Kidnapping highlights crime concerns near local elementary school

Charlotte- Mecklenburg Police take steps to curb crime in the area surrounding Nations Ford Elementary

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A brutal kidnapping in the middle of the day is highlighting concerns about crimes near a local elementary school.

Police say an armed suspect forced a woman and two children to go from one location to another.

Now, NBC Charlotte is learning it’s one of the dozens of recent crimes happening in the area around Nations Ford Elementary School.

Karen Tozzi doesn’t spend time being outside on Stoneman Place anymore.

“We stay inside, we don’t come out and see what’s really going on out here,” says Tozzi.

Tozzi says the high volume of crimes is the reason she stays inside. One of the crimes includes the kidnapping of a woman and her two children, ages three and five, on Friday afternoon. Police say the armed suspect forced the woman to drive him from Stoneman Place to Colony Acres Drive.

“I just saw a lot of cops later on, like a few minutes after,” says Tozzi. “It is scary, especially at 4 p.m., that’s pretty scary. It’s not at nighttime, it’s not midnight.”

NBC Charlotte did some digging and found more than 100 crimes in that area, including many assaults, according to crimemapping.com. 

“It’s a big concern to live around here when you have kids,” said Tozzi.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police told NBC Charlotte they’re taking several steps to curb crime in the Steele Creek Division. That includes approving an average of 60 extra overtime hours per week in August and enforcing roughly 150 extra traffic stops.

Some residents are sticking it out, but Tozzi said she is only in the neighborhood to visit her parents.

“That’s why we move out of here because it’s pretty bad," she said. "But my parents like to stay where they are."

So far, there are no arrests in the case. Police say it is an ongoing investigation.

© 2017 WCNC.COM


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