Queen City Nerve

Charlotte's Cultural Pulse

The Scanner: Burning Boxes

By Ryan Pitkin

February 3, 2020

Not an actual photo from the incident described below.

WHAT STINKS? CMPD and the Charlotte Fire Department responded to Tuckaseegee Park in west Charlotte one recent morning after it was found that someone had set a porta-potty on fire overnight and let it burn, which I’m including in this column only in case you need an expression for something that’s even worse than a dumpster fire. The Trump administration, for example.

HOTBOX A school bus was cleared out on one recent afternoon after an elementary school student chose the wrong time to test out their pepper spray. According to the report, “The juvenile suspect sprayed pepper spray onto the floor of the school bus causing three other juveniles to be affected.” The kids who were “affected” were not injured, however, and the young suspect was not charged. Damn kid, when I was young we just made stink bombs and left it at that.

BAIT AND SWITCH A 20-year-old woman filed a police report after she was teased with some money then robbed of her cellphone. The woman said she had placed the phone up for sale on the letgo app, then met with a man who claimed he wanted to buy it. When she met the him at a Public Storage on Albemarle Road, he flashed money at her to gain her trust, then suddenly grabbed her phone and ran off. The victim told police the man tripped and fell, then got up and ran through traffic and into the woods before disappearing for good.

GROUNDED Police have been perturbed by a couple of mystery drone pilots who have been breaking the laws of the land … er, air. In November, CMPD and the FAA reported that someone in the Selwyn Park area had been flying their machine in restricted Class B airspace. The pilot flew the drone 1,500 feet in the air, more than triple the maximum allowed 400 feet, which is considered what’s necessary to keep the drone in the pilot’s line of sight. Then in December, the FAA filed another report stating that someone in the First Ward area flew their drone 1,100 feet up and came down in Bank of America Stadium.

SIX-SHOT DONATION The manager at a Goodwill store on Wilkinson Boulevard in west Charlotte called police after an inventory check turned up something that didn’t need to be resold. According to the manager, someone had anonymously donated a revolver to the store. He said that he is unsure of the date at which they received the firearm because it had been donated “a while ago,” but he had just come across it while checking inventory recently. Good to know.

WHAT’S EVEN REAL If you can’t trust the people who are robbing you, who can you trust? Police responded to an armed robbery call in east Charlotte just before midnight and found four suspects who had tried to rob one 49-year-old man, and still felt like they needed plenty of firepower to do it. According to the report, the suspects used a very real black Ruger .380 pistol and a toy assault rifle painted black, apparently just for the extra intimidation factor.

DARK MAN X A 41-year-old man was robbed in the Enderly Park neighborhood of west Charlotte recently, and the thieves made off with two of his necklaces. When asked to give a description of one of the pieces of jewelry, the victim told officers it was a platinum chain “like what DMX wears.” Well, that narrows it down.

SOMETHING’S LOOSE A 63-year-old truck driver living in University City filed a police report after becoming convinced that someone was trying to sabotage his vehicle. The man told police that someone had loosened all eight lug nuts on the right front wheel of his semi. He didn’t believe that anyone was trying to steal the tire or anything, but did note that, “the loosening of the lugs resulted in oil loss from the plate that houses the wheel bearings.”

DUNKED ON If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. A 31-year-old man thought he landed a sweet job where he could make money from doing nothing, but in the end he was scammed out of thousands of dollars. The man told police that the scammer hired him to advertise for Dunkin’ Donuts by wrapping his car with a DD ad. The suspect sent him a check to pay for the wrap, and was asked to return payment through Zelle and Google gift cards. He repaid the $3,900 that he was told the wrap costed, only to then find out that the original check he received was counterfeit.

HOLE IN ONE A bad day only got worse for a 31-year-old Concord man who had to have his car towed from Remount Road during rush hour on a recent afternoon. The man told police he was waiting next to his Infiniti G35 when suddenly a golf ball came flying from the nearby Charles L. Sifford Golf Course at Revolution Park and went right through his rear windshield.

QUIET DOWN An overzealous shoplifter blew her own cover at Sephora in Northlake Mall on a recent morning, but still got away with the goods. According to staff, a look back at surveillance footage showed that the woman had entered the store just before 10:30 a.m. and walked to the fragrance section. She selected a few, then walked to a corner where she felt comfortable placing them in her purse. She then went back for more, but this time when she got to the corner, she made a bunch of noise while removing a bottle from its packaging, which drew a salesperson to ask if she needed help. The shoplifter declined and quickly left the store with 12 bottles of fragrance, valued at a total of $1,560.

All Scanner entries are pulled from CMPD reports. Suspects are innocent until proven guilty.

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