Updated and Corrected as of November 2, 2011
Cedar Posts has learned that Charlotte City Councilman Patrick Cannon was annoyed that a rather prolific campaign sign thief was stealing his re-elect Cannon signs in Charlotte's Foxcroft neighborhood.
Justine Tobin a local activist and "Occupy Charlotte" protester who has hosted at least one fund raiser at her home for Patrick Cannon, had seen a number of "Re-Elect Cannon" signs disappear from her yard as well as the yards of other Cannon supporting neighbors. The thief struck 3 times over a number of days last month.
Tobin made numerous calls to 911 to report the thefts but still the signs kept vanishing, so she contacted Patrick Cannon to see if something could be done.
Enraged apparently Cannon called CMPD Chief Monroe and gave the Chief a little arm twisting.
Never one to turn down a friend Monroe put CMPD's top cops on the case including CMPD Providence Division Detective Stephen Iyevbele.
According to an unnamed source within 24 hours CMPD's Vice and Narcotics Tactical Surveillance Unit had set up a sting operation on Beresford Road in CMPD's Providence Division. Vans, unmarked cars and wire less cameras were set up to monitor the Cannon signs.
The fully manned stake out came up empty handed 3 nights in a row but on the fourth night "Bingo" they got their perp or as it turns out perps.
According to CMPD five teenagers had been stealing the signs as an ongoing prank. All where issued civil summons rather than being arrested. Three of the perps; Brandon Bower, Rhodes Marley, and Henry Davis are students at the nearby Charlotte Country Day School.
Tobin tells Cedar Posts that CMPD Officers were successful in recovering at least 20 campaign signs belonging to Patrick Cannon and others. The signs are valued at nearly $500.00.
The cost of the surveillance operation, nearly $15,000.00 according to one CMPD officer.
Cedar Posts has emailed Patrick Cannon, CMPD's Vice Unit and CMPD's Providence Division Captain Martha Dozier and Public Information Officers Tufano and Cunningham seeking comment and verification of these facts, still nothing but Crickets.
A quick tour of the Foxcroft neighborhood last week showed a number of Patrick Cannon signs. The area remains secure.
Copy of CMPD Incident Report One
Copy of CMPD Incident Report Two
Copy of CMPD Incident Report Three
Patrick Cannon's Campaign Finance Report Tobin Contributions Detailed on page 17
November 4th Update:
Creative Loafing put an interesting spin on the Pundit House take on this shaggy dog story. At this point I'm not sure if all the dots leading to the use of TSU to bust the kids is valid. Cannon tells Pundit he didn't do anything, but Cedar hasn't rec'd a reply from Cannon so I'll stick with the "arm twisting".
There are 3 officers listed on the paperwork, and the dates cover four days so that looks right. But again no reply from CMPD so we'll stick with that as well.
Then there is the email allegedly from Brandon Bower who says that women is wacked and that he wasn't even there. So who knows.
Props to the CP reader who sent over the photo of Tobin's corner sign.