CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A deluge of crime in some areas of the Queen City is causing some city councilmembers to pull out every trick in the government tool bag to end it. The city is considering brining nuisance abatement cases against some property owners, what City Attorney Patrick Baker called a tool of “last resort.”
“If the citizens are calling over and over again at one particular property, then we have to hold that property owner accountable for what’s happening in this community,” Councilman Malcolm Graham told WBTV.
During a July council meeting, Graham pushed the idea of nuisance abatement against for some of the crime hotspots that rarely show improvement.
While nuisance abatement can be a complicated process, City Attorney Patrick Baker simplified it to one main point.
“The ultimate remedy is the forfeiture of the property, the taking of the property by the government and the handing the property owner a bill for our troubles,” Baker said.
Councilman Malcolm Graham has pointed out one particular property as a haven for criminal activity, 3201 Beatties Ford Road. It’s the same location where 14 year-old Terreon Geter was shot and killed this summer.
“That’s a haven, they hang out there, they congregate there, the drugs and sales, etc.,” Graham said.
WBTV submitted a records requests to find out what other properties in Charlotte were considered possibilities for nuisance abatement.
A list of properties on West Boulevard and Remount Road was provided. At the top of the memo it said “CMPD is working on proceeding with a nuisance case.”
When WBTV followed up with CMPD a spokesperson wrote “These efforts have not resulted in any Nuisance Abatement Cases filed against the owners of these addresses.” The same response was given for the address on Beatties Ford Road.
The list of properties on West Boulevard contained information about the history of crimes at the locations.
For example, the strip store between 1529-1541 West Boulevard has seen a bevy of drugs and guns confiscated from the property since 2016 (1868 g. of marijuana, 13.1 g. cocaine, 5.1 g. crack cocaine, 22 guns, 1 paintball gun, 1 large knife, $8652.64 and 31 counterfeit $100 bills, ecstasy, hydrocodone, Xanax, oxycodone, and 3 g. of brown liquid)
Some of the property owners seemed eager to work with CMPD, even providing access to cameras inside the property location.
CMPD uses a tool called Authority to Act as Agent “to eject or arrest persons who have no right to be on certain property without the necessity of the owner’s presence.” According to the memo at least one store, Platinum Plus Recording, had not signed off on that authority.
In order to build a nuisance abatement case, Baker says they would need to present a history of significant crimes and lack of action by property owners to fix the issue.
“What you’re looking for in terms of activities on these properties is repeated disturbance,” Baker said.
While CMPD says there are no nuisance abatement cases yet, Councilman Graham says it is something worth pursuing for the residents who live near these properties.
“They deserve the same type of protection that any other citizen across this community would want,” Graham said.