A leftist-run town in North Carolina — described as the state’s version of Portland, Oregon — has predictably become a utopia for criminals.
The police department in Asheville, North Carolina, has reported that their officers responded to 41 break-ins in 2022. Meanwhile, the town has already had 11 reports of break-ins just in the first month of 2023 — which represents a 200% monthly increase.
Times Bar owner Chris Faber, a victim of the recent break-ins, described the crimes perpetrated on his bar.
“The first time, [they stole] about $700 or $800 in cash and about 10 or so bottles of whisky, or alcohol. The second time, there was no cash, but another 10, 12 bottles. [They] took our dirty rag hamper and dumped all the rags on the ground, and then used that to load up booze,” he told local news station WLOS.
The same criminal reportedly broke into the business next door to Times Bar soon after.
“It’s wildly frustrating, and mostly for me it’s frustrating because I’m not comfortable leaving my bar by itself when it happens that frequently. We just don’t know what to do as a preventative measure, other than what we’re already doing,” Faber explained.
Chuckie McKelvey, the owner of the nearby bar Asheville Yacht Club, had her business broken into on January 18.
“I feel like we’re all suffering the problem, but none of us really have a great solution. Of course, if more police presence were there, that would be a helpful deterrent. But I understand that that’s just not an option right now,” McKelvey told WLOS.
Meanwhile, according to an Asheville police officer, the problem isn’t just about a police presence in the area — it’s also an issue of lack of prosecution thanks to the leftist district attorney.
Speaking anonymously to The Carolina Journal in September, the officer argued that the local DA’s office is responsible for skyrocketing crime.
“Crime will continue to rise when there is no accountability for subjects of a crime. Officers overlook so many things because they know that it will go nowhere in court,” the officer said.
The officer’s comments came just days after a report revealed that Asheville had seen a 31% increase in violent crime per 100,000 people from 2016 to 2020.
“Asheville’s growth in violent crime is nearly double that of the national average and ranks among the highest in North Carolina, where violent crime has increased 13% statewide,” Fox News reported at the time.
“Asheville has so far seen 11 homicides in 2022, setting it on pace to surpass the homicide rate of 2021 and 2020. Rates of homelessness have increased 21% since 2021, according to data released in May. There is also evidence of increased Mexican drug cartel activity in the area,” the outlet added.
The problem will only worsen thanks to the lack of police officers in the area, as the Asheville Police Department and Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office have reportedly been hemorrhaging officers since 2020.
Thanks to the loss of manpower, the department announced two years ago that it would no longer respond to certain calls because of a lack of officers.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) September 13, 2022
“The department said it’s no longer responding to crimes including thefts under $1,000 where there is no suspect information, vehicle break-ins where there is no suspect information, ‘minimal damage and/or graffiti’ where there is no suspect info, and reports of fraud, scams and identity theft,” according to local news station WSPA.
The problem has progressed to the point where “some [business owners] have declined to even report [break-ins],” Asheville Police Department senior officer Robert Crume said.
“They just report the loss to their insurance and move on. They’ve become so frustrated with the situation,” he told WLOS.
The Market Place restaurant owner Chef William Dissen is one of those frustrated business owners, telling WLOS that the damage sustained to his restaurant from recent acts of vandalism and theft has caused him to “shut down his restaurant for a week while they worked to replace the fixtures and equipment.”
Dissen is now demanding action.
“I love Asheville. I’ve been here a long time, and I do my best in our business — we do our best — to support the community, but now it’s time to take our community back. We need the help from the city, we need the help from the politicians and our legislators to put appropriations into the safety of our town,” he said on Thursday.
However, some critics argue that the only solution to the problems plaguing Asheville is to get rid of the city’s entire leadership team — who are all Democrats — and replace them with new leaders who will actually address the issues.
The only way is to fire everyone running the city. Get rid of the mayor and city council and kick out all the city's homeless, vagrants and drug addicts. We catch the same trash daily but don't report 90% of it due to no police response and move to "online reporting."
— crossfitmark (@crossfitmark) February 3, 2023