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The Blotter: Consumer's Always Right 

Bizzare crime from Charlotte police files (March 23)

Modern Art Security guards at a Walmart in north Charlotte got quite a show last week as they watched a suspect who had been shoplifting, but then took things to the next level. At first, security noticed the suspect concealing items in their clothing. They first took some clothing, then a candle, then some bananas. Security continued to watch to see what else the suspect would do while waiting for police to arrive, and that's when things got weird. According to the report, "They continued to watch as the suspect began to open small jars of paint and consume them." The suspect then attempted to leave the store but was stopped before they could do so. They were found to be impaired — although it's unclear whether that was a cause or effect of the paint consumption — and had been banned from several other area Walmarts. Helpfully noted at the end of the report: "The merchandise was recovered, except for the consumed paint."

Antiques A 43-year-old northeast Charlotte woman called police after someone broke into her car and stole some relics of the past. The woman reported that she woke up to find that someone had gotten into the vehicle, but the only items listed as stolen were CDs — $40 worth. It's unclear how the thief plans to play them, but they'll good mementos of a time gone by.

Merry Christmas A 35-year-old man in south Charlotte finally filed a police report last week regarding an incident that apparently took place last Christmas. The man described a vandalism case to officers in which the suspect seemed to be very deliberate about vandalizing a home when nobody else was there. The victim told police that the suspect damaged a plastic Christmas tree, ripped pieces off of a chandelier, pulled the strings out of the ceiling fans, cut two cords leading to the television, scratched up a dresser and — in a grand finale — shattered a large fish tank, killing the five fish inside and damaging the ceiling, floor and television (further).

Nothing to See Police responded to a vehicle break-in call in northwest Charlotte last week after a burglar used the most conspicuous means possible to get into someone's car. The 27-year-old victim said she was watching the suspect the whole time as he threw "a yellowish-red brick" (very descriptive) at the windshield of her Chevrolet Cobalt repeatedly until it shattered. He then reached through the windshield to unlock the driver's side door, opened it and rifled through the front seat. It was a dumb crime, but one that paid — at least for the time being. The thief found $340 in a man's wallet inside the car and got away with it before police could arrive.

Keys to Success While handing over your car keys to anyone save for the most trusted loved one is usually a recipe for a stolen car in this here Blotter, some times it can lead to less dramatic but equally troubling issues. A 42-year-old woman told police that she handed her keys over to a friend before going to work the other day so he could work on her car while she was gone. When she returned home, her car was there but the friend wasn't. She eventually got a hold of him and he said he had to grab some more tools, but hours later, she was unable to get a hold of him and still unable to get into her apartment.

Insurance Fraud Fails The CMPD Arson unit responded to an apartment fire on the banks of the Catawba River last week after it quickly became clear that there was foul play involved. Investigators eventually determined that a man had assembled a homemade explosive incendiary device and set it off in the garage connected to the apartment. In the end, he only did about $500 in damage, so whatever the end goal was, it didn't pan out. Also, he now has some serious charges on his record. So, all in all, he'll have to chalk that one up as a loss.

Cash Be Inside, How Bout Dat Police responded to a BB&T in northwest Charlotte after some unknown suspect(s) put a whole lot of effort into robbing the unrobbable. Employees showed officers where the thieves pried open the metal door and broke the deadlock to an outdoor ATM overnight, only to learn that they still couldn't access any cash. They did $1,000 in damage, with nothing to show for all that effort.

Wanna Party? Two 19-year-old women were a bit shaken after coming in contact — although not physical contact, thankfully — with a hitchhiker who may have had too much to drink that night, but was a predator any way you look at it. The girls told officers they were driving down Mallard Creek Road near the intersection of Prosperity Church Road at 1:30 a.m. when a man suddenly approached their car with no clothes on and tried to get in. Luckily, he wasn't able to do so and they drove to safety.

Mooching a Moocher A woman in southwest Charlotte filed a fraud report after some stranger claimed a portion of the tax returns she was justly due for raising her son, without doing any of the work. The woman said that she had filed her 14-year-old son as a dependent on her tax returns, only to later be rejected and told that someone else had already claimed him as such. The woman said there is no other person who she can think of that would have the right to claim as much, so she filed a report for impersonation and fraud.

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