Story updated September 23, 2014, 6:54 a.m.
Joint efforts of the Chapel Hill and Carrboro Police departments led to the speedy recovery of a stolen car Sunday night, along with the arrest of two young car thieves.
Chapel Hill Police Public Information Sergeant Brian Walker says employees at the valet stand at 450 West Franklin Street near Carolina Brewery noticed multiple car keys missing just before 10:00 p.m.
“Officers checked the parking lot where the vehicles are kept,” Sgt. Walker says. “One of the vehicles whose keys had been taken had also been taken. It was a 2013 BMW 528i.”
He says officers immediately put out a BOLO (Be on the Lookout), which notifies all nearby agencies of the incident.
“Within just an hour or two, (the) Carrboro Police Department encountered that vehicle inside Carrboro,” Sgt. Walker says. “When they attempted to stop the vehicle, the two gentlemen inside the vehicle jumped from the vehicle and fled. They were taken into custody shortly after that by Carrboro and Chapel Hill officers.”
Sgt. Walker says the car was not damaged, according to the report.
Jesse Mutua, 19, of Carrboro and Raekwon Ortiz Snipes, 18, of Chapel Hill were arrested. They were each charged with three misdemeanor counts of larceny and one felony count of motor vehicle theft. Sgt. Walker says the additional larceny charges were for other keys that were found in their possession, but no other vehicles were reported missing.
According to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, this is the third time Mutua has been arrested. He was previously charged with felony breaking and entering and larceny involving a motor vehicle in January of last year, as well as felony breaking and entering last December.
Each of the men arrested were held at Orange County Jail under a $10,000 secured bond. Their first appearance in court is scheduled for Monday at 2:00 p.m.
Sgt. Walker says both police departments were proud of the speed at which this case was resolved.
“Carrboro Police and our officers, we might wear different uniforms, but we have the same goal,” Sgt. Walker says. “That’s exactly what this was. This was good teamwork that resulted in an excellent outcome in this case.”http://chapelboro.com/news/crime/chpd-cpd-quickly-nab-young-carjackers/
Search warrants unsealed by the Durham County District Attorney’s office Friday morning reveal multiple people of interest in the murder investigation of Faith Hedgepeth nearly two years ago. Chapel Hill Police have yet to say if any have been ruled out as suspects.
The most notable connection with the victim is Eriq Takoy Jones, who lived in the same apartment complex as Hedgepeth, a few buildings away from where she was found murdered. Jones apparently had a previous relationship with Hedgepeth’s roommate, Karena Lynn Rosario.
According to a warrant, Jones told Rosario earlier that summer that he hated Hedgepeth and would kill her if Rosario didn’t get back together with him. Police were told that Jones resented Hedgepeth because he considered her a barrier to his relationship with Rosario.
Police say Rosario placed a restraining order against Jones two months before Hedgepeth was murdered, after he allegedly kicked two doors off their frame in Rosario’s apartment.
Jones gave investigators permission to search his cell phone. They found a text message Jones sent to a friend the day before the murder asking the friend to forgive him for what he was about to do. Jones also sent a tweet to someone else asking for forgiveness. Police said the cover photo on Jones’ Facebook page was changed to include, “Dear Lord. Forgive me for all of my sins and the sins I may commit today. Protect me from the girls who don’t deserve me and the ones who wish me dead today.”
Jacob Beatley of 103 West Longview Street in Chapel Hill was also questioned six months after the murder took place. A warrant shows that a cell tower search conducted early in the investigation connected an incident report to Beatley’s phone number.
Investigators said when they contacted Beatley they found that he lived with the person who Rosario was with during the time of the murder. Police said he also went to the nightclub The Thrill that night, but couldn’t recall when he left. The warrants say Beatley was asked to submit a DNA sample, but he did not do so voluntarily.
Another person of interest included Reginald Leonard Jackson, II who was living in Greensboro in November 2012 when investigators attempted to contact him.
A Chapel Hill Police officer said he attempted to get in touch with him by phone multiple times before traveling to his last known address in Greensboro. The CHPD officer said he caught up with Jackson with the assistance of local police. He said Jackson was in his car and pulling out of the parking lot of his apartment complex. The warrant says Jackson told the officers he “knew of (Hedgepeth)” but that he doesn’t talk to police like that.
In Thursday’s release, Police Chief Chris Blue said investigators collected hundreds of DNA samples, but did not name any suspects. Chapel Hill Police did report that at least one person refused to have a DNA sample submitted.
Investigators continue to ask that if you have any information regarding the case to call 919-614-6363. You can also call Crime Stoppers at 919-942-7515.http://chapelboro.com/news/crime/persons-interest-listed-hedgepeth-murder-investigation-documents/
Story originally posted September 5, 2014, 6:33 a.m.
Police agencies from Orange, Durham, and Wake counties continue their search for two men considered armed and dangerous after they fled from a reported home invasion in Orange County early Friday morning.
The Orange County Sheriff’s department released a statement Friday morning that said deputies responded to a home in the eastern part of the county at 4820 Pleasant Green Road near U.S. Highway 70. Two black males reportedly invaded the home holding firearms and demanding money from the occupants. One of the home’s occupants was forced into the residence from the front yard, according to the release. It also states that one person was later forced back out of the home and kicked repeatedly, but no shots were fired and no one else was injured.
When deputies arrived, they reportedly found the men fleeing in a gold-colored vehicle. The vehicle was stopped by officers and the driver and passenger both put their arms out the window, but when officers tried to approach, the driver sped off.
After a 20-mile chase, they ended at a shopping center on Carrington Mills Road in Morrisville. They left the vehicle and ran into a wooded area near the shopping center. Orange County deputies, Durham and Morrisville police officers, and State Troopers–with help from a K-9 unit–all assisted in the unsuccessful attempt to locate the suspects.
Evidence was recovered at the scene where the car was discarded and is being processed while the investigation is ongoing, according to the Orange County Sheriff.
Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Orange County Sheriff’s Department at 919-644-3050, or you may email Sergeant Clark at firstname.lastname@example.org://chapelboro.com/news/crime/oc-home-invasion-leads-20-mile-chase-wanted-suspects/
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.http://chapelboro.com/news/crime/unc-police-investigating-ehringhaus-dorm-burglaries/
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.
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.http://chapelboro.com/news/news-around-time/slain-durham-priests-public-memorial-services-cancelled/
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 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.http://chapelboro.com/news/crime/two-drug-dealers-apprehended-outstanding-warrants/
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.http://chapelboro.com/news/safety/hboro-national-night-promotes-small-town-vibe/
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.http://chapelboro.com/news/safety/mayor-kleinschmidt-reassures-public-safety-chapel-hill/
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