Community Watch Meeting Notes 1/14/2010

Over 80 people were in attendance. Tabitha Groelle made an introduction to the PRR-Watch and the Lineberry Alliance, then welcomed everyone for coming. Captain Perry introduced the other officers:

  • Lt Pat Niemann
  • Barbie Upchurch
  • Bruce Holt
  • 2602 Beat officer, Tom Connors
  • Davis Mead

Perry started by saying that he is trying to provide as much information as he can to the community, sometimes he (candidly) can’t because he’s busy and other times he can not compromise the integrity of an ongoing investigation.

There are six districts in the City or Raleigh. This is one of the most active districts as far as Citizen Advisory Councils (CAC’s) and Community Watches.

On November 18, there was a rash / spree / pattern of day time burglaries in the 2602 beat (around the Lineberry area). Entries were being made through windows and doors. Items being taken included computers, iPods, gaming systems, TVs, and other things. Captain Perry said he tries to read every report for the 26 mile area in his district. Crime stats for the area are down since 2008. Perry said thanks for the personal emails thanking the dept. From Captain Perry’s perspective, we will never have enough police officers to patrol our areas.

For the burglaries, the Captain has moved officers in the area on foot, bicycle, plain clothes, and covert cars (many folks have reported the covert cars to 9-1-1). They have tried to be creative, but when folks are under cover, you’re not going to see them [responding to concerns that there aren’t enough officers in our neighborhood]. RPD has handed out lots of flyers to housing complexes in the Lineberry area.

In Orchard Pointe, there are gang issues, and this complex is in proximity to the burglaries. Young folks committing the crimes are figuring out that the penalty for committing a robbery versus a burglary is less severe. This may be a lead indicator as to why burglaries are on the rise.

Snapshot of burglaries from around the city for 2009

  • NW 23% increase
  • North 8% increase
  • NE 10% increase
  • SE 20% reduction (has had more resources due to violent crimes)
  • Downtown 5% decrease
  • SW 9% increase

2009 vs 2008 for the SW district

  • 80% reduction in murders
  • 27% decrease in robberies
  • 18% reduction of violent crimes
  • Larceny down 2%
  • 4% reduction overall

The good news (last week from 1/14/10) RPD arrested Samuel Demcarcius King, Brandon Cartez, and Letherian Barens (who was related to the Wolftech Lane burglary). Four young men from Athen’s High School were pulled over in the Lineberry area (had drugs, found stolen property on one of the suspects). There was an apartment in the Orchard Pointe apartment complex, searched and found an abundance of stolen property. It was linked to several burglaries. RPD has warrants on a suspect that they are still actively looking for him.

“If you see someone walking down the street with a 50-inch television, call 9-1-1,” Captain Perry told the crowd. “Police can’t catch the criminals everywhere, every time. That’s why the community watch is so important.”

Questions & answers

Q: Are houses being hit more than once?
A: Most people would assume that if you’ve been burglarized, your chances decrease. It’s just the opposite, your chances increase. The criminals know how to get in and know what you have in your house.

Q: Are the daytime burglaries around a different time of day?
A: It’s difficult to say because the burglaries are being reported later in the day. We are most likely looking at a time frame Between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm most likely.

Q: What percentage of burglaries have had alarm on homes?
A: We are not sure if the data is being captured. RPD is not recalling any (or very little) 9-1-1 calls being reported on an active alarm system.

Q: Are the suspects from Athens Drive underage? Are they getting a lighter sentence?
A: First three were released the same day (as being arrested), bonded out. Have not gone to court yet. Typical sentence for property crimes are 3-4 months, so the sentence is not as high as you would think.

Q: Have there been efforts made to speak to students at Athens Drive?
A: The resource officer at Athens is part of our district and has been actively participating in the investigation.

Q: Have you been able to determine what’s being done with the property?
A: Most of it has been recovered, it appears the rest of it is being sold on the streets. It’s not going to pawn shops. Most of it is disappearing within hours / days.

Q: How many burglaries? Where are they centered?
A: Over 30 (since November). All over the place along Lineberry.

Q: Have there been any confrontations with home owners?
A: No confrontations, but there was a first degree burglary where someone was home (on Sierra Drive on Saturday night).

Q: What are some of the things you are supposed to do / not supposed to do if someone was in your house?
A: Go to a bedroom where there is a phone. Call 9-1-1. Recommending to be a normal / loud voice that you are on the phone with 9-1-1. (It would be a bold person to remain in the house, but there are no guarantees.)

Q: How many calls to 9-1-1 on suspicious persons?
A: 17-20 9-1-1 calls.

Q: Are any of the juveniles caring weapons / are they armed?
A: Many of the crimes are by young gang members, who typically may have weapons.

Q: Are most of the homes through the rear or front entrance? Out through the front?
A: Most are rear entries. There is no pattern. Criminals take the path of least resistance.

Q: Has there been any evidence of weapons being used?
A: Yes, there has been some evidence.

Q: Is there any follow-up with parents?
A: Yes, there is follow-up.

Q: When they get out of prison are they more inclined to use weapons?
A: Prisons are typically a breeding ground for hardened criminals.

Q: What is the nature of the gang activity?
A: The documented gang activity has gone down over the past year (city-wide). Raleigh has Bloods, Crips, Hispanic gangs, and others. We can’t arrest our way out of this. The high school dropout rate is increasing and this is not good for crime. Looking to partner with schools, churches, etc. to provide more youth activity.

Q: What about solicitors? (i.e. Gypsies, magazine sales)
A: At this time, they seem to not be related.

Q: With respect to calling 9-1-1, RPD seems to be busy, should we still call?
A: Yes. If you have a reason to call 9-1-1, call even if you think the person / vehicle will be gone.

Q: Are these kids getting charged as an adult?
A: Yes, if they are over 16, they are tried as an adult. The officers are doing their best job to put together the best case they can.

Q: How many of the names mentioned live in our neighborhood?
A: Most of them do live in the area. The one they are looking for does not, but has ties to Orchard Pointe.

Q: Are the ones apprehended so far, associated with gangs?
A: Some are, some are not. It’s a mix.

Q: Is the found property being returned?
A: Yes, there is quite a bit that has been returned, but not all.

Q: What if you protect yourself while defending your home and kill the a criminal?
A: A tough question to answer, best answered by a Wake County DA, but you should be in immediate fear of physical injury or worse. Statute says — in fear of your life. It’s NOT a yes / no question.

Q: If you have no alarm system, what are some basic things we can do?
A: Barbie has a handout with tips and can perform a security evaluation if needed.

If you do one thing after this meeting: Get serial numbers for anything over $50. Take pictures, write them down. Beneficial to more than just crime, home owners insurance (fire, hurricane, etc.)

Q: Is there a particular car related to the suspect?
A: There was a car that has been recovered and two other vehicles related. No vehicle information to give out at this time.

Q: Any burglaries linked to ID theft?
A: None at this time.

Q: Are the percentage increase in burglaries seasonal?
A: Seasonal, but none since Jan 9.

Closing remarks by Tabitha. Sign up for the email list. This is our neighborhood, we are not giving it up. Visit:

Chad Ortman, Alarm Team, Inc (authorized ADT dealer) was available for attendee’s to talk to after the meeting.

If you attended the meeting and we missed a question or part of an answer, please use the comments to add to this entry.

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