Busted: Notes from the Blotter

by Amy Kingsley

Identity crisis

Greensboro police officer BJ Coble, 30, was arrested last week and charged with seven counts of identity theft and financial fraud. Coble, a sworn officer since 2000, was suspended with pay in November in an unrelated matter, according to a press release.

The police were alerted to Coble’s shady dealings by a victim who was not named in the release. Before he was suspended, Coble earned $45,817 a year. Police Chief Tim Bellamy said the crimes he is alleged to have committed occurred after his suspension. Police have initiated criminal and internal investigations against Coble.

The kids are alright

It’s April. That means it’s time for the flowers to come out, the coats to come off and, according to an e-mail circulating in Greensboro, the kids to swear their gangland allegiances. According to the author, this month is the one in which naïve boys and girls learn about the Bloods and the Crips and engage in all kinds of murderous initiations.

Capt. John Wolfe of the Greensboro Police Department’s gang unit released a public statement last week setting the record straight. “There is no ‘season’ for gang initiations,” he wrote. This is the second time in several months the police department has refuted a gang-related e-mail hoax – which is probably not what city council members intended when they approved funding for the unit.

“If we should receive any credible information regarding gang initiations,” Wolfe wrote, “we will share it with the public immediately.”

Spring break-in

Greensboro police are investigating a break-in at Hampton Academy on the evening of March 25, smack in the middle of spring break. Neither police nor representatives from the school could be reached in the aftermath of the burglary, and the incident report omitted information regarding damage to the building or items stolen.

Meter made

Winston-Salem police responded the theft of two parking meters on West 4th Street sometime after 10 p.m. on the night of March 25. They recovered both meters and their poles later that evening.

Wanted: The Hamburglar

Early on the morning of March 26, restaurant owner Cory Christopher Waynick reported a larceny and assault at his place of business, 150 Beau View Court in Winston-Salem. The perpetrator beat and kicked Waynick and then took “consumable foodstuffs” from the premises. The thief did not steal any money, according to the incident report.

Shopping spree

Employees of the Food Lion on South Hawthorne Road in Winston-Salem reported a shoplifting at 10 p.m. on March 25. The thief swiped four bags of jumbo shrimp, one bag of regular shrimp, seven packs of filet mignon, two packs of T-bones, five candy bars and one pack of soap. Why soap? To scrub away the guilt? Or the stink of meat and chocolate?

The thief then bashed his way out of the store, striking employees who tried to stop him. Most of the merchandise was recovered, but the investigation is ongoing.