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Best of The Blotter 2007

A look back at the year's dumbest local crimes and criminals

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TALK ABOUT A NIC FIT: A convenience store reported that someone entered the building during the night by breaking through the wall of an adjacent building. Did they steal any money? No, just two cartons of Newport King cigarettes (a $52 value) and about 45 White Owl blunts in assorted flavors (valued at $45).

BOOKED: A man was arrested because he tried to sneak a book out of a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library in his pants. The title? Change or Die.

GRILLED OUT: A man told police that someone struck him in the face while he was going "to and from" his apartment and took $500, a 14-carat gold chain with a gold ring and his gold front teeth. He was taken to Carolinas Medical Center for what appeared to be injuries on his face and ankle.

SIGN FROM ABOVE: So you want to steal a sign. There's a church nearby with a banner that reads, "Where Jesus Christ reigns forever and evermore." You think, "That would look great in my bedroom." (Well, maybe not you, but somebody took it.) The police report notes without explanation that the sign valued at $185 may have violated the city sign ordinance.

BEAUTY ISN'T FREE: A woman stole a $5.99 bottle of Oil of Olay lotion from a drugstore. She was arrested for larceny outside the business.

CRASH AND BURN: Instead of stealing a car or another easy-to-maneuver vehicle, a suspect entered a construction site on Archdale Drive and stole a huge piece of construction equipment to go on a joy ride. Not knowing how to operate the machine, the man immediately crashed, causing damage to other vehicles.

DRINKS & DRUGS

CRACK IS YUMMY: A man standing on the corner of Wesley Heights Way and Walnut Avenue was searched on a suspicion he was selling drugs. Upon searching, police discovered a crack rock the fellow was hiding in his mouth. The man proceeded to swallow the rock. He was arrested.

CRACKHEADS ANONYMOUS: A woman told police that she got a strange call from someone purporting to be a Charlotte-Mecklenburg cop. The caller said the woman's son had been arrested for possession of crack cocaine. The woman told the caller she'd just checked on her son, and he was sleeping. She checked again while the caller was on hold. When she returned to the phone, she asked if "this was some sort of joke." The caller hung up.

CRACKED UP: A 50-something year-old woman arrived home to find her boyfriend smoking a little crack. She asked him to leave because drugs aren't allowed in her apartment. He grabbed her by the neck, but she was able to get free, leave the residence and call 911.

THE BASTARDS: A man reported that not only had his tools been stolen, but the thief (or thieves) had the audacity to steal his beer -- even his Zima. Two cases of Zima and 10 cases of Coors Light are still missing. Police are currently working to determine what crime is worse: stealing Zima or admitting you have two cases of the beverage.

STEALING OFF-BRAND SODA: Two suspects stole four 12-packs of Heinekin and three 12-packs of Choice soda from a Park Road convenience store. After striking a woman in the mouth, they fled -- but not before causing $2,500 of damage to the store's car wash.

YOU MIGHT BE A DRUNK IF ... : You have to steal a Breathalyzer. A person's $70 Breathalyzer was stolen from his Volkswagen Jetta while it was parked outside a Freedom Drive club.

SNACKING WHILE INTOXICATED: Going to McDonald's while drunk? Happens to a lot of people. At 8 a.m.? Not so common. Going to a MickeyD's inside a Wal-Mart that you've been banned from and dropping a $600 pretzel machine to the floor early on a Friday morning? Really uncommon.

HARD DRINKING: A woman called police after someone entered her garage and took two wine coolers. She told an officer it must've been the guy she detained when he returned for his bicycle, which he'd left in front of her house.

GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BEERS: A woman was checking on the home of an acquaintance who was out of town when she noticed something strange. Four people were inside, eating and drinking beer. When they saw her, they fled out the back door.

IN-AND-OUT: Remember the days of drive-thru beer service? Ah, the golden ages. One local guy devised his own convenient booze delivery system. The man popped into an ABC store, grabbed a bottle of vodka while still in the doorway and ran out the way he came.

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