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 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, 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, 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 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  

CMPD Searching for Suspect in July 25, 2017 Double Murder

Suspect possibly traveling in a 2017 black Honda CRV with NC license plate: PAS-9116

From, July 28, 2017

The manhunt continues for a man wanted in the killing of two people in north Charlotte.

Previous mugshot of Vurnel Smith Jr, 40. (Source: Cabarrus County Sheriff's Office)

Vurnel Smith Jr., 40, is being sought after 65-year-old Jacquline White-Gordon died at a north Charlotte home and 69-year-old Rufus Gordon was later found dead in the trunk of a car.

According to neighbors, White-Gordon and Gordon were Smith’s fiance’s parents.

According to unserved arrest warrants at the courthouse in Mecklenburg County, in addition to two counts of murder Smith is also being charged with kidnapping, first-degree forcible rape, and assault causing serious bodily injury.

The warrants say the crimes were committed on July 25, 2017.

A police source told WBTV that Smith allegedly held his fiancé captive over days and was sexually assaulting her.

Thursday morning, the woman managed to get out of the house. Police said she drove herself to the hospital and said there may be more victims at the house.

Officers say they responded to an assault with a deadly weapon call at a home in the 9000 block of Red Clay Lane around 4:40 a.m. Thursday. That’s where they found Gordon-White, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

Gordon was found dead inside the trunk of the car the fiance drove to the hospital.

CMPD identified Smith as a suspect hours after the incident was reported. Smith, who police say is “dangerous,” is possibly traveling in a 2017 black Honda CRV with NC license plate: PAS-9116.

People in the community say Smith and his fiance moved in a couple of months ago, and his fiance’s parents arrived after.

Smith was charged with first-degree sex offense and first-degree rape in 2015, but those charges are pending. He was also convicted of driving while impaired in 1997.

Anyone with information on Smith’s whereabouts is asked to call 911 immediately, or detectives at 704-432-TIPS. The public can also call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

Published in: on July 28, 2017 at 8:28 pm  Leave a Comment  

CMPD: Flasher Targets Young Girls and Their Grandmother at Arboretum Taco Bell

From by Savannah Levins, July 28, 2016

Police are looking for a man they say flashed two young girls and their grandmother Tuesday.

The indecent exposure happened at the Taco Bell at the Arboretum Shopping center in South Charlotte. Shoppers were horrified to hear about the incident.

“This is a beautiful area to have people like that disturb the community I think it’s ridiculous,” said shopper Nick Abate.

We went through police records and found several indecent exposure reports filed from the Arboreturm shopping center.

One just last month, in early June. “That’s gross that’s not cool at all,” Abate said.

Shoppers say they hope this isn’t becoming a trend yet again.

In 2014 over a span of just 4 weeks, three different women reported a man exposing himself to them, also in the presence of children. All at Arboretum.

A flasher struck again in March 2016, at the Arboretum Barnes and Noble.

If you know anything about the suspect in this latest case, you’re asked to call Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department or crime stoppers.

© 2017 WCNC.COM

Published in: on July 28, 2017 at 8:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
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