Crime too common at transit center, CMPD working to curb it - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Crime too common at transit center, CMPD working to curb it

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

WBTV has uncovered a common connection between crimes in Uptown Charlotte. Too many are happening near the transit center.

 Now, Charlotte Mecklenburg Police is turning to a new partner for help.

"It's not the hang out spot. It's where you catch the bus. You got other places to hang around."

Miche Ford, 18, is glad to hear CMPD is cracking down on the loitering problem at the Transit Center in uptown. She doesn't catch the bus often -- but when she does, she's not looking for trouble.

"If you don't have nothing to do, some people are just going to find trouble," she said. 

And that's exactly what police in center city tell WBTV has been happening.

"That was causing a little crime and disorderliness," said, Capt. Mike Campagna with CMPD's Central Division.  

He said they put their heads together with Allied Barton, CATS private security firm, to curb loitering as a result, crime. Mostly petty crimes, but disturbing nonetheless.

"There was even some low level drug activity going on out there," he pointed out.

And those loitering --not who you might think.

"The people hanging out at transit center weren't kids at all -- these are grown adults who found it appealing to hang out there," he said.

The most common crime? Stolen phones. And Capt. Campagna says the thieves sometimes got physical with victims.

"Phones are a big target item for people," he said. "They're stolen, snatched out of people hands and sometimes they're physically assaulted before their phones are taken."

Most of the problems happen during the day -- but police are concerned that could change with school out for the summer.

"What our biggest fear is coming into the summertime -- kids coming out of school that some younger kids are going to want to hang out there, too," he said.

CMPD also tells WBTV it's working with Time Warner Cable Arena, located right across the street, to make sure the loitering concerns don't become an issue for that venue.

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