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The Blotter 

* A house which was for sale was broken into when someone ripped a lock box off the house, and stole the house key inside. The thief took great care in choosing what he wanted to take, being careful to leave the rest of the home and its contents untouched. The suspect left with $2,450 worth of guns and rifles, computer equipment and software, an extensive coin collection, silverware, camera equipment, a telescope, a woman's watch, the titles to two cars, tax receipts, personal pictures, perfume from Bath and Body Works, and miscellaneous jewelry, including a wedding ring. The homeowner observed that a lot of valuable items were left and when paired with the items missing, the assumption was made that the thief "is going through a divorce settlement with his ex-wife," aka the victim's "roommate." Guess the guy just wanted his stuff back.

* When Hunger Strikes: Biting off more than he could chew, a small-time thief found himself in a rut after trying to sneak out two candy bars and a bag of potato chips from a local convenience store. The video surveillance showed him take the munchies from the shelf and hide them in his jacket pocket. The snacks were taken from the thief and were replaced with a citation for larceny.

* A construction site was broken into by someone who pulled a piece of plywood off a window, smashed the window, and climbed through the empty frame. The thief took two toilets, valued at $200. After nabbing the commodes, the thief took off, leaving everything else untouched.

* At another construction site, an automatic dishwasher caught the thieves' attention. After the dishwasher was hauled out, the intruders left by the same unlocked door through which they had entered, but only after smashing two windows before leaving the scene.

* A purse took a dive last week when a woman threw her counterpart's pocketbook out of a motel window. After hurling the purse out the window, the woman then went outside, picked up the misused purse and drove off with it.

* Someone using an unauthorized key has been routinely cleaning out a vending machine at a local restaurant. The staff of the restaurant was told to alert police if anything seemed suspicious. So when a heavy-set man proceeded to unlock the machine, an officer was called. While the officer was in the restaurant, he observed that the man seemed to be "servicing" the candy machine. Besides emptying the machine of its currency, he also seemed to be relieving the machine of its spoils: "a bag of M&M's was in his possession."

* A man was robbed while taking a late night tour around the neighborhood. The robber pushed the man down, took his Walkman, and then made the man empty his pockets. When he found nothing, the suspect yanked off the man's hat, and pedaled away on the victim's Schwinn.* A Mercury Sable was recovered and towed by police after they were unable to contact the owner. The driver of the Sable was apparently involved in a collision with an unsuspecting utility pole. Unhurt or uncaring, the driver fled the scene on foot and never returned to claim his abandoned vehicle, nor apologize to the pole.

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  • On Saturday, Oct. 21, hundreds gathered at Camp North End on Statesville Avenue for Charlotte's first black alternative music festival. We captured some of the bands in action on stage, but mostly we surveyed the grounds as fans, families, vendors and more lounged around the sprawling, colorful Camp North End site. It was a great day of music, food, fun, and sweet, autumn sunshine. (Photos by Mark Kemp)
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