It's been a while since we put together a Best of The Blotter collection, and we figured what better time to gather a group of 2015's craziest stories of criminals, cops and kooks than in the Best of Charlotte issue. This year, we've even crowned a Best Blotter Moment (see sidebar for an interview with the man who "kidnapped" Homer the Dragon).
But first, we've gathered a categorized list of the moments we had the hardest time passing on to you in 2015 because we were rolling on the floor of the newsroom in tears of laughter (and sometimes fear). These folks are committed to their craft, and most of them should probably be committed.
All stories are according to reports pulled from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department files.
STEALING THE SHOW
I Once Was Blind: A suspect was apprehended when attempting to leave a south Charlotte Walmart after shoplifting Genteal Eye Gel. Perhaps his severely dried eyes wouldn't let him see where the cash register was. (January)
They Stole What?!?: A 37-year-old northeast Charlotte woman phoned police after she noticed a few items missing from her home. It appears someone had stolen a $500 leather bomber jacket and a $300 urn... containing ashes. Who the hell steals a deceased loved one? (February)
Ah, Nuts: A 63-year-old south Charlotte woman phoned police after she noticed several items missing from outside her home. Among the items stolen were a planter with boxwood, a lantern and a stone chipmunk holding a bowl of nuts. (March)
Got Dinner?: Police were called to the north Charlotte apartment of a 59-year-old woman who reported that someone broke into her residence and stole $340, a Virgin Mobile cell phone, a Samsung Galaxy S4 and a lasagna. (April)
They Have Craft Beer, Too: Someone walked into a Ballantyne-area Harris Teeter, loaded up a shopping cart full of cases of beer and tried to leave with it. Police charged the person with larceny after taking the $195.06 worth of Bud Light. (April)
No Shame: A man walked into a east Charlotte 7-Eleven early one Sunday morning, when beer cannot be legally sold, and grabbed a bottle of Corona and a bottle of Heineken before walking toward the counter. He placed $4 on the counter, told the clerk, "Call the police," and walked out of the store. (May)
Crook With A Conscience: A man recently walked into a local Walgreen's 10 minutes after 2 a.m., when North Carolina vendors stop selling alcohol. The man could not be persuaded to cut his drinking off for the night, however, and left the store with a case of Heineken worth $15. He also couldn't live with being a thief, however, so he left a $20 bill on the counter for the cashier. (June)
Didn't Get The Message: An unknown male sent at least 95 text messages to a 38-year-old west Charlotte woman, even after he was told he had the wrong number. The texts and photos were sent in a four-hour period early in the morning. (February)
Nude Cruise: Police officers responded to a missing person call near Plaza Midwood after witnesses said a 41-year-old woman left in her vehicle wearing no clothes and hadn't been seen since. (June)
He Got Game: An employee of a local Hilton hotel filed a police report after she said she was harassed by one of the hotel's guests. The woman said she was cleaning a vacant room when a man staying in a nearby room entered and grabbed her around the waist. He then allegedly kissed her forehead and said, "I'm 72 years old and I have bad knees. Can you help me?" (August)
Standing at Attention: A 37-year-old woman called police after catching a Peeping Tom in the act. The woman said she was in the shower when she saw a man peeking into her window. She approached the window and realized the man was standing on her patio chair and masturbating. When he saw her coming, the man jumped off the chair, picked it up and ran off with it. (August)
Crash Pad: Police responded to a breaking-and-entering call from a woman who said a man crawled into her back window while she was asleep. When they arrived on the scene, the woman told officers she knew the suspect, and doesn't believe he wanted to steal anything but was just drunk and looking for a place to sleep. (September)
DJ Dumbass: While loading up DJ equipment into his vehicle, a 37-year-old northeast Charlotte man placed his .40 caliber Glock 23 handgun on the roof of his car. Probably not a big deal, until he drove off without retrieving it. It wasn't until he returned home that he realized it was lost and phoned police. (March)
Clue: An employee of Novant Health phoned police after noticing damage done to their Ballantyne-area office furniture. It appears someone keyed or scratched the name "Patricia Thomas" on a desk. I'm guessing police have at least one person of interest to start with... (April)
Drip Drops: One spring morning, a man parked his car at the EpiCentre parking deck and went about his business. Upon returning that evening, he noticed a liquid substance had dripped onto his car from the pipes running above his vehicle. The victim contacted the on-duty parking supervisor and the two determined the substance smelled like bleach and had damaged the vehicle wherever it made contact. The formerly black BMW was now leopard-spotted. Making matters worse, the victim had only recently purchased the pre-owned vehicle and it still had temporary tags on it. (April)
Digging A Hole: A woman in southeast Charlotte threw a fit that will cost her after throwing a man out of her apartment. The woman would not let the man or a police officer back into the apartment to receive the man's keys. She then attempted to leave the scene but was pulled over and issued a citation because her tag had been expired for more than a year. She was then issued a littering citation for tearing up the first citation and throwing it on the ground. She was also charged with theft for not returning the man's keys. (June)
Just the Tip: Paramedics responded to a Jimmy John's location in Uptown last week after an employee there accidentally sliced the tip of his right index finger off while using the electric meat slicer. (August)
Find A Penny, Pick It Up: An anonymous tipster phoned police to let them know she found a glasses case and 46 cents in change on the sidewalk while she was walking her dog in east Charlotte. (March)
That's Shady: Back in June of last year, someone pruned and removed limbs from a leyland cypress tree in a south Charlotte yard. Police were called in March after the tree fell on someone's home. The 54-year-old homeowner believes it fell as a direct result of the pruning. (March)
How Movies Start: A 41-year-old woman enters a north Charlotte Walmart and places her iPhone 4s in the cart as she goes shopping. On her way out of the store, a greeter who checks her receipt stops her. By the time she reaches her car, she notices her phone is missing — and remembers she looked away from her cart while talking to the greeter. The woman retraces her steps but doesn't see the phone in the cart and it wasn't turned in to customer service. Later that night, she is contacted by someone who states he has the phone. The mysterious voice asks the woman to come to his home to retrieve it. In the meantime, she traces her phone to a different address. cue dramatic music (April)
The Ol' Bait And Switch: Police were dispatched to Sharon Amity Road in reference to an unpaid cab fare. The cab driver told officers that the suspect had run off without paying for the $20 fare. Around the same time, the suspect allegedly called 911 to report a fake crime in an effort to divert officers from the cab's location. He was later identified by the cab driver and made to pay the fare. (May)
Not Your Day: A man was recently robbed of his cellphone in east Charlotte, then saw the two men who had robbed him just 20 minutes later. In hindsight, he should've called police. Instead, the victim pulled a shotgun from his car and confronted the men. They immediately assaulted the man, took his shotgun and attempted to steal his wallet. The victim took off running and left his car behind. One of the suspects then drove off with the victim's car in the opposite direction while the other suspect left the scene in his own car. (June)
Panties In A Bunch: A woman seemed distressed when a transformer in her neighborhood was struck by lightning and the disturbance made her run outside pantless. In an odd turn of events, as firefighters and cops were responding to the resulting electrical box fire, she told them that a man was chasing her with a gun. When police tried investigating the matter, she jumped into a police cruiser and sped off, only to quickly crash into a retainer wall. (July)
Not A Hog: Police responded to a home near Oakhurst after a man named Harley said his "motorcycle" was stolen from his driveway. The stolen vehicle description listed the man's "motorcycle" as a Vespa Fly 150 — a motorized scooter. (June)
Payback's A Bitch: A man called police to report his girlfriend had been busy planning a clean escape while he was in jail for assaulting her. The man said when he was let out of jail, he found that the woman had entered his apartment and made off with his dog, lamp, air conditioning unit, cellphones, prescription painkillers, documentation, jewelry and computer equipment. She alledgedly took all the man's stuff and made off in his Dodge Durango, which he gave her a key to. (June)
PIN Head: A man filed a police report last week after he lost his debit card and realized soon after that someone was going around town taking money out of ATMs with it. The victim told officers the suspects didn't have to do much guesswork, as he had the PIN written on a piece of tape attached to the back of the card. He said he did that because he used to let an old girlfriend use his card on a regular basis (first mistake) and he "got tired of her calling him when she could not remember his PIN," according to the report. (July)
Urine Trouble: Police responded to an east Charlotte neighborhood in response to a vandalism call between next door neighbors. The victim told officers that his neighbor damaged five sections of his lawn by pouring dog urine on them, effectvely killing the grass in each area. The report detailed the size and location of each patch of grass affected, but declined to describe just how the suspect collected his dog's urine to use in such a way. (June)
Monkeying Around: A person left their mark at the Aloft hotel at Epicentre by going on a vandalism spree through the entire building. The suspect wrote offensive things in red marker throughout the hotel; including in the stairwell, elevator and a bathroom. Not stopping there, the suspect left a more personal touch, smearing feces on the stairwell, windows, on the elevator buttons, hand rails, door handles and bathroom walls, resulting in $1,000 in damage. In an unrelated report, a maid at a different hotel reported that someone stole $650 worth of eight-ounce air fresheners from her cart while it sat outside of a room she was cleaning. The only suspects in need of a massive amount of air fresheners would be the cleaning staff at Aloft. (July)
Soiled: A 47-year-old man came home to his apartment recently to find that his roommate had soured on their relationship, to say the least. The man told officers his roommate kicked a hole through the front of his $4,500 flat-screen television. But wait, there's more! The victim also had a bin of laundry sitting near the front door, and the roommate urinated in the bin, ruining $400 worth of clothing. (July)
Sending a Message: People in Uptown may want to get used to sending eCards for a while, as the local supply of greeting cards was recently soiled by a man who just couldn't wait. A man reportedly entered the CVS on Trade Street and urinated on a display of "Get Well" and birthday cards. (August) Editor's Note Another man was arrested for urinating in the same CVS in September.
Blotter items are chosen from the files of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty.