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Updated: 6:03 a.m. Tuesday, March 12, 2013 | Posted: 10:23 p.m. Monday, March 11, 2013
By Jim Bradley
RALEIGH, N.C. —
A controversial bill to take control of Charlotte's Airport away from the city is scheduled for a vote in Raleigh. State Senator Bob Rucho said he expects a proposal to create an independent airport authority to go to the Senate floor on Tuesday. The controversial measure would take control of the airport away from the city and its Police Department. There has been a lot of tension between the city, airport management and state leaders pushing for a new airport authority. Now some say recent airport crimes involving iPads, and Charlotte-Mecklenburg's Police Department's new efforts to find them show just how much is on the line for anyone who uses the airport. Since CMPD took over at the airport in December, they have investigated many more property crimes than the previous airport-controlled police force. These search warrants involving iPads stolen at the airport are one example of how CMPD said it is solving crimes that went unsolved before. "This is a new method of recovering stolen property from the Charlotte airport," said CMPD Detective Steve Brown. Brown said he has been able to trace four iPads stolen from passengers including one resold to an employee at a North Carolina store. All of them were found by tracing apps bought through iTunes. "Any purchase you make through iTunes, the serial number of the device you are using, whether an iPad or iPhone, it is connected to that purchase," said Brown. Critics said airport police were not solving these crimes before CMPD took over and city councilman Pat Cannon said it could go away again, if the city loses control of the airport. "I am very concerned. Should an authority come that our police may not have a presence out there to protect the general public," said Cannon. But State Rep. Bill Brawley, who is pushing the authority bill in the state House, said that is a misleading response to the airport security question. "The answer is not who does the policing. It is the policing done professionally and I would expect that would be done that way," said Brawley. Eyewitness News reached out to airport leaders about this issues, but has not heard back. CMPD has four more search warrants for stolen iPads that it is trying to trace right now.
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