The Watch with Will Kennedy: Complex Crime Near Campus

CHARLOTTE, NC — Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police calling out a university city apartment complex, saying they didn’t do enough to keep residents safe.

In this watch, we’ve got an update on a string of robberies at The Flats at Mallard Creek, and what’s next for the people who live there.

“Five robberies occurring in the course of about a month, month and a half’s time,” says CMPD Captain Brian Foley on the five armed robberies.

JAKE ROBERTSON / UNC CHARLOTTE STUDENT SAYS: “I’ve seen someone’s back windshield smashed in when I get home,” says Flats at Mallard Creek resident, and UNC Charlotte student, Jake Robertson.

The Flats at Mallard Creek are close to UNC Charlotte, and populated primarily by students. Those five robberies left residents like Robertson shaken and feeling unsafe.

“No,” says Robertson. “Honestly, they did not notify us about a lot of it. We were notified about one of them, and there was multiple.”

CMPD says environmental factors, like bad lighting, and attractive amenities, like the basketball court, were contributing to increased violent crime.

CMPD says that one of the issues that was impacting residents at The Flats at Mallard Creek was that a lot of people who don’t live here were coming on and off the property. But after a meeting between those residents, police and the ownership group, new safety measures are being taken.

CAPT. BRIAN FOLEY SAYS: “Most of our suspects have been people who do not live, or are not associated with the complex at all,” says Capt. Foley. “And out of the five cases so far, we’ve cleared three of those by arrest.”

About a year ago, CMPD went through a similar process with the University House complex, after a string of violent crimes there. CMPD says it took about a year to get that complex where it needs to be.

The process at The Flats at Mallard Creek is moving more quickly, with plans to improve the lighting and a new security company hired.

“I will say this, there’s been a lot more security here recently,” says Robertson. “There’s been that patrol car there that wasn’t here before. I’ve actually seen several security guards walking around. But at the same time, there’s still been robberies since then.”

CMPD crime stats also show 14 larceny from auto incidents at the complex since last September. Jake Robertson told me that despite the increased security, he plans to move as soon as possible.