CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – Two private security officers from the Excalibur Security Team are speaking out about how they helped bust a pair of young carjackers in Charlotte.
On Dec. 19, Victor Vasquez and Lauren Worden were patrolling the Platform Lofts off North Tryon Street and stumbled upon a Red Hyundai Sonata with its windows busted out and the ignition panel missing.
They said they alerted CMPD and learned the car was recently reported as stolen. Once it was processed, it was released back to its owner.
“We are trained by our company to handle these situations,” said Worden. “It’s one of those; we train for the worst — hope for the best.”
The next day, Vasquez and Worden found even more broken glass and personal items lying on the ground at the same complex. This time they saw no vehicle, but after speaking with neighbors, they learned another Hyundai had left the property.
They called CMPD once again.
“As we’re talking with CMPD, the car actually drives into the parking lot, sees us, and speeds away,” said Worden. “Then, CMPD took after.”
CMPD pursued the stolen vehicle and arrested the suspects inside. They were 14 and 16 years old.
“It also feels great to know that the people that are out there doing these things know that just because law enforcement is not around, you still have other means of private security that’s out there,” said Vasquez.
The Excalibur Security Team says CMPD linked these kids to seven other stolen vehicles. Worden believes the suspects were taking the stolen cars out for joy rides and dumping them at apartment complexes. They also think one of the juveniles lived at the Platform Lofts.
“There’s been videos going around on how to do these things, and they learn these things, and they go ahead and try it out,” said Vasquez, citing a viral trend of using USB cables and screwdrivers to steal certain Hyundai and Kia models.
CMPD says the rate of car thefts increased 20 percent last year.
This past Saturday, they handed out 112 free steering wheel locks to Hyundai and Kia drivers due to the high rate of thefts among those models.