Printed from the Charlotte Observer -
Posted: Sunday, Nov. 16, 2008

Home invasions spur police to boost patrols

By Melinda Johnston
Published in: Regional News
  • To provide information or ask questions, contact the Matthews Police at 704-847-4069 or e-mail them at

    To get current information from Matthews police, sign up for Citizen Observer. You'll get detailed information from the police department by e-mail or text messaging. Alerts can be targeted to specific groups and geographic areas of town, allowing citizens to choose what type of messages they are interested in. Register for Citizen Observer by logging on to and choosing Citizen Observer from the menu on the left.

  • The Matthews Police Department urges citizens to:

    Be aware of your surroundings when you enter and leave your home.

    Have sufficient outside lighting and install motion detectors to alert you if someone enters your yard at night.

    Always lock your door, even when you are home.

    Don't open your door for an unknown person.

    If you see suspicious people or vehicles in your neighborhood, call 911.

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    Matthews police have stepped up patrols over the past month after two home invasions and one attempted home invasion in the town.

    Police say the invaders were strangers to the victims.

    “The department has…put extra officers in neighborhoods in the evening, and all patrol officers are focusing on neighborhood patrols especially in the evening and nighttime hours,” said Officer Stason Tyrrell. Here's more about the three invasions:

    1 a.m. on Oct. 10, two armed men entered a home off South Trade Street near Fullwood Lane through an unlocked storm door. They used guns to rob the residents inside. No one was injured.

    At 10:40 p.m. on Oct. 14, a resident of the Habersham neighborhood off Idlewild Road was in his driveway when a car pulled up and three armed men forced him into his home. They robbed the man and his wife and took their car. There were no injuries. The car was later recovered in Charlotte.

    An attempted home invasion occurred just after midnight on Oct. 23 in the Coachman Ridge development. A man was confronted in his driveway, but the suspects were scared away.

    Because the three cases are similar, Tyrrell said, police think they were all done by the same men. Locations appear to have been chosen at random.

    Another apparently unrelated event occurred around 10 p.m. on Nov. 3 in the Matthews Estates subdivision. A resident heard her doorbell but didn't open the door because she didn't recognize the man outside. She then saw the man run to the backyard and join two other men crossing her fence.

    A neighbor came out with a flashlight and scared them away. Police don't think that event is related to the others.

    Tyrrell says Matthews police are working closely with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police, who are investigating similar home invasions.

    Though no one has been arrested, police have several persons of interest under investigation.

    Said Matthews Police Chief Rob Hunter: “We do not want our fellow citizens to be frightened to be at home or outdoors. We simply urge everyone to always be aware of your surroundings, take notice of unknown or suspicious vehicles around your home, and never hesitate to call the police if you observe something or someone suspicious.”

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