CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A young Charlotte mother recently helped put two thieves behind bars. It was as simple as noticing something strange and doing something about it.
And in this case, it means some repeat offenders are again off the streets.
The Charlotte neighborhood off of Randolph Road has older homes mixed with new as well as people who raised children next door and others who are just raising children. But the thing police are praising is the way people living here look out for each other.
“I thought it was unusual that I didn’t recognize the car and neither one of the homeowners cars were home and the car was actually backed up into the driveway, which I also thought was a little strange,” said the Charlotte mother who did not want to be identified..
The young Cotswold mother was disturbed enough that she alerted the homeowner at work, who called police. Minutes later the thieves were gone.
“I wish I would have done more. I thought we could have had the guys if I stuck around longer,” she said.
It turns out she did plenty.
The car she spotted was the same car police say the suspects used later that day while breaking into more homes just down the street.
“It’s amazing because you don’t realize that the little things that you do notice can actually make a big difference and it may not seem it at the time,” the mother added.
Police also say the reason the thieves moved on was because they couldn’t get in because of all the security at the house—an alarm, reinforced doors and windows. Those security changes were installed after a previous break-in.
According to the records for the alleged thieves, they are convicted criminals, and one was released from jail in October after spending three months behind bars for committing seven burglaries.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police offered some specific advice on securing your home. Here’s some advice:
1. Have either a wooden door with a solid core or metal door
2. Use three-inch screws in all door hardware (Contractors often use 1-1.5” screws because they are cheaper)
3. Have a steel door casing brace that is easily installed over your existing door casing or frame (Most door frames are made of pine or other soft woods that are easily broken when kicked or under stress). Here’s an example.
4. Install double cylinder locks (require keys on both sides and usually are more heavy duty)
5. Use a Master Lock door brace on all doors not often used. Here’s a link.