Victim left to pay for criminal's actions

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Norkia Fleming is now a statistic and part of a world she would rather not know.

"I'm over here working my butt off to get my life back on track because he literally just knocked me off," Fleming said. "You knocked me off track in a way shape or form I'm really having to dig myself out of a hole that I didn't put myself into."

On March 29, a thief stole Fleming's car from the parking lot of her apartment complex. The 29-year-old says she didn't realize she dropped her spare key.

When she went downstairs to leave for work, her car was gone. She says she called Charlotte Mecklenburg Police (CMPD) and an officer took a report.

Fleming says she received a call from the officer hours later informing her that her vehicle had been recovered.

Shortly after, Fleming found out the story behind the hours when her car was gone.

Court records show CMPD's Real Time Crime Center said a license plate reader got a hit on her license plate on Beatties Ford Road near I-85. Officers say they followed and tried to stop the vehicle but the driver sped up and hit another vehicle.

Police say officers stayed with that victim while the police helicopter followed the stolen car, which reportedly hit speeds of 110 mph.

Police say 41 minutes after the license plate reader got a hit on the stolen car, four teens jumped from the vehicle at Statesville Avenue near Atando Avenue.

Dealyun Miller and three juveniles ran away but were eventually caught.

Fleming says she had no idea her car had been damaged. She says she was stunned when she saw it.

The front left side was damaged.

That wasn't all.

"My whole entire oil pan from up under my car was ripped including the plastic covering and metal covering that sits underneath," she said. "All the oil drained so much out of my car it dried out my engine."

Fleming had just accepted a job offer in Florida. She now had no car.

Making matters worse - she found out her insurance company mistakenly didn't keep full coverage on her policy when she was taken off her parents' policy and given her own.

Fleming says the mix-up with the insurance company came to light when she was told she was on the hook for the damage the criminals caused.

Time lost at work. Towing costs. Then, came rentals.

"My parents had to pretty much get me a rental car so I can get from here to Florida on time to be there in time enough for my training. Once again I had to pay for a rental car to get here to try to handle more issues and check on my car to see what was going on so it's money being spent that just should not be spent," she said. "I'm grateful and thankful that I had parents that I have but it's like what if I didn't. What if I didn't have the support and help that I have? I would have really – I would have lost my job. I wouldn't have been able to get to Florida to keep this position."

She says she took consolation in the fact that the culprits were caught.

Miller was charged with larceny of a motor vehicle, two counts of felony flee to elude, misdemeanor hit and run property damage and resisting arrest.

"I'm thinking they got him," Fleming said. "He's going to do this little bit of time."

But, the consolation didn't last long.

Fleming says one day in April she called the officer handling her case to check on the status.

"He left a voicemail saying 'I was unable to get them to take the case because I was unable to prove that he was the one driving the car'," Fleming recounted. "And so instantly my stomach dropped because I'm like he just off on this felony charge."

Court records show the larceny of motor vehicle charge was dismissed because "there is insufficient evidence  to warrant prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the larceny."

The document says "the only evidence provided is that the defendant was in possession of the stolen vehicle 12 hours later."

While the other charges remain, WBTV could not find court record showing that Miller is facing possession of stolen motor vehicle charge.

Fleming says she decided to see if Miller was on social media and if she had talked about the case.

She says she found his Facebook page.

"He posted on Facebook I just got off on two felony charges," she said. "I just started crying because here I am going through all of this and the person that's putting me through it is not paying for it. He's able to sit at home and have this good old lucky time he's having."

Fleming says she takes issue with the lack of communication that she's experiencing as a victim.

"I'm getting a bunch of voicemails. I'm getting the runaround. I'm getting a bunch of I don't know's. That's not good enough for me as a citizen who pays my taxes," she said. "You're not communicating with me and I'm the victim. I shouldn't have to be calling you guys for anything. You should be picking up the phone and saying, Ms Fleming, we're still working on your case."

A spokesperson for the District Attorney's office says they have been in contact.

Marcus Philemon of CharMeck Court Watch says Fleming's case is not unusual.

"We get contacted on a regular basis by victims. They try to navigate the system and have nowhere to begin or don't know where to begin," he said. "We've always felt like the victims are forgotten in the criminal justice system."

"It's extremely frustrating because nobody asks to be a victim," Philemon added. "Then you're thrown into a process to where you have no idea how to navigate it. No idea to see what your rights are."

The District Attorney's Office says their advocates do help victims understand the process and refer services.

The N.C Victim Assistance Network focuses primarily on victims of violent crime but refer all victims to offices than can help.

Norkia Fleming says she was sucked into a vortex - that she just wants to escape

"I will honestly say when that happened to me I was over Charlotte. I didn't want to be here anymore."

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