Thieves May Be Targeting UNC Charlotte Students


by Kirk Hawkins

CHARLOTTE, N.C.--What happened behind an apartment door, rattled Manish Kusumba's
sense of safety and security. "I was in shock and I don't know what I was doing," Kusumba said.

The electrical engineering graduate student says he opened the door to a gunman who took his laptop and iPhone before running away. Kusumba told police how fast it happened,"It's like two minutes. They didn't believe there was a mugging in our place when I told them," he said.

What happened to Kusumba is all too common for students in the University area. Over the last two weeks, CMPD says 11 suspects were arrested after 8 robberies. Police have seen a 550-percent increase in robberies since this time last year. Investigators say all of the crimes have taken place in apartment complexes. C-M-P-D says there are 53 in the University area, more per square mile than in any other part of the city. We found out four more apartment complexes are scheduled to open later this year. "We thought that Charlotte would be a safer place than other places in America," said Rajendra Prasad Thouti.

While police are using cameras at intersections and other technology to track down the robbers, Manish and his roommate are also thinking about what to do next. "I'm thinking of moving from this place to somewhere else in Charlotte," said Rajendra Prasad Thouti.

They came from India to work hard, and eventually get good jobs. Becoming crime victims they say was never part of the plan. "We are afraid right now. We just came to study here," said Kusumba.

The thieves are stealing credit cards, iPhones and laptops. Cops say they are targeting victims as they come and go from their apartments at all hours of the day or night.


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