking is something that happens somewhere else to someone else, if they think of it at all. Brianna was a bubbly high school student, a beloved daughter and sister, and a cheerleader. Trafficking was not on her radar.

After school Brianna waitressed at a diner in her small Washington state town. Richard, a man in his mid-40s, and a woman he introduced as his wife often came in and engaged Brianna in conversation. Richard asked her about her life (she was the youngest daughter of five kids in a loving middle-class home), her birthday (she would turn 18 in a couple of weeks), her dreams for school and work (to go to college in Seattle), and the kinds of boyfriends she liked the most (handsome blond athletes). Brianna thought he was merely being friendly, but as the weeks to come would reveal, the seemingly innocuous customer was actually a veteran sex trafficker mining the young student for vital information he would use to try to lure her into a world of strip clubs and prostitution.

A few weeks after their first encounter, Richard returned, this time alone. He explained that he and his wife had divorced, but he was ready to move on. Then he asked Brianna if she’d like to “party with him.” She’d later learn this was code for having sex with a client, but at that time she says, “I just thought why would a middle-aged man want to party with a high school kid?” She told him no, but that wasn’t the last she would see of Richard.

A few weeks after that, when Brianna had just turned 18, the man of her dreams appeared in the diner. Nick was a gorgeous blond football player dressed in Gucci, designer denim, and an expensive watch. “I noticed him right away,” Brianna says. “He flirted with me and made me feel so special and beautiful. I’ve never been talked to like that. When I told him I liked his watch, he said, ‘I’d like to buy you one to match.’ ”

Nick invited her to visit him in Seattle, and when she saw his chromed-out Mercedes and stately Victorian house, she felt she had wandered into a dream. When her family adamantly told her she could not spend the night with him, he told her to break her ties with them and move into his spare room. He also suggested she could attend college while doing a little work on the side. Why not try dancing in a club?, Nick asked, adding that his former girlfriend did that and made “tons of money doing little work.”

Within hours, Nick had taken Brianna to get an entertainer’s license, helped her choose her stripper’s outfit, and led her to a strip club. There he warned her not to make eye contact with certain men. She later learned this was to keep her from becoming the property of another pimp. During her second night in Seattle, she took the stage at a strip club for the first time, all the while telling herself that even though she was naked, she would have her clothes on in a matter of minutes. She did this for three consecutive nights, working seven hours on the last and pulling in $850—a big change from the $85 she made on her best night ever at the diner.

Sensing her potential, Nick offered to take her on a trip to Arizona and Nevada, where Brianna most likely would have been completely cut off from her friends and family and disappeared into forced prostitution.

Still excited by her new-found freedom, Brianna wanted to stay but she had to return her family’s car. She told Nick and arranged a ride back to Seattle with a trusted high school friend. That friend, Evan, sensing a dangerous situation, alerted Brianna’s parents. They then met their daughter, along with former Congresswoman Linda Smith, at Evan’s house. Brianna refused to believe that Nick was setting her up, until Smith, founder and president of the national anti-trafficking organization Shared Hope, took her to a cafe and talked to her about the patterns and come-on lines of sex traffickers. In Smith’s discussion, Brianna recognized every line Nick had said to her.

“I learned that the average age of girls lured into sex trafficking is 13,” says Brianna, choking up at the memory. “When I was 13, I was playing softball and having the greatest time of my life. How easy would it have been for them to trick me?”

Brianna agreed never to go back to the diner where she worked, to drive a different car, to change her cell phone number, and never to travel alone—lest Nick, and the other pimps involved, such as Richard, whom she had seen at the Seattle strip club, try to track her down. “I was so scared,” she says.

Today, some three years later, Brianna fights against sex trafficking by sharing her story. “There is no stereotype of a girl in sex trafficking,” she says. “It doesn’t matter how rich or poor, if she’s white or black, fat or thin, a pimp can look at any girl and find a vulnerability that he can exploit. He might tell a girl that he will hurt her family if she runs. Or he might rape her and videotape it, and threaten to show it to her whole school.”

Brianna has helped make a 20-minute film, Chosen, to show at school assemblies to middle and high school students. “It is a human right to know how these pimps work. I don’t want kids to feel scared when they learn about this. I want them to feel empowered.”

Take Part! Chosen tells the stories of two girls selected for sex trafficking, a 13-year-old tricked into a life of slavery and Brianna, who got away. Order the film and host a screening at home.

Published in: on January 21, 2013 at 9:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

Family Dollar Looking to Begin Alcohol Sales

By TONY BURBECK / NBC Charlotte, January 18, 2013

‘Cold beer coming soon’ signs are popping up on coolers in some Family Dollar stores, as the popular chain delves into alcohol sales.

Some employees aren’t excited, saying alcohol sales could make them, customers and the stores less safe and more susceptible to things like robberies, shoplifting and loitering. Others worry about people drinking and coming into stores and asking customers for beer money.

“Because it’s alcohol, that’s just it,” said customer Chandra Gibson.

Gibson is a regular Family Dollar shopper. She’s ok with the company’s decision to start selling alcohol.

“It will be more convenient,” she said.

Family Dollar isn’t giving a beer sales timeline, but said it’s on the list for the near future.

NBC Charlotte found one store with an empty cooler stating “cold beer coming soon.”

At another store, employees said the coolers are coming, but they’re not looking forward to it.

Family Dollar said beer is what customers told them they want and they’re meeting that need, so beer sales will be tested in some stores.

“As a Charlotte based company, Family Dollar has proudly operated stores in the region for many years and we strive to create a safe working and shopping environment by tailoring our store operations and security for each store. In addition, we emphasize the importance of personal safety in our continuous training programs. As loitering is not permitted in front of our stores, that should not be an issue,” Family Dollar said in a statement.

Pastor Gary Fuller is a Family Dollar store shopper who tries to save money while raising four kids. The idea that some stores will soon start selling beer is a conversation he’s not looking forward to having.

“I just won’t want my kids to ask me that question. ‘Daddy, can I have this to drink,’ and have to explain to them that it’s not right,” he said.

Fuller hopes alcohol sales don’t cause problems but said if it does it could change his shopping preference.

Other shoppers said plenty of places sell beer so it’s no big deal. They understand why Family Dollar is trying to make money getting into alcohol sales.

Someone robbed a Family Dollar store on North Tryon Street Wednesday morning. The police report said the thief stole money and assaulted two store employees.

Currently, there is no alcohol in that store or any Family Dollar store in the Charlotte area, but some will be used to test alcohol sales soon.


Published in: on January 21, 2013 at 10:46 am  Leave a Comment  

Korean War Vet, Retired Charlotte Firefighter, to Get Medals Earned in 1951

From The Charlotte Observer by April Bethea, January 19, 2013

Six decades after he was injured and held captive for more than two years, a Korean War veteran is finally set to receive a Purple Heart medal.

Joe Ford, 80, will be presented with the honor, along with a Prisoner of War Medal he earned at a ceremony Saturday in Asheville. The N.C. Army National Guard will present the honors, officials said Friday.


Army Cpl. Joe Ford. Photo courtesy of North Carolina National Guard

Ford is a retired Charlotte firefighter, who spent 24 years with the department, said John Elskamp of the Veterans’ Legacy Foundation.

The foundation, which is based in Harnett County, researches military records to help veterans receive awards they earned while in service but never received.

In 1951, Ford was a corporal with the U.S. Army’s 2nd Infantry Division, 15th Field Artillery Battalion. He was fighting on the Korean Peninsula in February of that year when he was injured and then taken captive by the Chinese and North Koreans, according to a news release . He was held for two and a half-years, officials said.

Officials say Ford never told his captors about his injuries, but mentioned the wounds to American officials once he was freed.

Published in: on January 19, 2013 at 7:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

CMPD Officers Arrest Two After Convenience Store Clerk Beaten with Hammer During Robbery

From, January 18, 2013

Police in Charlotte have arrested Paul Steffon Curtis, 21, and  Danielle Karen Pearson, 20, after police say the two hit a store clerk with a hammer during an armed robbery.

On Thursday, at approximately 1 a.m., patrol officers were dispatched to the Circle K  located at 9221 Albemarle Rd., concerning an armed robbery call for service, according to a news release from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.

The store clerk stated a male suspect entered the store, threatened him with a hammer, and demanded money.

The clerk complied, and the suspect left the store before getting into the passenger seat of a waiting car that was being operated by a female suspect.

The description of the suspects, and tag number of the vehicle were broadcast to officers in the field.  A short time later, an officer observed the vehicle pull into the Kangaroo gas station located at 7035 E. W.T. Harris Rd.  The officer conducted an investigative car stop of the vehicle, while other officers transported the victim (store clerk) to the scene to conduct a show-up.

The victim positively identified Danielle Karen Pearson as the driver of the vehicle.  Additionally, information and evidence gathered during the investigation identified Paul Steffon Curtis as the suspect responsible for entering the store and robbing the clerk. Both suspects were taken into custody without incident and face robbery charges.

Excellent communication between officers and telecommunicators, in addition to a solid field investigation, enabled officers to apprehend the suspects quickly.

Anyone with additional information with respect to this case and or these suspects is asked to call the Crime Stoppers tip line at 704.334.1600 or

Published in: on January 19, 2013 at 1:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

9 Arrested in “Operation Enderly Park”

From by John Cominsky, January 18, 2013

Nine Charlotte men were arrested Friday on federal drug charges during an early morning roundup conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.

The arrests and indictment are the result of “Operation Enderly Park,” a six-month investigation conducted jointly by the DEA and CMPD to target and reduce violent crime in Mecklenburg County, with special emphasis placed on Enderly Park neighborhood in northwest Charlotte, the report states.

The defendants were apprehended early Friday morning and were charged with multiple counts of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine, marijuana and cocaine.

Those arrested and charged were Theodore Falls, 38, Maurice Crawford, 32, Derrick Lowery, 31, Derrick Owens, 35, Aaron Ligon, 48, Mario Wilson, 23, Cadaryl Drayton, 25, Curtis Smith, 36, and Lavar Rodgers, 31, all of Charlotte.

Mary Falls, 70, also of Charlotte, was arrested and charged with one count of maintaining drug-involved premises.

Another defendant named in the indictment, Nathaniel Washington, 30, of Charlotte, has not been arrested yet, officials said.

All defendants, except Ligon and Smith, had their initial appearances Friday in U.S. District Court and were detained, pending their detention hearings. The defendants charged with drug conspiracy face a statutory minimum prison term of five years and a maximum of 40 years, and a $5 million fine.

Mary Falls faces a maximum prison term of 20 years and a $500,000.

Published in: on January 19, 2013 at 12:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

Man Wanted in Armed Robbery of Charlotte 7-Eleven

From By John Cominsky, January 18, 2013

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is asking for the public’s assistance in locating a man who robbed a local store.


The armed robbery happened at the 7-Eleven convenience store on Mt Holly-Huntersville Road on December 23 just before 4 a.m.

The robber is described as a light skinned white male, 5’10”, 150 lbs., with a mustache and possibly brown hair. He was wearing a grey hoodie, red polo shirt over a grey t-shirt, dark blue jeans, and red and white sneakers.

He was last seen fleeing towards Northwoods Forest Drive on Mt. Holly-Huntersville Road in an older model, possibly a 1990 model, teal, 4-door Honda Accord.

If anyone has any information, please contact Crimestoppers at (704)334-1600.

Published in: on January 19, 2013 at 12:55 pm  Leave a Comment  

Shooting in South Charlotte

From, January 19, 2013

One person was shot  early Saturday morning at a parking lot off West Woodlawn Road.

It happened around 3am.

Police say a fight started between two women. Then, two men got involved.

One man went to his car, pulled out a gun and shot the other man in the stomach.

We checked with CMPD Saturday morning and learned that the victim is at CMC in stable condition.

Police say they do not have anyone in custody but they are conducting interviews.

We will keep you updated as we find out more information.

Published in: on January 19, 2013 at 12:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

Charlotte Police Searching for Teen Break-In Suspect

From, January 15, 2012

Charlotte police are asking for the public’s help in finding a teen responsible for several car break-ins.

Charlotte police searching for teen break-in suspectMacieo Steven White

Police say Macieo Steven White, 19, is behind a series of vehicle break-ins in the Providence division.  He is wanted for breaking and entering a motor vehicle, felony probation violation, misdemeanor larceny and possession of marijuana.

Anyone who can help find White is asked to call 911 or Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

Published in: on January 16, 2013 at 9:05 am  Leave a Comment  
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