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The Blotter: Teach 'Em Young 

Bizzare crime from Charlotte police files (March 2)

Setting a Good Example Police responded to a Walmart on E. WT Harris Boulevard last week after a man was caught giving a kid some unsavory shopping advice. Employees told police the man entered the business with his 12-year-old relative and began hiding merchandise in his clothes. Not only was he doing this in the presence of a minor, but it was later found that he was encouraging the child to shoplift as well. The two were caught with candy, dairy products, coffee and hygiene products. You can pay for school but you can't shoplift class.

Help, Someone A 21-year-old man finally decided to go to police last week after doing some investigating into a bill he got for a ride he didn't take. The man told officers that in December of last year he received a bill for an ambulance transport that happened just a month before. Seeing as how an ambulance ride to the hospital would be an experience one would normally remember, he was shocked, as he hadn't suffered any injuries over the past month. The man did some digging and found in the hospital records that the victim of the actual injury had showed the unknowing man's driver's license to paramedics, and therefore charged his trip to the healthy victim.

Fight Club Last week, we told the story of a young man who filed a report after his car was damaged during a pre-arranged fight in a parking lot in University. Just a week later, a 17-year-old boy also learned that consensual fights can be a lose/lose situation. The boy told police that he took part in a prearranged fight in front of a house in east Charlotte. When it was over, he found the boy whom he had given his phone to for safekeeping, only to find that he was not the guy for the job. The kid told him that somebody had stolen the phone from him in the crowd while he was watching the fight.

Picnic Time A CVS employee filed a police report last week after someone shoplifted two bottles of wine and two bottles of bug spray. You have to love that February spring weather.

Magical Bicycle Police responded to Colonel Francis Beatty Park in south Charlotte after a 51-year-old man claimed to have been assaulted with a bicycle, although he couldn't explain the details of the assault or the suspect all too well. The man told police that he was walking along a bike path when the suspect came into his path, then "used his bicycle bar to strike him on the shoulder and then on the hip." The report clarifies that the suspect did not use his arms to hit the victim, but only the bicycle bar. According to the report, "The victim did not state how it was possible for the suspect to use bicycle parts to assault him." He also told police he couldn't remember the size of the bicycle used in the assault.

Pizza Dud Nobody pizzas like "The Hut" — so the motto goes — but one woman in south Charlotte disagreed after an experience she had last week, and she was not going to be quiet about it. According to a 30-year-old employee of Pizza Hut on South Boulevard, a woman began calling the business at 10:30 a.m. one day last week and made eight calls in a short period of time thereafter. The woman was apparently calling because she was upset about an order she had placed over the phone on the previous day.

Defeating the Point A 55-year-old man in south Charlotte filed a police report last week after a known person stole thousands of dollars worth of jewelry from him. The man told police the suspect took three gold-and-diamond rings and a diamond tennis bracelet from a safe in his bedroom. So, did this known suspect have the combination to the safe? Why, no, that would actually take effort. The victim told police he kept the safe unlocked, effectively making it more of a dressser drawer than an impenetrable case. He did recover the jewelry, but it's safe to say he'll be locking the safe from here on out.

Some Other Keith Keeping drug paraphernalia in a case with your name scrawled along the side seems like an easy way to leapfrog over the opportunity for plausible deniability during a bust, but then again, addicts aren't known for their great decision-making skills. Police busted up a party at a Knights Inn in southwest Charlotte and found a bevy of drugs and supplies in the room, including joint roaches, a scale with residue, a grinder with residue, baggies, a case with a weed pipe inside, two pipes used for smoking either crack or meth, clear white crystals that went unidentified in the report and seven unused syringes. It wasn't hard for officers to find out who the weed pipe belonged to, though, as the case it was in said "Keith!" in big letters along its side.

Awww Shanks Some elementary-aged kids decided they needed some self protection in school last week, as a steady stream of reports about sharp objects showed the beginnings of a trend. First, on Tuesday, two kids in Oakdale Elementary School were found with knives; one with a silver butter knife and one with a more-intimidating paring knife. Then, the next day, a child at Steele Creek was reported for carrying an Exacto knife around with him. It does not appear that any fellow students were ever put in danger by these kids.

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