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Cary battles perception of growing crime problem

Posted September 19, 2014

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— Considered by some to be one of the safest areas in the Triangle, Cary is coping with a recent spate of high-profile crimes.

The latest incident occurred Thursday, when two men were arrested after a shooting that ended in front of the Cary Police Department.

A chase that tore through the heart of downtown Cary led to reports of a shootout and to lockdowns at two elementary schools. Investigators said said the occupants of one car chased after a man in a second car after a drug deal went awry.

Cary Police Chief Pat Bazemore said Friday that, in the chaos, what people thought was a shootout really wasn't.

"There was actually one shot fired," Bazemore said. "From the very first call we received, less than six minutes later,we had the four people in custody."

No one was hurt in the incident.

Chase Austin McKinley, 18, of Horizon Lane in Raleigh, and Nicholas Scott Jenkins, 21, of Sawyer Drive in Raleigh, were each charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and attempted first-degree murder. They were being held Friday in the Wake County jail under $1 million bonds.

The incident left Cary residents rattled.

"It used to be calm and quiet, and you wouldn't hear anything about crimes – people getting robbed or shot at – and now there's a lot going on," resident Sheyla Hernandez said.

"Lately, we’ve been conscious about watching, not going out on the greenways by ourselves at night, but other than that, I feel pretty secure here," resident Janet Griffin said.

Although Cary has had four homicides this year, which is the most ever for one year, Bazemore said major crime in the town is down 13 percent so far this year from last year. Still, she said she understands it's all about perception.

"Our concern is not whether you are safe, it's if you feel safe," she said. "The crimes people are hearing about are crimes against people, and that’s what makes people afraid."

The Cary Police Department has stepped up patrols in areas where there have been problems, and officers have held 145 community meetings so far this year to discuss safety and residents' concerns, she said.

11 Comments

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  • BlahBlahBlahBlahBlah Sep 19, 2014

    You go Cary!! I really Like your town..Nip it in the Bud!! Catch"em and keep up the good work!!

  • Joel Rado Sep 19, 2014
    user avatar

    I hope these individuals receive some serious jail time not a slap on the wrist.

  • gotnoid Sep 19, 2014

    Just because two bozo's act nuts is no reason to reevaluate perception of crime.

  • a sports fan Sep 19, 2014

    Population density leads to crime...a formerly pristine/leave your door open Cary is the new poster child

  • disgusted2010 Sep 19, 2014

    View quoted thread


    Don't think for a minute that either had a permit to carry a gun. Criminals don't follow laws.

  • James Barefoot Sep 19, 2014
    user avatar

    The Morals of this country have gone, The media loves to play everything up but we are the ones doing the deeds

  • hi61600 Sep 19, 2014

    It would be a good idea to lock up these two men and take away their right to carry a gun for the rest of their lives.

  • disgusted2010 Sep 19, 2014

    View quoted thread


    Because the media is sensationalizing every small incident and finding "sheep" to interview about it.

    It plays to their divisive, anti gun, anti police, liberal agenda.

  • lovecary Sep 19, 2014

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    I've lived in Cary for 30 years and I'm growing more concerned every day.

  • less_govt_is_better_govt Sep 19, 2014

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    Rabble rabble rabble!!!

    Community policing is what makes neighborhoods safe - always has and always will!

    Places like wake county constantly try to create classes the police vs the citizens. This is a political thing. More police plus body cameras plus a DA who doesn't play favorites and crime goes down! Viola!!!

    Wake hasn't had any of those and until it does it will become an urban hub and the next Durham in the coming 20 years

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