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The Blotter 

Babysitter Gone Bad: After a night out, two parents returned to find that over $520 was missing from their home. There was no sign of forced entry and the only person with access to the money was the babysitter. The cash was taken from "the top of the sofa in the dining room" -- kind of a strange place to leave over $500, don't you think?

Pilfering Pre-Teens: Two thieving minors tried to pull a fast one on a local superstore when they attempted to walk out with several stolen items. The girls were apprehended, however, as they were leaving the store, and the stolen merchandise was returned to the display shelves. The stolen items included a $5 personal organizer, a $10 diary and a $6 bra -- typical teeny-bopper contraband.

Put On Another Roll: Another home break-in occurred last week, but it seems that nothing was missing -- well, almost nothing. The homeowner came home and noticed that someone had intruded and immediately did a sweep for any missing belongings. The only thing she found missing, however, was a roll of toilet paper (valued at 50 cents). This homeowner felt it necessary to complete a police report and even went as far as to give the specifics of the paper, listing it as two-ply and cotton quilted.

Palm Passion: Upon arriving home, a man saw another man traveling up the street with a small potted palm taken from the first man's home. The palm owner later confronted the fellow about the lifted plant, at which point an argument ensued. The $10 plant must have been quite the hot commodity because the plant thief soon started to strangle the other man before fleeing the scene.

Bathroom Bash: A woman arrived home last week to discover that an uninvited guest had not only broken in, but left her a message. Apparently, the only damage the woman could find was a derogatory remark written about her on the bathroom window.

Watch For Flying Cones: A startled man awoke in the middle of the night to the sound of his window breaking. Shortly following, he heard two men talking outside the window and then the squealing tires of a vehicle speeding away. The man discovered that someone had used a large orange traffic cone to break his window. Nothing else was damaged, and no other road appliances were found on the premises.

Named Names: Several doors and mailboxes of a local apartment complex were vandalized last week. The vandals, using black permanent marker, wrote the initials "TB" and "Dirty Bob" on over 10 different doors and mailboxes, causing over $1,000 in damages. Although police don't have any suspects as of yet, searching for someone with the initials TB and someone called Dirty Bob might be a good place to start.

In Need of Change: One Charlotte woman and another witness came upon a small-time thief rummaging through a desk drawer in the woman's bedroom. Although the thief only managed to grab some loose coins, it was no small change: Over $22 in pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters was taken.

Fading Firewood: A tell-tale sign that winter weather is here is when firewood suddenly starts to disappear around town. Well, it's started, as one convenience store reported three bundles of firewood had been stolen sometime during the previous night. Hey, even thieves get cold.

Was It Something I Said?: A woman got an unexpected jolt when another car hit her from behind while she was driving through an intersection. As in most car accidents, both drivers pulled over and got out of their vehicles to assess the damage. The peculiar thing about this case is that after talking a short while with the other driver, the driver at fault suddenly got back into his car and drove away without leaving any information or reason for his sudden flight.

Sleeping Scratcher: Last week, two men were involved in an argument which soon led to violence. Both men were thoroughly intoxicated and one man assaulted the other by scratching him in the face several times following the argument. The offender must not have been too upset over the incident, as upon police arrival he was sound asleep.

Blotter items are chosen from the files of the Charlotte Police Department.

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