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Bizarre crime from Charlotte police files (Dec. 24)

Season of stupid

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Fool Me Once: A man went to police after getting scammed by some shysters outside of a recent Hornets game. The man told officers he was walking into the game when a man asked if he wanted to play a magic shell game. Two suspects then approached and pretended to play as well. The victim lost $50 in the game and handed it over, but the men weren't done yet. He told officers that he realized after entering the game that the man had slipped his $1,500 gold ring right off his finger when he was handing him money.

Party Crashers: Police responded to the home of a man in southwest Charlotte who owns a limousine company after someone tried to take one of the vehicles off his property, but ended up just making a mess of things. The man told officers someone tried to steal a $50,000 Rolls-Royce from his driveway but ran into that pesky fence at the end of the driveway. Literally, he ran into it. The suspect then tried to go around the fence, but as anyone who has driven a limousine through the woods could've told him, he wasn't able to get far. He hit multiple trees before exiting the vehicle and getting away on foot.

Good Idea: Police responded to what they thought was a domestic disturbance in east Charlotte last week but found an elderly woman who just wanted to be proactive. The 83-year-old woman told officers that her husband suffers from dementia and was also heavily intoxicated that night, so she wanted to give his .357 Smith & Wesson Magnum revolver to police until she could find a family member to take it for good.

Sending a Message: A 39-year-old landlord filed a police report after feeling threatened by one of her tenants last week. The woman said she went to the renter's home in east Charlotte to get the month's rent and he answered the door to tell her he didn't have the money yet while casually waving a machete in one hand.

Persistence: The manager of a Sam's Mart in west Charlotte called police after becoming tired of a group's attempts to spend $20 they didn't have. The manager told officers that four suspects were trying to get $20 in gas and first attempted to pay with various stolen credit cards. When those weren't accepted, one of the suspects tried to use a counterfeit $20 bill.

You Left Something: A woman's stolen car was located on The Plaza last week and recovered for her by police. Left inside, however, were more than $1,000 worth of ecstasy tablets that the woman was not allowed to keep for some reason.

Un-Credible: An officer responded to a delayed hit-and-run call in South End last week but had a hard time believing the so-called victim. The officer reported that the 22-year-old man told him that someone smashed into the back of his father's car in a parking lot the previous night. When asked why he didn't call it in when it happened, he said he was too drunk and wasn't planning on driving the vehicle. When asked why there was no debris in the parking lot around the car, the victim-quickly-becoming-suspect told the officer that — despite being drunk — he swept it all up the night before because he cares about the environment.

Crash Pad: You might say the same rule that applies to rodents also applies to people drunk out of their mind: they're more scared of you than you are of them. This was the case when an intoxicated man walked through the door of a woman's home near the Arboretum last week. The 50-year-old woman said the man seemed just as startled as her when she confronted him, and apologized for entering the wrong home before leaving.

Blotter items are chosen from the files of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty.

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