College Residents Fight to Escape Apartment Crime

Charlotte, NC — Parents of college students living in University House Apartments want their kids out.

Another shooting in the area Thursday added to a growing crime trend in and around apartments there.

Residents showed up to a meeting with apartment managers the same day to talk about solving safety issues.

“Get off your butts and fix the things you need to fix,” said Steve McKee during the meeting.

Someone robbed his son while he slept in his room last month.

Sunday, police were at University House investigating shots fired into a 20-year-old’s apartment. CMPD documented more than 60 crimes inside the complex since it opened this summer.

There have yet to be any arrests due to lack of evidence or surveillance footage.

“The person who was involved in the gunfight, he still lives here!” said McKee. “He’s a resident living here, side by side with a 19-year-old trying to get good grades in math.”

Univeristy House managers told residents they have security managing entry ways. They are adding cameras, but residents want out.

“You don’t always get what you want in life,” said Ashlin Massey. “You just hope things work out the correct way.”

The complex sells the place as student living, but anyone can rent there who passes a background and credit check.

Police suspect some renters could be selling drugs inside the building, students are not locking doors and parties are leading to violent assaults.

CMPD’s University City Division considers University House its top priority.

“When you have a progression of things that occur over a period of time, you’ve worked to try and solve those problems, yet they continue and sometimes worsen, that means we have to increase our priority level,” said Capt. Brian Foley.

“My concern is crime is up in the area,” said Carlie Cresse, VP of Operations of University House Apartments.

Crime logs confirm that, but crime at this apartment complex is heavier than others, according to CMPD Crime Mapping System.

She says she’ll look at letting people out of leases on a case-by-case basis. Some residents don’t think it will happen.

“You can hear the fear in their voice,” said McKee. “I mean, it’s your job as a parent to take care of your child. How can you do that?”
Police say they will tell the complex ways to tighten security, but they need students to come forward and report suspicious activity before crimes happen.