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The Blotter: Scammers 

Bizzare crime from Charlotte police files (Aug. 10-16)

Barter Management at the Quail Valley on Carmel apartment complex in south Charlotte checked their night deposit box one morning last week to find that someone didn't have the money to pay their rent but offered up something even better. The apartment manager called police and turned over a bag of marijuana, a bag of cocaine and a single pill that was found in the night deposit box on the last morning of the month. This would be a great replacement for rent, except the entire stash was valued at only $16. You're going to have to do a little better than that for a month's rent.

Pass the Torch In another unsolicited trade case, a 40-year-old west Charlotte woman filed a report after someone trashed her front yard, but left behind a trade. The woman told officers she returned home one night to find that someone had left a bike pump in her front yard, which she found odd. It wasn't until the morning that she found that the suspect took something in return. The suspect took four Citronella candles and her water hose nozzle. For good measure, the thief-turned-vandal also pulled two Tiki torches from her porch and threw them on the ground, then pulled an umbrella from the mailbox and threw it onto a nearby chair.

A/C A 43-year-old man called police after someone tried to install an air conditioner into his car, but went about it the wrong way. The man told police that he was sitting in his car in the Atkins Circle Apartments in Ballantyne at about 7 a.m. when the suspect approached his car and threw a large box fan at it, hitting the trunk. The fan didn't cool the man off, but instead did $500 of damage to his car.

Default Dewalt Employees at a Home Depot on Wendover Road in east Charlotte in July realized that a couple had gotten the best of them three months earlier. According to reports, a couple walked into the store on March 19 and picked out a $279 Dewalt power drill, then brought it to the return desk and presented the employee with a false receipt that they had apparently made themselves. They made off with the money, but they didn't stop there. They returned on March 27 and pulled the same stunt with the same drill, then decided to switch it up. On April 7, they went with a Dewalt grinder worth $139. On April 10, the pair stepped it up when they went into the store and picked out a power saw worth $99, a wrench worth $159 and another drill worth $199, all made by Dewalt. Nobody was the wiser until July, when someone filing paperwork finally realized all the receipts were fake.

Self-Promotion Management at Rise Biscuits Donuts in Steele Creek was also a little slow on the uptake when they were scammed by one of their own employees earlier this year. According to the report, the man's boss recently realized that the man had cashed two fraudulent paychecks at some point between May and July. In one of the incidents, the man was accidentally given a paycheck that he didn't earn, and was told to destroy it. Of course, he didn't. He was more proactive with his second scam, which involved taking the liberty to write his own false paycheck for a higher payment than he was entitled to. Management told police the man quit when he was confronted about it, and why not, he got off with a total of $2,483 that he didn't deserve in the end. However, he'll be rethinking things when the police show up at his door any day now.

Bad Service Police responded to a Metro PCS store in the Ayrsley area in southwest Charlotte after a customer became irate and took his phone troubles into his own hands. A 20-year-old employee at the store told police the man became upset while trying to have an issue with his phone checked out and punched him in the face. He suffered minor injuries but refused treatment by Medic.

Bait and Switch A 69-year-old woman was tricked by a thief in the CATS transit center in Uptown last week and it resulted in the loss of her wallet. According to the woman, the man was running a scam that focused on her weakness for the word of the Lord. She told officers that the man walked up to her with a bag of religious booklets asking if she was interested in reading one. During the conversation, the man dropped one of the booklets on the ground, and when the woman bent down to pick it up, he stole the wallet out of the top of her purse, which she had sitting on her lap, and walked off.

In God's Backyard A group of children saw a scary sight while playing outside at a church function in west Charlotte last week, and were able to help police apprehend a man brandishing a gun on church property. The kids told their parents the man had waved the gun near the church's playground area then walked off, and the parents then called police. Officers found the man walking down Beatties Ford Road and confronted him. The man was found with a Taurus 9 mm and two bags of weed in his pocket, and how he'll need some prayers.

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