Pitt County Sheriff's Office
Pitt County Sheriff's Office
Website URL: http://www.pittcountysheriff.com
- 28 February 2011
- Published in News
Pitt County Sheriff Neil Elks is using road signs to help solve a series of home break-ins that have occurred in southeast Pitt County.
Elks is deploying about 20 signs with contact information for Pitt-Greenville Crime Stoppers in an area extending from Reedy Branch Road to Emma Cannon Road and N.C. 102, where there have been a series of home break-ins since Christmas.
The latest incident was discovered Saturday morning at a home in the 5900 block of Reedy Branch Road. The home's occupant had attended a gospel show between 7 and 9 p.m. on Friday and didn't initially notice any problems when she returned home, Elks said. When she started her day on Saturday, Elks said she noticed her home safe had been shifted. She also discovered part of a chain lock was on her living room floor, some a distance from the front door, he said. Money was missing from the home.
Elks said the break-in was the sixth to have occurred in the area since Christmas. All locations were single-story, ranch-style homes that were surrounded by woods and were a distance from the highway. The first incidents occurred either Sunday or Wednesday, apparently when the residents were at church.
“It's very interesting that someone knows the habits of residents in this community,” Elks said.
All the houses were locked. The thief typically entered through a bathroom window or a rear door using an item they found at the location to pry open the entry point, he said.
The thief has targeted safes and fire boxes. The individual is careful not to disturb other items in the homes and to return things to their proper location, Elks said. In one instance, the homeowner didn't realize anything had been taken from his safe until he heard about a neighbor's break-in and checked his belongings, the sheriff said.
“We want to encourage everyone to be on the look out for suspicious activity,” Elks said.
It was community involvement that helped deputies make an arrest in connection with a series of break-ins in the Belvoir area earlier this year, Elks said.
However, there are many people who don't know about the county's CrimeStoppers program, which allows citizens to anonymously report information about criminal activity and collect a reward if it leads to an arrest.
“The sheriff has been wanting to think outside the box and come up with new ideas and one of them was to use signage in different areas of the county where things are going on,” said Lt. Kip Gaskins, CrimeStoppers coordinator and supervisor of the sheriff's community impact division.
The signs urge “See a Crime Don't Waste Time Call CrimeStoppers” and gives the organization's telephone number, 758-7777.
Elks also is encouraging residents to contact Gaskins' office to request a free security survey. Deputies will inspect a home and offer advice on improving security. People can call 830-4141 or 902-2800 to make an appointment.
Elks said a reward of up to $5,000 is being offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction of the person carrying out the break-ins in southeast Pitt County
- 24 February 2011
- Published in Videos
Protecting our Politicians
In wake of the Tucson shooting in which Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot outside a supermarket, Manuel Gallegus reports several of her colleagues made a point to hold similar public sessions.
Sheriff Elks interviewed by CBS News on a story concerning Protecting Politicians.
- 24 February 2011
- Published in Videos
Where in just one and a half minutes, the fine men and women of the Pitt County Sheriff's Office inform you of the most recent unsolved crimes in Pitt County and ask for your help in bringing criminals to justice. Do you have information on the latest case presented? Call now at 252.830.4141 and help make Pitt County a safer place place for all of us!
- 24 February 2011
- Published in News
A 23-year-old woman charged with killing her mother Tuesday stabbed her in the left chest with a long-bladed kitchen knife, Pitt County sheriff's officials said.
It was just after 6 p.m. when deputies arrived at 1840 Belvoir Highway, Chief Deputy Randy Gentry said during a Wednesday news briefing. They found 44-year-old Bittina Louise McDonald lying on the kitchen floor.
Officers interviewed her daughter, Nicole Lee Chandler, at the scene and took her into custody. She was arraigned Wednesday morning on a charge of murder and was held in lieu of a $1 million bond.
Rescuers performed life-saving measures on McDonald at the home and in an ambulance as she was transported to Pitt County Memorial Hospital. She she was pronounced dead at the hospital.
McDonald rented a room at the home, Gentry said. Chandler, who lives across the street, was there with her two children, ages 7 and 3, Gentry said.
The children were present when the incident occurred and are now with their father, he said.
Chandler still was at the home when deputies arrived, Gentry said. “She was cooperative and really made no statements at the scene,” he said.
It was unclear what prompted the stabbing.
“It was an argument between a mother and a daughter,” Gentry said. “We're still investigating the details.”
An autopsy was scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.
Chandler made an early-morning appearance before Judge Charles Vincent for her arraignment at the Pitt County Detention Center. She was wearing what a jail official described as a protective “suicide smock.”
The garb was assigned to her due to the nature of the crime, sheriff's officials said.
Chandler was told she could face the death penalty if the district attorney's office pursues a first-degree murder conviction.
Vincent set the bond after learning from assistant district attorney Faris Dixon that Chandler has a history of domestic assaults, both as a perpetrator and as a victim.
She will be appointed two attorneys from the Capital Public Defender's Office before her next hearing, set for March 10, Vincent said.
“A suspect's history as a domestic-assault victim is one of many factors that the district attorney considers when deciding whether to pursue capital punishment,” Dixon said after the proceedings.
Both mother and daughter have been arrested before, court records indicate.
McDonald has faced charges such as assault with a deadly weapon resulting in serious injury, reckless driving, harassing phone calls and possession of drug paraphernalia dating back to 2003. Most charges were dismissed.
She was found guilty in 2007 of habitually impaired driving and failure to appear, and in 2009 of misuse of the 911 system.
In 2008 and 2009, her daughter was cited for a vehicle registration violation, and arrested for driving while license revoked, making a false report to a police station, harassing phone calls and various drug charges. All the charges were dismissed.
When a legal prescription is utilized by someone other than prescribed for or obtained through false means, it becomes an illegal substance.
The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation reports that
pharmacies dispense over 250,000 prescriptions for controlled substances on an annual basis. That is a lot of medicine that can fall into the wrong hands! Pitt County
The abuse of prescription medicine has unfortunately become a national crisis with its illegal usage surpassing marijuana use as the most widely used illegal substance.
Treatment admissions for such abuse, have skyrocketed from the mid 1990’s over 300% according to most research.
National studies indicate approximately 50% of youth 12 years and older obtained pain relievers from friends or relatives.
Proper disposal is something to consider. Simply throwing medicines in the trash or flushing them down the toilet does not end the risk these medicines pose. Both animals and people have been known for rummaging through trash and studies have shown that flushing medicines through the toilet have an environmental impact. In areas of high population density, fish living in the natural water system have exhibited signs of unisex characteristics that researchers attribute to the human excretions, primarily from reproductive medicines.
Trash If flushing is not mentioned as an acceptable disposal method, you should mix the pills with an undesirable substance (such as kitty litter, used coffee grounds, saw dust) and place the mixture into a disposable sealable container or bag before placing in the trash. Ensure you remove any personal information from the bottle itself, especially if refills remain.
Take Back Events In an effort to provide a safe disposal method for citizens, the Sheriff’s Office has been partnering with community organizations to conduct events that allow citizens to ‘drop-off’ their unused and unwanted medications. On average, thousands of pills are collected at each event. The oldest prescription we have received dated back to the 1960’s and was in a glass bottle.
Permanent Drop-off Box There is also a drop-off box located in the Sheriff’s Office courthouse lobby location where citizens can drop off quickly and anonymously. The address is
To find out about upcoming Operation Medicine Drop Events, check our Event Calendar or the North Carolina Safe Kids website.
Questions about the issue or events? Contact Melissia Larson: 252-902-2656
LAW ENFORCEMENT interested in the Permanent Disposal Box Program, please contact the person listed above for more information.
Online Fraud PreventionTo guard against identity theft, never give out your Social Security number. Treat it as confidential information.
Commit all passwords to memory. Never write them down or carry them with you. When using an ATM machine, make sure no one is hovering over you and can see you enter your password.
When participating in an online auction, try to pay the seller directly with a credit card so you can dispute the charges if the merchandise does not arrive or was misrepresented. If possible, avoid paying by check or money order.
Adopt an attitude of healthy skepticism toward websites that offer prizes or giveaways. Chances are, all that’s been “won” is the opportunity to buy something you didn’t want in the first place.
Learn more about consumer protection and fraud from the Office of the North Carolina Attorney General.
Protecting Our Children Online
Choose a commercial online service that offers parental control features.
Tell your children never to give out their address telephone number password school name or any other personal information.
Make sure your children know to never agree to meet face-to-face with someone they’ve met online without discussing it with you. Only if you decide that it’s okay to meet their “cyber-friend” should they arrange to meet this person, and then the meeting should be in a familiar public place in the presence of a trusted adult.
Tell your children never to respond to messages that have bad words, are scary, or just seem weird.
Tell your children never to enter an area that charges for services without asking you first.
Tell children never send a picture of themselves to anyone without your permission.
Make sure that access to the Internet at your children’s school is monitored by adults.
Visit the North Carolina Department of Justice website for more information on protecting children using the internet and selecting child friendly search engines.
Statistics show that the older you get, the less likely you are to be a victim of crime. But it still makes sense to take precautions, especially against fraud and con games, which are the greatest crime threats for seniors.
Senior Safety Begins at Home
- Install and use good locks on doors and windows.
- Don't hide keys under the doormat, in the mailbox or in a planter. Leave an extra set with a neighbor.
- When service or delivery people come to your door, ask for ID, and check with their company if you're still not sure.
- Make sure the street number on your house is large, well-lighted and unobstructed so emergency personnel can find your home quickly.
- If you decide to install an alarm system, consider one that is monitored for burglary, fire and medical emergencies.
Stay Safe When You Go Out
- Go out with family or friends rather than by yourself.
- Hold your purse close or keep your wallet in an inside front pocket.
- Don't carry large amounts of cash or unneeded credit cards.
- Use a direct deposit service for Social Security and other regular checks.
- Keep car doors locked, be watchful in parking lots and garages, and try to park in well-lighted spots near entrances.
- Sit near the driver or the exit when riding on a bus, train or subway.
- If a person or situation makes you nervous, get away.
Don't Fall for Con Artists' Tricks
- If it sounds too good to be true — free vacation, miracle cure, sure-fire investment — avoid it.
- It is illegal for telemarketers to ask for credit card, Social Security, phone card or bank account numbers to verify prizes, so if anyone asks, don't give it to them.
- If someone tries to rush you into signing an insurance policy, sales contract or anything else, be suspicious. Read it carefully and have a trusted friend check it, too.
- Some con artists pose as representatives of companies or government agencies that, for a fee, recover money lost to fraudulent telemarketers. Don't fall for this trick.
- When in doubt, check it out by calling the police, the Better Business Bureau, the local consumer protection office, or the
at 800-876-7060. National Consumers League Fraud Information Center
Things You Can Do in Your Community
- Report any crimes or suspicious activities to police.
- Join a Neighborhood Watch program to help protect your community.
- Get involved in activities that can make your community a better place, like mentoring children, serving as a volunteer aide for the police or fire department, or escorting disabled persons.
- Check for a Triad program in your community. It partners seniors with law enforcement agencies to prevent crime against the elderly and to give support to law enforcement personnel. It is sponsored by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the National Sheriffs Association (NSA). Get details from your AARP chapter, local police or by calling NSA at 703-836-7827.
Domestic violence, or intimate partner violence, occurs when one person causes physical or psychological harm to a current or former intimate partner. It includes all acts of violence within the context of family or intimate relationships. Domestic violence is not confined to any one socioeconomic, ethnic, religious, racial or age group and knows no geographic or educational boundaries.
Websites of Interest
If you have a question about domestic violence, please contact one of our Victim Advocates:
DARE: Drug Abuse Resistance Education. The program mission is to educate our youth on positive strategies to resist drugs and avoid violence. Each year, hundreds of fifth graders complete this valuable program. This resistance program is made possible through our partnerships with various local businesses.
DARE currently serves 12 elementary schools;Ayden, Chicod, Belvoir, Grifton, G.R. Whitfield, Northwest, Pactolus, Sam D. Bundy, Stokes, and W.H. Robinson.