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Bizzare crime from Charlotte police files (Dec. 29) 

Heaters

Unattended A 51-year-old man paid dearly for his decision to warm his car in front of his north Charlotte home during a cold morning last week. The man told police he left his Dodge Nitro running and unlocked in the driveway at about 7 a.m. while he got ready inside his house and, when he came out to leave for work, the car was gone. Adding to the stupidity of his decision, he also told police that if the thief checked under the driver's seat, they would find a brand new .40-caliber handgun. Sure enough, when police later found the car abandoned miles away in east Charlotte, the gun was nowhere to be found.

Not Your Kicks There was a rash of pre-Christmas thefts occurring throughout Charlotte this holiday season as thieves drove around suburban neighborhoods and dashed from cars to steal packages off of porches, where they'd been delivered to await their targeted recipient. These thieves were surely acting in hopes that the packages would be filled with gifts to be used or resold to a wide audience. One thief in northeast Charlotte was not so lucky, as the shoes in the package they stole not only contained children's shoes, which limits the market already, but children's shoes customized by stitching the would-be recipient's name onto them. In an unrelated incident, a woman caught a man stealing a package from her porch on camera. He couldn't have been happy to open it once he got to a safe spot, however, as all it contained was kitty litter; no presents.

The Great Escape If you see a door-to-door vacuum salesman meandering the streets of north Charlotte in the near future, he may have come across that supply in a dishonest, if ambitious way. Employees at Walmart on North Tryon Street called police after an unknown man stacked three vacuum cleaners — a total of $747 in merchandise — into a cart and made his way to the garden section. Once there, he removed the security tags from the vacuums before pulling off his greatest feat, prying open a roll-down garden door made for employee carts and crawling through it into the parking lot to make off with his booty.

She Gone A 50-year-old man in northwest Charlotte may have had to come to terms with losing more than his car last week after calling police to file an "unauthorized use of vehicle" report. The man told officers that he told a woman whom he's in a romantic relationship with that she could use his car for "a quick errand" at 9 p.m. By the time police were called, it was 2:30 a.m. the next morning and the man was rightfully beginning to wonder whether he was ever going to see his car — or woman — again.

Three's a Crowd When carrying out a carjacking, it's often best to approach the job in as simplistic a way as possible. Making it a multiplayer mission can only lead to folks getting in each other's way, so when three people attempted to steal a car by force in east Charlotte last week, the whole crime was destined to fail. A 38-year-old man said he was standing in his driveway with his wife and 5-year-old son when three men approached and pulled guns. Two suspects roughed the man up before taking the keys to his Chevrolet Malibu, which was sitting there in the driveway. When the three men took off in the car, the victim hopped into his other car and attempted to chase them, but it wasn't a long chase. The suspects crashed into a tree just 100 meters from the scene of the robbery, deploying the airbags and totaling the car. The suspects fled the scene, but two of them were eventually apprehended by police.

Holla At Me A stranger may have saved a 21-year-old man's life in west Charlotte with a simple shout last week. A man told police that he was walking down Beatties Ford Road when another man called for him to come over to him. The victim refused, which angered the suspect, and he suddenly began running at the victim while beginning to draw a firearm from his pocket and yelling, "I'm going to end you." A third man on the scene who had seen what was happening all along suddenly started yelling for anyone in the area to watch what was happening, which made the suspect nervous and he left.

Keep it Secret A 69-year-old woman learned a lesson about what the P in PIN stands for last week. The south Charlotte resident said she was alarmed to check her bank account one day and find that there were charges amounting to $140 that she had not spent. She called someone she suspected might have been to blame, and he admitted to it. She only filed a report after the suspect made excuses about how he wanted to pay her back but couldn't. The lesson learned in all this? The woman said the man was only able to sneak out and use her card was that the PIN was written on the back of it.

Threat of the Week A 26-year-old man will be cutting his own hair for a few months after receiving a threat to stay away from the local barber shop through a third party last week. The man filed a report stating that his friend played a voicemail for him in which the suspect said, "If I catch [the victim] in the barber shop I will fight him on the spot ... or something will happen." Like, he will get his hair cut?

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