By Paul Cameron
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - There wasn't much crime in the Pawtuckett neighborhood before I-485 was built. Charlotte's outer belt was constructed on land that caused the Pawtuckett Golf Course to close, and crime to move in.
It's what neighbors had feared for decades-- criminals looking for opportunities, wandering through the old golf course land, winding up in the back yards of homes and apartments.
Charles Edward McGowan found out about this "easy-in, easy-out" community and police say he and two other men broke down the back door of an apartment. The homeowner was away at work, but fortunately, an alarm sounded and neighbors called police.
Detective Gerald Hopkins says he knew who the burglar was-- McGowan, a 24-year-old he'd arrested about a year prior.
McGowan has a long rap sheet. He's been arrested for breaking and entering eight times in the last three years, and Detective Hopkins says when he asked him why he does it, there was no reply.
This time, Hopkins wants to put McGowan away before he graduates on to more violent crime.