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ONLY ON 3: WPD cameras missed downtown tire slashings

READ MORE: ONLY ON 3: WPD cameras missed downtown tire slashings

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Wilmington Police have no leads in a string of weekend tire slashings. In hopes of cutting back on mischief, a year ago WPD installed surveillance cameras downtown, but in this case, the cameras didn't catch any suspicious activity.

Early Saturday morning, Neal Whittington woke up to move his SUV from a metered parking spot on Walnut between 2nd and 3rd to a non-metered spot.

"I didn't even see the tires, so I got into the car and started driving away, and I felt obviously something was wrong," Whittington said.

What was wrong was that his tires had been slashed late Friday night along with at least 17 other vehicles in the area. Last year Wilmington Police installed cameras downtown hopefully to catch things like this, but this time the cameras did not catch anything not because they didn't work and not because they're not in the right place. There's actually one on 2nd Street that could have seen nine of the cars. Police Lt. Ed Pigford said officers watch the cameras during peak weekend hours, 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. and record the video.

"No one saw anything taking place this weekend on the cameras," Pigford said.

The camera's monitors are in the police department lobby, but are positioned behind the desk, so if you're not paying attention, anything can slip by.

"They have to be manually operated to be utilized in such a way to be panned, zoomed or any of those things," Pigford said.

According to Wilmington Police, there were six officers patrolling downtown this weekend.

If you have any information about the tire slashings, please call Wilmington Police at (910) 343-3640.

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Well this is very sad because with movable cameras you have to have someone dedicated to watching them - 24/7. I would imagine nothing will be changed until a violent crime such as a murder or rape is committed and not caught on a recording. it obvious that these cams were installed as a deterrent only. I think someone needs to pull the recordings and look again.


The camera's are just like the whole department broken,this Chief is a joke. Let's address the real issue and that is proper police enforcement would contain Downtown. They cluster together and seem to miss all the crimes, not brain surgery gentlemen. Stop finger pointing and start policing.


I agree that the system is broken. For example:
1. At least 5 police officers were "clustering" between Front and Water on Princess Street, Sunday, during River Fest. We did not see one single police officer in the crowd on Water Street or Front Street; however, we did see two EMTs, in official dress, monitoring the crowd. An ambulance and fire truck were present.
2. When the police were on duty, during "peak hours" and "policing" I witnessed a police officer break the arm of an elderly, disabled woman. I am not sure why -- other than a bouncer asked that she and her service dog leave. She refused, and appeared to try to explain the American with Disabilities Act (, if you are interested. I was. Following, the very angry "bouncer" summoned 3 police officers that were together, less than 5 walking minutes away.
3. During the arrest, a police officer grabbed her arm, she immediately cried out in pain, "You have broken my arm," and in what looked like a panic "flight or fight" moment, the two other officers grabbed her other arm and leg. Oddly enough, none of the 7 cameras, within view, recorded the event or they have been conveniently erased. They cameras are owned and operated by the police, for the police. This is a case of follow the money.
4. Bottom line, "Who polices the police?" OR "How was the city, state, and federal money used to keep our coastline safe?" My guess is: nobody; and obviously not for training, respectively.