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Cruising is a source of aggravation for some and fuels pride for others

By Hannah Simpson
Around the Town Editor

The Burger King parking lot across from UNCP fills each Sunday with tricked out cars and trucks, waiting to take to the streets for a night of cruising.

For Burger King Manager Margaret Collins, the cruising is “aggravating.”

Collins, 28, has been working at BK for over a year. She said she has received many complaints from customers about the gathering.

“Customers can’t even get to the parking lot,” she said. The drivethru is nearly impossible to enter, Collins added.
According to cruisers in the lot, the vehicles begin arriving around 8 p.m.

Drivers and passengers show off new paint jobs and glistening rims while waiting for an entourage of vehicles.
After the lot fills, the vehicles file out and begin cruising.

According to 19-year-old Andrew Lewis, a Robeson Community College student, Sunday is the designated cruising day because “nobody’s at the club.”

Jimmy Graham, 20, said he cruises each Sunday in order to show off a new paint job or new accessories for his Monte Carlo.

“Everybody’s gonna be hating on Sunday,” Graham said of the competition between the exterior and engine of the vehicles.

The car, one of the more extravagent in the Burger King parking lot, featured blinking lights on the underside and large, silver rims.

Collins said that a shooting took place a year and a half ago while the cruisers were parked in the Burger King lot.

The cruisers sped away when the cops arrived, according to Collins.

However, McDonalds’ Asst. Manager Ana Barron, 24, recalls the events following the shooting.

Barron said the cruisers drove from Burger King to McDonalds with the victim of the bullet wound.

The cruisers parked in the McDonalds lot and waited for the ambulance, which arrived soon after.

Lewis said the cruisers used to gather where the McDonalds on Third Street now operates in front of UNCP.
A drive through the lot proved what Lewis had predicted.

A police officer was stationed in the back corner of the lot. The blue lights flashed each time a vehicle cruised through.
Barron said the officer has been working for McDonald’s since it opened three years ago.

Lewis described the lengths that the Pembroke Police Department took to stop cruising, which includes roadblocks, citations and attempts to clear the parking lots of local fastfood restaurants.

Road blocks are set up on specific roads within Pembroke about once a month, Lewis said.

Union Chapel Road, which has a speed limit of 35 mph, is one place to beware of cruising, he said.

Officers give a $25 citation to any vehicle traveling at around 20 mph or less.

The police will also write a citation for vehicles that are seen traveling on the same road three or more times in an hour, Lewis said.

The cruising ends with each passenger being taken home or to their own vehicle.

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The University of North Carolina at Pembroke The print edition of The Pine Needle
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Updated: Monday, November 5, 2007
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