• Visitors for major upcoming events could find themselves at crime-riddled motels

    By: DaShawn Brown

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - In the next few months, the city of Charlotte will host several major events including the CIAA tournament, NBA All-Star weekend and eventually, the Republican National Convention in 2020.

    Between them, the events are expected to attract tens of thousands of visitors to the Queen City, many of whom will look to book a hotel stay in the area.

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    Charlotte Mecklenburg police officers expressed growing concerns over a motel corridor in north Charlotte near West Sugar Creek Road and I-85.

    In the past, police said out-of-towners have booked motels in that corridor, when hotels in uptown were filled.

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    “We have had it happen where people come up here. They're in these hotels, and they're complaining about the crime in the area,” said North Tryon Division Officer Jason Ellis.

    The corridor accounts for just over a third of a square mile, but it has seen officers respond to more than 400 reports of violent crime since 2014.

    Most of the reported incidents were robbery cases.

    There were also 30 reported rape cases.

    Officers believe the convenience of 13 motels and other convenience stores near the interstate is fueling the prostitution and drug trade.

    Ellis and other officers have been trying to work with motel owners to better vet guests seeking to rent with them.

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    He said officers check motel guest lists frequently searching for guests who have an outstanding warrant for their arrest.

    North Charlotte resident John Wall has lived in the area for more than 40 years and has grown tired of the repeated crime.

    [Police search for gunman after woman shot at north Charlotte motel]

    “What frustrates me most about that is the lack of the business commitment to clean up their act,” Wall said. “We need to stop talking about it and put plans in place to address these issues.”

    CMPD officers recently met with city leaders to address their concerns about the motel corridor, which included Councilman Larken Egleston, who represents a portion of the district.

    “What frustrates me most about that is the lack of the business commitment to clean up their act,” Wall said. “We need to stop talking about it and put plans in place to address these issues.”

    CMPD officers recently met with city leaders to address their concerns about the motel corridor, which included Councilman Larken Egleston, who represents a portion of the district.

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    Crime in the area took a turn for the worst recently when two innocent bystanders were hurt in separate shootings.

    In September, police said a young mother was shot in the leg while pumping gas at a convenience store on West Sugar Creek Road.
    Days later, a 12-year-old was struck by a bullet while waiting on the school bus in the area.

    “I don’t know why I stopped at that store,” the mother told Channel 9.

    “The scariest part for me wasn't getting shot. The scariest part for me was not knowing if I was going to die or not, in front of my daughter,” she said.

    Her 1-year-old daughter was in the backseat during the shooting but wasn’t hurt.

    “She slept through the whole thing, and I think that was God's plan.”

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