January 21, 2006

I'm now a crime victim...

I live in Charlotte, NC - in a safe (so I thought) neighborhood. On Friday morning, my car was stolen right in front of my apartment. I am the dummy who left the car running- for one minute (and I mean one minute) while I ran inside of my apartment to retrieve something I forgot. Prior to that, I was sitting in my car for about 5 minutes, warming it up to defrost the morning ice. When I originally went out to my car, I saw a man in a running car two spots over but I paid no attention. I figured he was warming up his car or waiting for someone in my building. Never did I think he was a car thief who was about to steal my car! Never did I think this would happen to me... Especially in my neighborhood! Boy, I learned my lesson and an expensive one at that.

The guy who stole my car left another vehicle in its place- running, with the wipers going and it wasn't even raining... When the police arrived, I learned the vehicle was reported stolen at 11 pm the night before from a nearby town. Of course, this was the first car ever stolen from my apartment complex in the 10 years they have been here. Lucky me!

Around 1:30 PM, I received a call from an officer telling me that my car had been recovered; however, it was involved in an accident and had significant front end damage. It was towed to a lot and I went to go take a look. The car is totaled! The whole front end is gone- airbag deployed and the windshield is all smashed up. He advised me they have arrested the guy who stole it and he was being investigated by the detective and will be charged with felony theft, among other charges. I was given his name and additional details of the accident. Apparently, he was about 7 miles from my apartment when the car was spotted by police and a chase ensued. He then crashed the vehicle and was taken into custody.

Of course, I could not wait to look at his mugshot and see the charges against him. It seems as if they charged him with everything they could:

Larceny of a vehicle
Possession of a stolen vehicle
Reckless driving
Hit & Run- failure to stop- property damage
Possession of drug paraphernalia
Failure to heed blue light and siren

This kid, Jermaine Hoover, is only 18 and in the past 11 months, he has been arrested 12 times for various offenses including:

3 times for communicating threats
1 time for marijuana possession
1 time for possession w/intent to distribute
2 times for hit & run w/ property damage
7 times for resisting public officer
2 times for assault on a public officer
2 times for disorderly conduct
2 times for second degree trespassing
1 time for assault and battery

Clearly, this kid is on the fast track to becoming a career criminal. 12 arrests in 11 months? And he is on the street? I have to wonder how many charges he had as a juvenile offender. Most of his charges in the past year are misdemeanors butwhy wouldn't nÂ’t the amount of arrests warrant jail time? The longest time he sat in jail was 15 days when he was arrested with intent to distribute marijuana.

I am so disappointed with our legal system. I know jail space is limited and most of his charges were not very serious but it is a known fact that people like this will likely re-offend after being released from jail. Furthermore, the crimes they commit will likely grow more serious. I am curious to know the situations surrounding all the charges, especially the resisting a public officer charges since they were stand-alone charges in two of his arrests.

Of course, I will be looking at this kid pretty close to see when they release him from jail. I will not be happy if it is anytime soon!


Magnolia said...

I am so glad you weren't physically harmed. Hope all gets settled soon.

Raven said...

I live in Charlotte and I cannot believe this guy was not in jail already.
Great system we have. Not!

Anonymous said...