UNC Police Investigating Ehringhaus Dorm Burglaries

Campus police are investigating two burglaries occurring during the early morning of Wednesday in UNC’s Ehringhaus Residence Hall. Victims on two different floors within the dormitory reported that someone entered their rooms while they were asleep and took cash from their wallets.  No suspect descriptions were currently available.

Anyone with information which might aid in the investigation should call 9-1-1 or call CrimeStoppers at 919-942-7515.  Calls to CrimeStoppers are confidential and anonymous, and the caller may be eligible for a cash reward for information that leads to an arrest.  You can also leave tips for CrimeStoppers at www.crimestoppers-chcunc.org.

It could take hours for police to resolve a situation depending upon the circumstances. In the meantime, if you are directed by police or University personnel to take specific action (evacuate a building, stay out of a certain part of campus, go to your residence hall and stay there), please comply immediately. For a list of safety tips, visit:


If you see suspicious activity, call 911. But do not call 911 or the Department of Public Safety merely to ask for information about the current incident. Police phone lines need to be kept open for emergency communications. Anyone with information about this incident should call the Department of Public Safety 919-962-8100.

In the event of campus emergencies, students and employees can let their families know they are okay in the event of an emergency while keeping cell phone lines open for emergency calls by using the American Red Cross Safe and Well list. The Safe and Well list is especially helpful in communicating with family members who are outside the emergency area: www.redcross.org/safeandwell.

Students who are in need of medical attention should go to Campus Health Services campushealth.unc.edu) or the UNC Hospitals Emergency Room. Faculty and staff in need of medical attention should go to the UNC Hospitals Emergency Room.

A range of support services for students is available through the Office of the Dean of Students, deanofstudents.unc.edu/.

Counseling Services for students are available at UNC Counseling and Psychological Services, campushealth.unc.edu/caps. For a concern about a coworker, call Employee and Management Relations in Human Resources (hr.unc.edu/employee-management-relations/) or 919-843-3444, or the University’s Employee Assistance Program (services provided by ComPsych 24 hours a day), 877-314-5841.

Questions about sexual assault can be directed to Deputy Title IX Coordinator/Student Complaint Coordinator, Ew Quimbaya-Winship, 919-843-3878.

For community services, call UNC Department of Public Safety Crime Prevention Officer Sgt. Megan Howard, at 919-966-3230.


Slain Durham Priest’s Public Memorial Services Cancelled

The public visitation and memorial services for the Durham volunteer priest who was found murdered last weekend have been cancelled.

WRAL reports the family of 71-year-old Kent Terry Hinkson has decided to pay their respects privately after the story has received such a high amount of attention. The services were planned for Friday and Saturday at All Saints Church on Farrington Road in Durham. Hinkson led religious activities there for people who couldn’t attend Sunday services.

Hinkson reportedly left his home to run errands on August 4. His family reported to authorities that he never returned.

A search effort ensued, and Hinkson’s red Hyundai Sonata was discovered Wednesday in a parking lot of Mews Apartments on Willamsburg Road, nearly five miles from his home.

Matthew John Reed

Matthew John Reed

The suspect, 36-year-old Matthew John Reed, reportedly led authorities to Hinkson’s body somewhere near Pleasant Green Road and U.S. 70 the Sunday following his disappearance. He is being held in the Orange County Jail for the murder. The cause of death has not yet been released.


Two Local Drug Dealers Caught

Additional reporting by Elizabeth Friend

Two local, repeat-offending drug dealers were recently taken off the streets after separate incidents of selling cocaine near schools.

carrboro policeCarrboro Police arrested 42-year-old Mack James Matthew Cameron Monday after discovering an outstanding warrant during a routine traffic stop. He was charged with being in possession of a controlled substance within 1000 feet of a school.

Cameron was first charged in North Carolina with possession of a schedule II substance when he was 23 and was put on probation. However, probation was revoked because he was caught in possession of a schedule II substance again just more than seven months after his first offense on record. For that, he served nearly eight months in jail in Orange County.

Cameron has gone on to serve an additional five years, seven months for multiple drug possession and trafficking arrests.

U.S. Marshals arrested 40-year-old Bobby Lee Davis on Friday in the town of Graham. Chapel Hill police charged him with multiple felonies, including three counts of selling cocaine, three counts of possession of cocaine, and two counts of selling the drug within 1000 feet of a school. Police allege Davis dealt drugs in the Homestead Park area.


In H’boro, “National Night Out” Promotes Small-Town Vibe

This Tuesday is “National Night Out” in your local community.

“National Night Out” is an annual event, now in its 31st year, co-sponsored by police departments across the country to promote close, friendly neighborhoods – the better to prevent drug abuse and crime.

From 6-8 pm, you’re invited to turn on your outside lights, lock your doors, and spend the evening outside with your neighbors. Many neighborhoods in the area are hosting special events, and police officers will be there to meet with residents as well.

In Hillsborough, National Night Out is another example of the town’s commitment to its close-knit, small-town character. Mayor Tom Stevens joined WCHL’s Aaron Keck on the Monday afternoon news to discuss both National Night Out and the town’s efforts in general to preserve its character in the face of development and growth.


Mayor Kleinschmidt Reassures Public Safety for Chapel Hill

In the week following the tragic murder of UNC professor Feng Liu, Chapel Hill citizens have voiced their concerns about their safety within the community.

Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt spoke with WCHL’s Aaron Keck about this past week, and how it has affected the Chapel Hill area.

“It’s been a very difficult, challenging week to be able to balance the needs of our community following the violent crimes that occurred, but also learning how to and remembering to celebrate great events with a community that has been fighting so hard for them,” said Mayor Kleinschmidt.

He says that the people of Chapel Hill want to be reminded that this is a safe community and that need that guidance when things seem so uncertain when it comes to their well-being. He says he spoke with the UNC chancellor and affirmed their goal for public safety. He assured that he and the police departments have heard the concerns from citizens and have been surveying neighborhoods that were affected by the attack and working to provide a feeling of security.

“People need to know that we understood that, and our police department did and were there immediately,” says Mayor Kleinschmidt. “The response to this crime actually happened very, very quickly. Now we’re working with our police department and our crisis units, which we have one of the best in the country as part of our police department as well as getting expertise from our local school system to talk to families about how to deal with violent crime that occurs like this in their neighborhood.”

Mayor Kleinschmidt says he has also heard from people outside the neighborhoods asking what plans to be done. He says that now is the time that the police needs to process the information and figure out what to do next.

“I think we need to step back and give them the time to do the processing,” suggested Mayor Kleinschmidt. “We are there helping them process, and so I think many others in the community really need to take a deep breath and let them handle what happened in their neighborhood.”

He also encourages that everyone participates in the national Neighborhood Night Out on August 5 from 6 to 8 pm, in which residents in neighborhoods throughout Chapel Hill as well as across the country are encouraged to lock their doors, turn on outside lights, and spend the evening outside with neighbors and police.

For more information on Neighborhood Night Out, click here.


“Safety Is Our Highest Priority”: Police Chiefs React To Fatal Attack

On Friday afternoon, Chapel Hill Police Chief Chris Blue and UNC Police Chief Jeff McCracken issued a joint statement reaffirming their commitment to public safety in the wake of the death of UNC professor Feng Liu.

Liu was attacked and robbed in broad daylight on Wednesday afternoon, reportedly while taking a walk near campus. He died of his wounds at UNC Hospitals the following morning. Two men have been arrested and charged with murder.

Chief Blue and Chief McCracken’s statement follows.

Dear Chapel Hill Community:
Our hearts go out to Professor Liu, his family, loved ones and colleagues during this very difficult time and in the wake of an unspeakable and senseless tragedy.

Safety is our highest community priority.

During this difficult time, we are reminded of the importance of the partnerships that have been formed between the University and the Town. None are stronger than the partnership between the Chapel Hill Police Department and the University’s Department of Public Safety.

Both of our departments embrace community-based policing and support our community safety partnerships with students, faculty, staff, business leaders, residents and community organizations.

We understand our residents will be concerned any time a crime like this occurs in our community. Our departments will continue to listen to you, share information and vigilantly work together to determine how we can keep our community safe.
Chris Blue, Chief, Chapel Hill Police Department
Jeff B. McCracken, Chief and Director, UNC Department of Public Safety


CHPD Chief: ‘Robbery/Murder A Random Act’

Chapel Hill citizens are expressing through social media their concern for safety after a random act of attempted robbery led to the death of a UNC professor Wednesday afternoon.

Chapel Hill Police Chief Chris Blue says he wants to assure all citizens that the police officers are constantly monitoring the community for suspicious activity to help keep the town as safe as possible.

“We’re proud of the nature of our community’s safety,” Chief Blue says. “It’s something that we all work very hard on as community members. In fact, we all have a responsibility for it, and I’m proud of the way our community rises to that challenge. I will say that this one is particularly troubling because it’s so random—in the middle of the day. All of our sense of safety as community members takes a hit when something so random and unexplained happens, as was the case here. Immediately our reaction as a police department is to increase presence in the neighborhoods and knock on doors and reassure folks. But, we also recognize that grieving and dealing with this kind of shocking circumstance takes some time. We’re scratching our heads a little bit just like everyone else in the community is about just why and how this could happen.”

WCHL’s Ran Northam spoke with Chief Blue

The incident took place just a couple blocks west of the UNC School of Public Health and split of Pittsboro and South Columbia streets. Fifty-nine-year-old Feng Liu, of Greyfield Boulevard in Durham and a professor in the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy was known to take a walk through the community during his lunch break, according to multiple media outlets. Colleagues said it was a way he reenergized himself daily.

Chief Blue says he can’t release any additional information because the investigation is ongoing, however, he says it was a town employee that first arrived to find Liu in need of medical attention. According to the News and Observer, prosecutors said Liu was hit in the head with a rock. He died at UNC Hospitals.

Public Information Lieutenant Josh Mecimore says the list of items stolen from Liu has not yet been released.

UNC Police Chief Jeff McCracken was out of town Friday and unable to be reached.

In a statement released through Alert Carolina, Chief McCracken emphasized how important it is to always be prepared.

“People should have a plan in mind about how to respond in an emergency because it’s very difficult to plan for an emergency when you’re in the middle of one,” he said. “It’s important for people to know beforehand where the exits are, where the fire escapes are, the safest place in the building to be if a tornado is spotted, that kind of thing. Planning decreases panic and increases the chance for a better outcome in an emergency situation.”


Second Burglary This Month Reported At Granville Towers

The UNC Department of Public Safety needs your help in the investigation of a burglary at Granville Towers Tuesday.

Alert Carolina posted an informational message about the reported burglary in a room in Granville Towers West. The resident of the room told UNC DPS Wednesday that she noticed $450 in cash was taken from her wallet. Currently there is no suspect information available.

This is the second reported burglary in Granville Towers this month. On July 4, another female resident of Granville Towers East said she woke up to find her door open, her purse and wallet spread out on the floor, and her money missing.

Police released a photo of a man wanted in connection with that incident.

If you have any information regarding either incident, UNC DPS asks you to call 911 or CrimeStoppers at 919-942-7515. Calls to CrimeStoppers are confidential and anonymous, and the caller may be eligible for a cash reward for information that leads to an arrest. You can also leave tips for CrimeStoppers at www.crimestoppers-chcunc.org.


NCSU Trustee Arrested For Gun Possession On U.S. Capitol

A North Carolina State University trustee was arrested for gun possession on U.S. Capitol grounds Wednesday, according to multiple media outlets.

NCSU alumnus Ronald William Prestage, 59, of Camden, S.C. was arrested just after 9:00 a.m. Wednesday at the Cannon House Office Building entrance. A capitol police officer was searching Presage’s bad when he found a loaded 9mm handgun.

Prestage has served on the Board of Trustees since May 2013. He is the president of Prestage Farms in South Carolina and president-elect of the National Pork Producers Council.

He is due in court Thursday morning.


Sheriff Candidates Weigh In On Reported Sign Thefts

Though supporters have complained about missing campaign signs, the two men running to be Orange County’s next sheriff say its par for the course in election season.

Tuesday’s runoff between David Caldwell and Charles Blackwood will likely mark the end of the most hotly contested sheriff’s race Orange County has seen in three decades.

In the lead up to the second primary, supporters of David Caldwell say they’ve seen campaign signs disappear, but Caldwell himself is downplaying the issue.

“I’ve received several calls from people saying that signs that they’ve put up were missing and they asked if I would want to put any more out or purchase any more,” says Caldwell. “I just advised that was something we didn’t have control over and I could spend their donations to my campaign a lot better on things that I could control, newspaper ads and talking on the radio and things like that.”

Challenger Charles Blackwood says the matter has been blown out of proportion.

“It ain’t our first rodeo. We know signs are going to go out, we know signs are going to be taken,” says Blackwood. “People pay way too much attention to signs. I had a very smart politician tell me early on signs do two things: they make you feel good about seeing your name and they give your helpers something to do. Other than that, they’re a pain.”

Blackwood also notes he’s spent more money on signs than his opponent.

“We do have a tremendous number of signs out. We bought more than they did.”

And he says he’s seen some of the same tactics being used against him.

“I’m confident that David knows that I’m not stealing signs, nor am I telling anyone to steal signs, and I’m confident he’s not stealing my signs,” says Blackwood. “That being said, we’ve lost signs on Orange Grove Road, we’ve lost signs in and around Mount Willing Road, we’ve lost signs in Carrboro around the Weaver Street Market area, we lost one sign at 70A and Churton Street 37 times.”

Matt Hughes is the chair of the Orange County Democratic Party. He says while he’s seen this type of behavior on a regular basis, it is usually the work of rogue individuals, not a concerted effort by a campaign.

“I think people get heated in their support of various candidates and sometimes go and do things that are questionable, like stealing campaign signs, which is, the last time I checked, a possibly criminal offense,” says Hughes.

He notes that sometimes, the destruction of signs is more accidental than malicious.

“Road crews, if they’re doing maintenance in public right-of-ways, sometimes do take those signs,” says Hughes. “Sometimes they get chewed up in mulchers, sometimes they are removed. That also creates the perception that signs are being taken.”

Though the winner of Tuesday’s runoff will appear on the ballot in November, there are no Republican challengers, meaning who ever wins the second primary will be Orange County’s next sheriff.

Early voting wraps up Saturday at the Board of Elections office in Hillsborough. Polls will be open at all 44 precincts from 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

You can listen to an hour-long forum featuring both candidates here.