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After south Charlotte area sees multiple break-ins, CMPD hosts meeting for residents

CMPD said it's investigating multiple cases, linking those to national ones for identification purposes, and working with federal agencies to track trends.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has received a slew of reports detailing break-ins in high-end homes in south Charlotte. The department said the break-ins are possibly connected to South American groups with cases in New York and New Jersey, potentially first documented nearly a decade ago. 

People described the south Charlotte area as their own bubble. It's outside the hustle and bustle of the city center, but this area is being hit with a wave of the unexpected.

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There have been multiple reports of break-ins and burglaries in the south Charlotte area. On Tuesday, Feb. 21, CMPD hosted a meeting for residents. WCNC Charlotte obtained slides from the department's presentation.

Police said the break-ins are possibly by Columbian or Chilean groups. Blood evidence has been collected at different scenes, and did link to crimes in other states.

Slides from the presentation say investigations have stemmed from New York and New Jersey, potentially first starting in 2014. 

Police said the groups are targeting the master bedroom easily accessible on the first floor, looking for things like watches and high-end purses. Essentially, items that are not easily tracked. 

It's believed the suspects are using landscape items to smash windows and doors, and slides from the presentation said the groups sometimes used crowbars. The department said in some cases, it looked like the suspects used a cell jammer to disarm alarm systems and cameras. 

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In addition to the information shared with residents, police asked the community to do their part. 

Mark Cowan has lived in south Charlotte for over 20 years. Following the news, he said he needs to continue to be aware. 

“I’m actually a little bit concerned right now because my garage is open," Cowan said.

Cowan said it's an easily forgotten step. 

The department highlighted the importance of security cameras, motion-sensing lights and deadbolts. 

Kate Schumacher also lives in the area. She said it also comes down to being a good neighbor. 

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"Be aware," Schumacher said. "They say at school, 'See something, say something,' for kids -- and that pertains to all of this stuff.”  

“We are also armed in our house," Cowan added.  

CMPD said it's actively investigating multiple cases, linking those to national ones for identification purposes, and working with federal agencies to track trends.

Contact Austin Walker at awalker@wcnc.com and follow him on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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