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Chapel Hill Police Warn Of Phone Scam Targeting Local Businesses

Chapel Hill Police Sergeant Bryan Walker says local businesses have been the target of a recent phone scam.

“Businesses are receiving a telephone call from someone that purports to be from Duke Energy. The way the scam works, the person calls the business and tells whomever answers the phone that they’re late on payment and unless they immediately make a payment, the power will be turned off.”

The scammers threaten to cut off electricity within the hour and demand the victims purchase a pre-paid money card to transfer payment.

Walker says this makes the transaction hard to track once the victim realizes it’s a scam.

The high pressure tactics have proven successful, and they’ve cost some victims hundreds of dollars. In at least one case, the scammers accepted a fraudulent payment, then turned around and asked for more.

“Once the person paid $400, they were immediately told, ‘Well, we didn’t tell you about these other fees, you owe us another $300.’ So if they get one amount of money out of you, they may try to get more immediately.”

Recently, a business owner on Elliot Road got one of these types of calls. She listened to the scammer’s pitch, but hung up and called Duke Energy for confirmation. Walker says if you have doubts, it’s important to hang up and call the utility directly to make sure you’re talking to a real Duke Energy representative.

“The scammers have gotten to the point where they’re a little more sophisticated and if you ask, ‘May I call you back?’, they may say, ‘Absolutely, here’s the number,’ and give you a number that allows them to be ready for your call.”

According to Duke Energy’s website, customers who are behind on payment will receive multiple notices of delinquency over the course of several weeks, never just a single phone call. The power company has set up a webpage describing some of the recent phone scams and offering tips to thwart them.

If you have received any suspicious phone calls, you should alert local police and Duke Energy.

 

http://chapelboro.com/news/crime/chapel-hill-police-warn-phone-scam-targeting-local-businesses/

CHPD Seek Man In Sexual Assault

Chapel Hill Police are seeking the man in the above photo as a suspect in a sexual assault that occurred downtown the weekend of October 4. He’s described as a black male, about 5’9″ with a medium build, a light complexion and almond shaped eyes. He was wearing a royal blue hat, a blue and white plaid shirt, and blue jeans.

If you saw him downtown that weekend, or if you think you know who this person is, call Chapel Hill Police at 919-968-2760, or Crime Stoppers at 919-942-7515. (You can also leave tips for Crime Stoppers online at http://www.crimestoppers-chcunc.org.) Calls to Crime Stoppers are confidential and anonymous, and the caller may be eligible for a cash reward up to $2,000 for information that leads to arrest.

http://chapelboro.com/news/crime/chpd-seek-man-sexual-assault/

CHPD Identifies Man Found Dead On Rosemary St

Chapel Hill Police have identified the man who was found dead Tuesday afternoon in the parking lot of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church on 300 E. Rosemary Street.

Jason Henry Myrick, of 100 W. Rosemary Street, was 41 years old.

Police are continuing to investigate, but they say there’s no indication of foul play.

The full statement from Chapel Hill Police is below:

On Tuesday, October 14th at approximately 4:28 PM, the Chapel Hill Police Department responded to a report of a deceased person in the parking lot at 300 East Rosemary Street. Officers arrived and found a deceased male subject in the parking lot of the Lutheran Campus Ministry. The decedent has been identified as Jason Henry Myrick (41) of 100 W. Rosemary Street in Chapel Hill. There are no indications of foul play at this time and the investigation is ongoing. Additional information will be released as appropriate.

Anyone wishing to provide information about this investigation, or any other investigation, may call the Chapel Hill Police Department at 919-968-2760 or Chapel Hill-Carrboro-UNC Crime Stoppers at 919-942-7515 / 919-226-CRIME.

http://chapelboro.com/news/chpd-identifies-man-found-dead-rosemary-st/

CHPD Investigating Dead Body Found Downtown

Chapel Hill Police are investigating after a dead body was found near a dumpster at the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church at 300 E. Rosemary Street.

The Daily Tar Heel reports that it was students who initially found the body. Helicopters hovered overhead as police diverted traffic on East Rosemary near the Hillsborough Street intersection.

A spokesperson for CHPD says there are no indications of foul play, but the investigation is ongoing.

The full statement from Chapel Hill Police is below:

On Tuesday, October 14th at approximately 4:28 PM, the Chapel Hill Police Department responded to a report of a deceased person in the parking lot at 300 East Rosemary Street.  Officers arrived and found a deceased male subject in the parking lot of the Lutheran Campus Ministry.  There are no indications of foul play but the investigation is ongoing.  Additional information will be released as appropriate.

Anyone wishing to provide information about this investigation, or any other investigation, may call the Chapel Hill Police Department at 919-968-2760 or Chapel Hill-Carrboro-UNC Crime Stoppers at 919-942-7515 / 919-226-CRIME.

http://chapelboro.com/news/local-government/chpd-investigating-dead-body-found-downtown/

Cyclist Killed Friday Was Durham Resident, 57

Chapel Hill Police have announced the identity of the cyclist who was killed in a vehicle collision last Friday: Pamela Lane, 57, of Durham.

The accident took place at 9:39 on Friday morning, near the intersection of MLK and Hillsborough. Lane was riding her bike on the sidewalk of MLK when she was struck by a vehicle that was exiting the parking lot of a gas station near that intersection. Lane was transported to the emergency room at UNC Hospitals, but died later of her injuries.

Chapel Hill Police are still investigating the accident. No charges have been filed so far.

The full statement from Chapel Hill Police:

On Friday, October 3rd at approximately 9:39 AM, the Chapel Hill Police Department responded to a report of a traffic collision involving a motor vehicle and a cyclist. The collision occurred on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, just north of the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and Hillsborough Street.
 
The cyclist was transported to UNC Emergency Department and later died from injuries resulting from the collision.  The cyclist has been identified as Pamela Lane (57) of Coggins Mine Ct. in Durham.
 
Investigators believe that Ms. Lane was traveling southbound on the eastern sidewalk of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and the motor vehicle was exiting the parking lot of the gas station at the Hillsborough St. intersection.  The investigation into the collision is on-going and no charges have been filed at this time.

http://chapelboro.com/news/safety/cyclist-killed-friday-durham-resident-57/

How Police Handle A Crisis

Earlier this week, police shut down streets in downtown Carrboro for 18 hours after a man climbed to the roof of the Hampton Inn and threatened to jump.

The situation began around 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday and lasted until 8:30 Wednesday morning, when the man was safely removed from the roof. It took a coordinated effort from many local agencies – not just Carrboro police, but also Carrboro fire officials, Carrboro public works officials, Orange County EMS, and the police departments of Cary and Chapel Hill.

What was the Chapel Hill PD’s role in the operation?

“We became involved almost immediately from a traffic standpoint – it was necessary to block off both Rosemary Street and Franklin Street, and our officers assisted in that,” says Chapel Hill Police Sgt. Bryan Walker. “Our negotiators were also involved fairly early on…

“It was early in the incident that it was clear that it was going to become something that Carrboro could use assistance on, and when they requested us, we went.”

Negotiators from Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Cary Police were all on the scene throughout the situation, speaking with the individual on the roof. Sgt. Walker says the Chapel Hill police department has at least five trained negotiators on staff, for instances like this.

“They come from different divisions within the department,” says Walker. “Some of our civilian crisis counselors are trained negotiators, and then we also have police officers that are trained as well.”

Rarely do we hear about how police officers handle negotiation and crisis management – but Sgt. Walker says it’s a vital part of the role of police, in Chapel Hill-Carrboro and everywhere.

“People typically don’t call 911 because they’re having a good day,” he says. “We see people in some of the worst situations of their entire lives, and it’s important that our officers are well-trained to recognize those situations and deal with them appropriately…

“We are very serious about training our officers to respond to these types of things.”

Carrboro police have not released the identity of the individual in this week’s incident, except to say that he was a man believed to be in his early 20s. He was taken to UNC Hospitals for evaluation.

http://chapelboro.com/news/safety/police-handle-crisis/

Chapel Hill Man Gets His Money Back

An odd case in Chapel Hill earlier this week, as a mugger robbed a man of 160 dollars at knifepoint – but ended up giving all the money back.

The incident took place at 12:30 Tuesday morning, near the intersection of Columbia and Caldwell Streets in the Northside neighborhood.

“A gentleman was walking in that area, and someone approached him and pulled a knife and demanded his money,” says Chapel Hill Police Sgt. Bryan Walker. “When he gave the person the money, the suspect began to run away – and the victim chased him as he called 911.

“The suspect stopped, gave him his money back, and then left the scene.”

Sgt. Walker says it’s a good thing that everything ended well in this case – though in general, it’s probably not the best idea to chase after an armed robber.

“We certainly wouldn’t encourage anyone else in that situation to handle it the same way that this victim did – we wouldn’t suggest that someone chase a suspect that has just threatened you with a weapon,” Walker says. “But in this case, it didn’t result in a terrible outcome.”

The would-be victim who chased after the mugger is a 35-year-old Northside resident.

http://chapelboro.com/news/crime/chapel-hill-man-gets-money-back/

Chapel Hill Police Seek Hit And Run Driver

Chapel Hill Police need your help to solve a hit and run that happened earlier this week.

Shortly after 3:30 am on Monday, police found a man who had been struck by a vehicle near the intersection of 15-501 and East Lakeview Drive.

The man, 23 year old Joseph Russo, was transported to Duke University Hospital, where he remains in critical but stable condition.

The driver who struck Russo left the scene. Chapel Hill Police Sergeant Bryan Walker says investigators have some leads in the case, but they are also appealing to the public for help.

“Anyone that may have seen a vehicle stopped in that area Sunday night or Monday morning or any one that knows anything about the incident at all, please give us a call,” says Walker.

If you have any information about Monday’s incident, you can call the Chapel Hill Police Department (919) 968-2760 or Crime Stoppers at (919) 942-7515. Calls to Crime Stoppers are confidential and anonymous, and the caller may be eligible for a cash reward up to $2,000 for information that leads to arrest.

You can also leave tips for Crime Stoppers at http://www.crimestoppers-chcunc.org/

http://chapelboro.com/news/crime/chapel-hill-police-seek-hit-run-driver/

Carrboro Police Safely Remove Distraught Man From Roof

After nearly 18 hours, Carrboro police were able to remove a man to safety who’d been threatening to jump from the roof of the Hampton Inn.

The situation began around 3:00 Tuesday afternoon, when Carrboro police responded to a report of a “suspicious person” at 300 East Main Street. When they arrived, they found the man on the roof.

Police blocked off East Main Street, West Rosemary Street, and West Franklin Street for the rest of the day, throughout the night, and into the morning until the situation was resolved. Chapel Hill Police, Cary Police, Carrboro Fire, Carrboro Public Works, and Orange County EMS officials all assisted in the operation. Three negotiators from Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Cary Police spoke with the man throughout the 18-hour period.

The man has still not been identified. A WCHL listener on Twitter says his wife and her coworkers witnessed police “grabbing” the man to get him to safety. Carrboro police reported the situation had ended at about 8:30 Wednesday morning.

Traffic on East Main, West Rosemary, and West Franklin Streets have returned to normal.

UPDATE: WCHL’s Aaron Keck spoke with Carrboro Police Chief Walter Horton.

http://chapelboro.com/news/safety/carrboro-police-safely-remove-distraught-man-roof/

Update: Man Still On Hampton Inn Roof

Police are continuing to block off the area around 300 East Main Street in downtown Carrboro this morning, as negotiators are still talking with a man who’s threatening to jump from the roof of the Hampton Inn.

This situation has been ongoing since 3:00 yesterday afternoon.

“We initially came out here as a response to a suspicious person call on the roof of the Hampton Inn,” says Carrboro police captain Chris Atack. “Officers, once they arrived on the scene, made contact with an individual on the roof (and) became concerned for his safety.”

Listen to more comments from Atack, as well as WCHL’s Matt Oakes and Art Chansky, who were on the scene Tuesday.

Working with Chapel Hill Police, Orange County EMS and the Carrboro Fire Department, officers closed East Main Street, West Franklin Street, and West Rosemary Street from Roberson Street in Carrboro to Merritt Mill Road in Chapel Hill. Those streets remain closed even now, and traffic on all three streets is being diverted.

Police are not releasing details yet about the man’s identity or the exact nature of the standoff, but Atack says there’s no danger to the public.

“We do actually have trained negotiators involved,” he says. “We have at least three negotiators involved, from the Carrboro and Chapel Hill negotiations unit.”

Those negotiators, he says, have been in contact with the individual since around 3:30 Tuesday afternoon.

The situation has been ongoing for more than 12 hours now, and police still can’t say how much longer it will be – but they say they’ll stay out as long as it takes.

“We’re committed to bringing this to the best resolution we can think of,” Atack says.

Stay tuned to WCHL for updates throughout the morning. For traffic purposes, avoid downtown Chapel Hill and Carrboro if possible; traffic has been heavily backed up since yesterday afternoon.

http://chapelboro.com/news/safety/update-man-still-hampton-inn-roof/