VaHi Safety Team Report: December 12, 2014

By John Wolfinger

Mailbox Thefts

There were reports on the Morningside yahoo message board recently of mail thefts from what I would presume to be streetside boxes. If you are at work or away when the mail is delivered in your area – you might want to ask a trusted neighbor to retrieve your mail for you to prevent such thefts.

Holiday Travel Plans??

If you are going to be away from home, be sure to let your Street Captain and trusted neighbors know of your plans and how you can be contacted if need be. Of course, stop your mail and newspaper deliveries, and make sure that your alarm system is activated before leaving. If you are an FBAC member – let them know of your travel plans too, so that house checks can be made during your absence. Not an FBAC member? Check out the website at http://www.fbacvahi.com/ to read about the benefits of membership.

The following reports are taken from our APD Zone 6 (http://atlantapd.org/Zone6.aspx) VaHi Beat 601 reported incidents for the 2014 weeks 47, 48 and 49 (11/16 to 12/6). These reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to let you know what happens around us everyday – so you can be alert and aware.

Aggravated Assault: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Auto Theft: There were two vehicles stolen from a Highland Terrace residence – a 2012 Infiniti and a 2012 BMW. The BMW was recovered in the Westview neighborhood in Zone 1 and was kept for investigation as it had likely been used in reported pedestrian robberies. The license plate for the Infiniti was found in the West End, but the car had not been found yet. These victims are newly moved in and lost both of their cars at once.Commercial Burglary: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Commercial Burglary: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Residential Burglary: No reported incidents from Beat 601. However, there was an unsuccessful attempt at kicking in the front door of a Highland Terrace home. Evidently there was not an activated alarm system here.

Commercial Robbery: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Residential Robbery: No reported incidents from Beat 601.Pedestrian Robbery: On 11/30 in late nite hours on Briarcliff Place, a male motorist who had car troubles was walking home when approached by another male who put an unknown object to his back and demanded his jacket, shoes, watch and wallet and contents. The robber fled on foot.

Pedestrian Robbery: On 11/30 in late nite hours on Briarcliff Place, a male motorist who had car troubles was walking home when approached by another male who put an unknown object to his back and demanded his jacket, shoes, watch and wallet and contents. The robber fled on foot.

Also, in the late night hours of 11/20 on the 1100 block of  Virginia Avenue a lone male pedestrian in front of his apartment building was approached by another lone male with a pistol – the victim was told to be quiet and not say anything. The robber took his wallet and contents, as well as his wedding ring and cell phone and demanded his his pin number. No injuries reported in either of these incidents.Larceny From Vehicle: Yes, you guessed it: we have a long list of reported incidents.  On PDL Avenue (messenger bag and lots of kitchen utensils were taken), Cooledge Avenue (nothing taken – though there was still a broken window to be replaced), Lanier Boulevard (MacBook, ring, books, cell phone charger and an employee ID), Park Drive (a GPS), Cooledge Avenue (60 cents in coins), Virginia Avenue (an unsuccessful attempt to saw off the catalytic converter), Virginia Avenue (laptop and I-Pad), Greenwood Avenue (a Gwinnett County fire-fighter’s turnout coat, flashlight, duffle bag with clothing, backpack with books, and bolt cutters) a suspect was seen but not caught, North Highland Avenue (I-Pad, laptop, headphones, jacket, and backpack), Elmwood Drive (toilet paper, paper towels, boxes of custom bags, and K-cups), Elmwood Drive (nothing taken), Virginia Avenue (laptop and backpack), North Highland Avenue (cooler), PDL Place (clothing, I-Pad, duffle bag and a book), Briarcliff Place (Macbook and backpack), Barnett Street – 3 vehicles (MacBook, 2 backpacks, 2 tote bags, book bag and clothing). In this incident, the patrolling officer spotted a BMW with 3 males inside, the driver said they had been working on their car. The officer was not aware of the break-ins at this time and the BMW drove off.

Larceny From Vehicle: Yes, you guessed it: we have a long list of reported incidents.  On PDL Avenue (messenger bag and lots of kitchen utensils were taken), Cooledge Avenue (nothing taken – though there was still a broken window to be replaced), Lanier Boulevard (MacBook, ring, books, cell phone charger and an employee ID), Park Drive (a GPS), Cooledge Avenue (60 cents in coins), Virginia Avenue (an unsuccessful attempt to saw off the catalytic converter), Virginia Avenue (laptop and I-Pad), Greenwood Avenue (a Gwinnett County fire-fighter’s turnout coat, flashlight, duffle bag with clothing, backpack with books, and bolt cutters) a suspect was seen but not caught, North Highland Avenue (I-Pad, laptop, headphones, jacket, and backpack), Elmwood Drive (toilet paper, paper towels, boxes of custom bags, and K-cups), Elmwood Drive (nothing taken), Virginia Avenue (laptop and backpack), North Highland Avenue (cooler), PDL Place (clothing, I-Pad, duffle bag and a book), Briarcliff Place (Macbook and backpack), Barnett Street – 3 vehicles (MacBook, 2 backpacks, 2 tote bags, book bag and clothing). In this incident, the patrolling officer spotted a BMW with 3 males inside, the driver said they had been working on their car. The officer was not aware of the break-ins at this time and the BMW drove off.

As long as there are lots of items left in vehicles to be stolen, these thieves will continue to roam our streets looking for opportunities. They are hard to spot as they usually work on the sidewalk side of cars and can quickly duck down behind cars when headlites are seen coming towards them. I always feel sorry for victims who have a clean car, but are in the path of these thieves who break in anyway just to see if anything is hidden.

Larceny Other: At a PDL Avenue club, a cellphone, driver’s license and debit card taken from an unwatched purse.  Also, at Blind Willy’s – another unwatched purse and contents were taken.  On St. Augustine Place, a package of dog treats delivered by UPS was taken.

At the Edgewood Retail District there were 16 reports of shoplifting in all stores.

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Please remember our free safe address delivery program for your UPS, FedEx and USPS packages. That bag of dog treats could have been saved if the homeowner had just gone to Intown Hardware on North Highland Avenue or Morningstar Storage or Urban Body on PDL Place and signed up to have packages sent to their safe addresses. This is such an easy way to ensure you receive your packages.

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Don’t forget the Zone 6 Christmas toy drive for needy families here in our Zone. You can leave new toys on my front porch at 1054 Vance Avenue, NE before 12/17 and I will take them to the precinct headquarters in Kirkwood for you. Toys are needed for all age groups from toddlers to tweens to be handed out on 12/19 at the precinct.

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If you have guests coming to your house – please remind them of the Clean Car Campaign that states that ALL parked cars are to be cleaned out at ALL times. Ensure a pleasant visit without having to make a 911 call.

Stay alert and aware and enjoy this wonderful holiday season!

VaHi Safety Team Report: December 3, 2014

By John Wolfinger

Door-To-Door Solicitors

When I first started seeing chatter on our message boards about door-to-door solicitors, I figured that this situation would be like recent years and these guys would be gone in a couple of days – but this year it seems that we have a real determined group leader who is keeping these guys on our streets for a long time.  Most of the recent chatter has been on the VHMPA parent’s message board, and I guess because this group has a lot of stay-at-home parents who are at home during the day when these solicitors come knocking.

I am glad that most VaHi and Morningside posters are reporting that they have called 911 about these solicitors – but also surprised at how many folks have opened up their front doors to these strangers. Most of the solicitors have been described as young w/m and all have the same sort of story about how they live in the neighborhood and you probably know my mother who walks her dog on your street, etc, etc. As long as they have stayed here tells me that they are being successful in garnering up cash (I suppose for magazine subscriptions) and they may be here longer as long as their luck holds out. Calling 911 about their presence is our most practical way of getting rid of them, as the more these guys are hassled by APD from your calls, the sooner they will want to leave. I would doubt that any arrests will result from your 911 calls as there is only a shaky probable cause – that is, unless some of them have warrants. Yeah – we have a permit system for door-to-door soliciting, but it is seldom used.

To understand how this scam works – try googling phrases such as “magazine sales” or some similar sort of words – and you will turn up a vast array of links. Some that I found are -  http://www.houstonpress.com/2008-07-17/news/what-mainstream-publishers-don-t-want-you-to-know-about-door-to-door-magazine-sales/  - http://www.magcrew.com   -  http://www.wfla.com/story/24808728/local-lawyer-rescues-teen-caught-up-in-traveling-magazine-sales-crew. Note the dates on some of the articles you turn up – this scam has been going on for years.

If you have elderly neighbors who may believe and fall prey to these solicitors – please warn them about this scam operation.

The PDL Avenue Drug Nest

Kudos to Midtown’s MPSA off-duty security patrol group for their very well-researched report on the group of PDL Avenue buildings on the south side of the street between Boulevard and Parkway Drive.  http://www.midtownponce.org/p5679.html   Also – thanks to channel 46 CBSAtlanta for doing a story about this situation at  http://www.cbs46.com/story/27531583/midtown-crackdown-on-criminal-behavior-police-making-arrests.

The VaHi Tour of Homes

This weekend (12/6 and 12/7) we will be playing host to a horde of out-of-the-neighborhood home tour goers who may get lost as they wend their way from home to home.  Please exhibit our usual VaHi hospitality and help them to find the address they are looking for.  Also – many of these folks will not be aware of the Clean Car Campaign, so if you notice folks leaving their parked car with items on the seat ready to be stolen, please gently warn them of this danger.  I don’t know of any car break-in incidents over the years during the tour – but I would hate for this year to be an exception.  http://vahi.org/tour-of-homes/.

Our Safe Address Delivery Program

Last evening about 5:30 (after dark) I was behind a UPS truck and watched them quickly leave packages on 4 doorsteps on Los Angeles Avenue between Brookridge and Vance - I could very well have been a thief waiting to snatch these packages.  PLEASE – we have a way to stop these front porch thefts. Just go to Intown Hardware on North Highland Avenue, Morningstar Storage or Urban Body on PDL Place or Framing By Design on Piedmont Road @ Rock Springs and sign up to use their address for safe delivery of your holiday packages. It is so simple – but quite obviously we are still taking our chances at getting what we ordered or receiving gift packages from friends and relatives.

Stay alert and aware and enjoy this holiday season – AND remind your visitors to completely clean out their parked cars!!!!!!

VaHi Safety Team Report: November 24, 2014

By John Wolfinger

Fight Back Against Crime (FBAC)

Thanx to Kay Stephenson for this great explanation about our neighborhood off-duty patrol system:

As many of you know, here in Virginia-Highland, we have a supplementary police patrol that is privately funded by memberships. Fight Back Against Crime was started over 20 years ago by neighborhood volunteers and all of the administrative work is still done voluntarily. FBAC is one of the longest running such patrols in the city.

This patrol is managed by Chris Clark, a veteran and experienced APD Sergeant, and is staffed with senior officers who are all well versed about our neighborhood, our crime patterns, our regular offenders and problem areas. As sworn officers, these individuals patrol in uniform, and though off-duty from APD, still carry full policing powers to investigate and arrest criminals.Patrols are conducted throught the streets, alleys and parks of VaHi, both in their vehicles and on foot. The timing of the patrol periods varies depending on what is happening and what crime patterns are observed. In addition to patrols, members may notify officers when they will be away from home, so that during each shift your home can be inspected on a walk-around to make sure everything is secure. In addition, these officers monitor the Zone 6 police dispatch radio and respond to calls along with the on-duty APD officers.

Patrols are conducted through the streets, alleys and parks of VaHi, both in their vehicles and on foot. The timing of the patrol periods varies depending on what is happening and what crime patterns are observed. In addition to patrols, members may notify officers when they will be away from home, so that during each shift your home can be inspected on a walk-around to make sure everything is secure. In addition, these officers monitor the Zone 6 police dispatch radio and respond to calls along with the on-duty APD officers.

Sadly, subscriptions to this essential service are down significantly. If we can’t increase subscriptions, it is likely that patrol hours will need to be reduced. This is especially problematic as we head into the holiday season when we typically see an uptick in crime.

The cost for an individual household subscription is $25 per month and the cost for an individual renter or condo owner is $20 per month. Many residents spend more than that amount on cable tv per month.

I hope that you will consider signing up or renewing membership. For more information – go to http://www.fbacvahi.com/ If you are a member, please remember to notify FBAC when you are going to be out of town for holiday visits.

The Morningside Safety Meeting 11/24Thanx to our councilman Alex Wan, and the Morningside/Lenox Park association for organizing a very informative safety meeting that was attended by a large crowd of NPU “F” residents. This session, with a lot of APD brass, was in response to all of the apprehension due to the several middle-of-the-nite burglaries in our area, and city-wide car-jackings. APD organized a special city-wide task force to coordinate information, which has led to the identification of a car-jacking ring with arrests. One arrest has been made for a VaHi home burglary and warrants are out for two more suspects, with these investigations continuing. Our at-large councilperson, Mary Norwood, also gave an update on the Repeat Offender Commission, which has completed its work and will be issuing a complete report next week. She said that some judges are already modifying their sentencing, using these new guidelines, to get more repeat offenders off the streets for longer periods of time. A similar effort is going to address repeat juvenile offenders also.

Thanx to our councilman Alex Wan, and the Morningside/Lenox Park association for organizing a very informative safety meeting that was attended by a large crowd of NPU “F” residents. This session, with a lot of APD brass, was in response to all of the apprehension due to the several middle-of-the-nite burglaries in our area, and city-wide carjackings. APD organized a special city-wide task force to coordinate information, which has led to the identification of a car-jacking ring with arrests. One arrest has been made for a VaHi home burglary and warrants are out for two more suspects, with these investigations continuing. Our at-large councilperson, Mary Norwood, also gave an update on the Repeat Offender Commission, which has completed its work and will be issuing a complete report next week. She said that some judges are already modifying their sentencing, using these new guidelines, to get more repeat offenders off the streets for longer periods of time. A similar effort is going to address repeat juvenile offenders also.

Front Porch Package Thefts

This crime category can be virtually eliminated by using the free safe address package delivery service offered by Intown Hardware on North Highland Avenue, Morningstar Storage and Urban Body on PDL Place, and now, thanx to Susan Kanellos of Piedmont Heights, Framing By Design on Piedmont Road at Rock Springs. Just go by any of these friendly neighborhood merchants and sign up to use their safe address for delivery of your UPS, FedEx and USPS packages. Then, you have to remember to use this different “ship to” address and to notify friends and family who will be sending you holiday gift packages. The new Framing By Design location will be very convenient for Piedmont Heights, north Morningside and Lindridge/Martin Manor residents. These merchants will also call you to let you know you have a package to pick up. Make sure that Aunt Millie’s gift fruitcake does not end up being tossed in a gutter somewhere!

The following reports are taken from our APD Zone 6 (http://atlantapd.org/Zone6.aspx) VaHi Beat 601 reported incidents for the 2014 weeks 45 and 46 (11/7 to 11/15). These reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to let you know what happens around us every day – so you can be alert and aware.

Aggravated Assault – No reported incidents from Beat 601. However, an incident of note that involved Zone 6 Sergeant Bill Skeens who is a regular patrolman for FBAC. He was injured in Grant Park as he and a partner stopped behind a parked car with lights on and the engine running. They saw a blunt in the center console and one of the 2 naked occupants tried to hide it with his hand – Skeens opened the driver’s side door asking for the blunt – the driver put the car in reverse at high speed, pinning Skeens between the 2 vehicles. The suspect’s open car door was bent back alongside the rear door, pushing Skeens under the police car’s front bumper. The driver put his car into forward gear and sped out of the park. Skeens was taken to Grady and I have not yet heard as to the extent of his injuries or as to how he is healing.Auto Theft – A 2006 Acura TSX was taken from Virginia Avenue

Auto Theft – A 2006 Acura TSX was taken from Virginia Avenue.

Commercial Burglary – No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Residential Burglary – No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Commercial Robbery – No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Residential Robbery – No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Pedestrian Robbery – No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Larceny From Vehicle – OK – you knew this is where there is going to be a lot of incidents – right?? In this time period, there were 105 such reported incidents all over Zone 6.

Here in Beat 601 – there was a wealth of goods left to be stolen (and they were). Virginia Avenue – (laptop, credit card, debit card, driver’s license, Bose headphones and a backpack), Briarcliff Place – (backpack, laptop, hard drive), Lanier Boulevard (laptop and bag), North Highland Avenue (2 laptops and a backpack), Greenwood Avenue – (I-pad, laptop and bag, x-box, clothing, camera and camera lens), Virginia Avenue – (laptop, 5 pair sunglasses), St. Charles Avenue – (bookbag, I-pad), St. Charles Avenue (nothing taken), Virginia Avenue – (laptop, briefcase, charger), Los Angeles Avenue – (laptop and bag), North Highland Avenue – (cellphone).

This is a great story of great police work – even for the naive victims! In the parking lot behind American Roadhouse, a witness saw 2 males break into two vehicles from a 2nd story window, ran down to try to stop them, but they escaped, but not without him remembering the license plate number and type of car. He then called 911 as they left. They stole a bag with 5 credit cards, a checkbook and an I-pad from one car and a backpack with school supplies from the 2nd car. The I-pad had a tracking device which was tracked down to a Cascade Road, SW residence in Zone 4 who were contacted. Zone 4 took a pic of the car in the driveway which was positively identified by the witness. Zone 4 entered the house (with permission) and found the two suspects hiding in a closet blocked by a mattress. All of the stolen items were recovered. One of the arrestees was a 16 y/o juvenile.Larceny Other – At a Monroe Drive apartment the victim’s boyfriend (ex-boyfriend now I assume) burned her sofa and took her cell phone. At an un-named PDL Avenue bar, a patron had her unwatched purse taken containing a cell phone, s.s. card, driver’s license and sunglasses. (Why do some people carry their s.s. cards with them anyway??)

Larceny Other – At a Monroe Drive apartment the victim’s boyfriend (ex-boyfriend now I assume) burned her sofa and took her cell phone. At an un-named PDL Avenue bar, a patron had her unwatched purse taken containing a cell phone, s.s. card, driver’s license and sunglasses. (Why do some people carry their s.s. cards with them anyway??) In this time period at the Edgewood Retail District there were 16 shoplifting reports. Tis the season – huh??

In this time period at the Edgewood Retail District there were 16 shoplifting reports. Tis the season – huh??

If you have holiday guests coming – PLEASE remind them of the Clean Car Campaign and have them bring ALL items from their cars into your house while they are with you. Small town and rural people just do not think to clean out their cars.

Be alert and aware and enjoy this holiday season.

VaHi Safety Team Report: November 11, 2014

By: John Wolfinger

Medical Marijuana

Granted, this issue really has nothing to do with public safety, but – this is an issue that personally affects our own APD Sergeant Chris Clark. Sergeant Clark’s work affects most everyone in VaHi somehow, as he is the lead Officer in our off-duty patrol service, the FBAC (Fight Back Against Crime) http://www.fbacvahi.com/, as the head of security for Summerfest every year and also the security service for many Class A events in Piedmont Park. Rather than try to explain his personal dedication to this issue – I’ll just let you read http://atlantaforward.blog.ajc.com/2014/10/30/parental-pleas-for-medical-marijuana/, as well as http://www.thedoctorstv.com/articles/2743-medical-marijuana-to-treat-seizures. Yet another story about this same issue at http://www.ajc.com/news/news/state-regional-govt-politics/some-medical-marijuana-advocates-hope-legislation-/nh3TH/. I very much admire the bravery of Sergeant Clark as he battles this medical issue with his wife Kim and their sons. Parental love is an amazing thing.

Two Recent Morningside Incidents of Note

The details of these incidents were gleaned from various Morningside message boards that were forwarded to me. The first happened this past Friday on Middlesex Avenue as residents arrived at home at about 11 p.m. when a hooded b/m rushed them with the front door open, pointed a gun at them, made them lie down in a dark spot in shrubbery and robbed them of their phones, cash, cards and driver’s license. Their car had been stolen from their driveway also in the past week. They called 911 from a neighbor’s house with a delay in police response due to the fact that this happened during shift change time. The responding Zone 2 Officer suggested that these two events may be related and these folks may have been watched. Of course, the Officer also suggested the home-owners install outside lighting and a camera system.The second incident was on Pasadena Avenue when the residents were wakened at 3:15 a.m. with the sound of a rock being thrown thru a window. A laptop was taken in this incident and I am wondering if it was visible from outside the window. This suspect escaped before being caught.

The second incident was on Pasadena Avenue when the residents were wakened at 3:15 a.m. with the sound of a rock being thrown thru a window. A laptop was taken in this incident and I am wondering if it was visible from outside the window. This suspect escaped before being caught.

I strongly urge everyone to be very honest with yourself, look around your house after dark to see if your personal electronics are visible thru windows, if there are hiding places in your over-grown shrubbery and if there are dark areas where you do not have adequate exterior lighting. Of course, also make sure that ALL doors and windows are securely locked and if you have an alarm system, that it is turned on.

The following reports are taken from our APD Zone 6 (http://atlantapd.org/Zone6.aspx) VaHi Beat 601 reported incidents for the 2014 weeks 43 and 44 (10/19 to 11/1). These reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to let you know what happens around us every day – so you can be alert and aware.

Aggravated Assault: No reported incidents from Beat 601.Auto Theft: Only one reported incident, a 2000 Jeep Cherokee taken from a parking lot on Cooledge Avenue. This thief was caught later in the West End area when he ran a stop sign – a chase ensued til he wrecked the vehicle and he was arrested.

Auto Theft: Only one reported incident, a 2000 Jeep Cherokee taken from a parking lot on Cooledge Avenue. This thief was caught later in the West End area when he ran a stop sign – a chase ensued til he wrecked the vehicle and he was arrested.

Commercial Burglary: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Residential Burglary: A Virginia Avenue apartment was entered via an unlocked window and a cell phone taken.  Another Virginia Avenue apartment was entered via a rock thrown thru a back window – taken were a wallet and contents, an X-box and a laptop.  Also on Elkmont Drive the nite-time burglary that was written about in the last Safety Team report. Here entry was made by breaking a sliding glass door.  The victim discovered the suspect while in their house, and the thief fled, taking a desktop, a laptop and a driver’s license.  The suspect has been identified thru fingerprints – but, to my knowledge, has not yet been caught.  The driver’s license was found the next morning by an alert neighbor while on a walk.

Commercial Robbery: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Residential Robbery: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Pedestrian Robbery: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Though throughout the Zone – there are many such reported incidents. One particular incident really caught my eye and I cannot fathom why anyone would seek to sell something to a “buyer” in a parking lot. In a North Avenue parking lot in the dark, after selling bit coins for $5000 in cash – the suspect grabbed back the cash from the victim and fled in a vehicle. I also assume he got the bit coins too. No word as to how the buyer and seller connected with each other.

Larceny From Vehicle: There were 76 such reported incidents in all of Zone 6 in this time period. Here in Beat 601 vehicles were entered on Virginia Avenue (laptop, backpack, GPS, wireless mouse and a S.S. card), Drewry Street (3 Craftsmen tools and an air compressor), North Highland Avenue (nothing taken, but an unwanted bowling bag was left outside the car), St. Charles Avenue (an I-pad), North Highland Avenue (a work bag), Los Angeles Avenue ( laptop and books), North Highland Avenue (Samsung Galaxy), North Highland Avenue (2 laptops), PDL Avenue (laptop, sunglasses, and a purse with contents).

Thank you to Scott Stern, owner of the commercial property at North Highland and Amsterdam Avenues, for hiring (via FBAC) an off-duty Officer for every evening thru the rest of the year, in an attempt to curb these incidents from happening in these parking lots. There are already Clean Car Campaign signs posted here and improved lighting – but patrons still continue to leave items visible in their cars here. Hope that this extra Officer presence will not give patrons the idea though, that they can leave their laptop in the front seat now without consequences. This Officer will be on foot and cannot be everywhere in this large parking lot at once.

I also got an e-mail this week from an Inman Park resident stating that his girlfriend’s car was broken into on Virginia Avenue near Lanier Boulevard in broad daylight between noon and 12:30 taking a backpack and contents. A credit card from the backpack was used to buy $126 worth of gas at the Texaco at PDL Avenue at Boulevard at 12:48 p.m. (this station does not have outside cameras and evidently the criminals know this) and then they tried to buy something at the Boulevard BP across from the Atlanta Medical Center at 12:53. These guys can work fast to use credit cards before they are canceled.  Unfortunately, our once-successful CourtWatch program seems to have disappeared from the DA’s office and I never get notifications as to when these thieves are scheduled for court hearings – too bad. Anyone from the DA’s office want to comment here?

Larceny Other: At the nail salon on PDL Avenue at PDL Place, a billfold and contents was taken by a male accomplice of a female “customer”. An Inman School student left his cell phone in his jacket that was placed on the ground and it was taken. The suspect was seen on their security tape – but no word as to his being arrested. Elsewhere in the Zone – an unwatched wallet was taken from a baby bag at Target at Edgewood – the victim discovered this as she was ready to check out. In all of the Edgewood stores in this time period, there were 12 shoplifting reports. Also in this same center, a phone was snatched from the victim’s hand as she walked from one store to another. This incident also just amazes me that there was not a “See Something – Say Something” person at the Aldi store on Moreland Avenue when two shoplifters came in with two duffle bags, filled them up with 75 bags of shrimp valued at $600, walked out and fled in a Mercedes-Benz (wonder if this was a stolen car).Thank you to Harris Botnick, the owner of Worthmore Jewelers of Amsterdam Walk, for presenting a very worthwhile professional security/safety seminar this past Thursday – too bad that there were not more area residents present. You do have another chance though, to participate in this presentation this Thursday evening (11/13/14) at 6:30 at the Decatur Rec Center at 321 Sycamore Street.

Thank you to Harris Botnick, owner of Worthmore Jewelers at Amsterdam Walk, for presenting a very worthwhile professional security/safety seminar this past Thursday – too bad that there were not more area residents present. You do have another chance though, to participate in this presentation this Thursday evening (11/13/14) at 6:30 at the Decatur Rec Center at 321 Sycamore Street.Stay alert and aware, remember the Clean Car Campaign which states ALL parked cars are to be cleaned out at ALL times, and enjoy the upcoming holiday season here intown.

Stay alert and aware, remember the Clean Car Campaign which states ALL parked cars are to be cleaned out at ALL times, and enjoy the upcoming holiday season here intown.

VaHi Safety Team Report: October 30, 2014

By: John Wolfinger

Bicycle Thievery

Interesting article about securing bicycles against theft- not being a bike owner myself, I always thought that U-locks were the way to go for protection. Not so – according to this article.

Interesting article about securing bicycles against theft- not being a bike owner myself, I always thought that U-locks were the way to go for protection. Not so – according to this article.  http://www.citylab.com/navigator/2014/10/your-u-lock-is-basically-worthless-but-dont-worry/381818/.

Halloween Safety

Since Halloween falls on a Friday this year – there is the possible danger of mixing adult fun with trick-or-treat fun along with the traffic gridlock.  http://www.myajc.com/news/lifestyles/halloween-on-a-friday-more-fun-mixed-with-more-cau/nhp7t/. Sorry that I do not know how (if it is possible) to forward an AJC article behind their paywall.  http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local/gridlock-guy-halloween-friday-traffic-downright-sc/nhqp9/.

Our New 311 System

I’ve had reports of varying success in using our new 311 non-emergency call system – but guess that we just have to give the city time to work out the bugs.  http://www.ajc.com/news/news/atlanta-launches-atl311-one-stop-city-service-hotl/nhqn9/.

Save The Date – November 6th

Our annual Street Captain’s meeting on 10/25 was well attended, with great discussions on many subjects.  I will be sending out the notes from this session in a separate report.  Harris Botnick, the owner of Worthmore Jewelers at Amsterdam Walk announced a safety/security seminar he is sponsoring at 6:30 p.m. at Loca Luna in Amsterdam Walk on 11/6. Every VaHi street should be represented at this session, along with our neighborhood businesses too – as this concerns both personal, residential and business safety matters. We also invite our neighbors from surrounding east-side neighborhoods – we are all in this together.  http://worthmorejewelers.com/blog_posts/view/70-worthmore-is-hosting-free-personal-safety-seminars  Loca Luna should be packed for this evening.

Help Wanted

Our neighborhood off-duty patrol service, Fight Back Against Crime (FBAC), is in desperate need of some administrative help to assist Nancy Safay with marketing, e-publishing and general computer skill sets. This patrol is a neighborhood fixture with a 20 + year track record of serving VaHi and deserves our support, both with memberships as well as talents to guide its growth and stability.  Contact Nancy Safay at safay629@comcast.net for more details.  http://www.fbacvahi.com.

The following reports are taken from our APD Zone 6 (http://atlantapd.org/Zone6.aspx) VaHi Beat 601 reported incidents for the 2014 weeks 40, 41 and 42 (9/28 – 10/18).  As I always state, these reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to let you know what happens around us everyday – so you can be alert and aware.

Aggravated Assault: No reported incidents from Beat 601

Auto Theft: Two scooters were taken from the same Briarcliff Road parking lot on the same nite.  One was chained – but the chain was cut.  There were 35 vehicles taken from all over Zone 6 in this time period.

Commercial Burglary: No reported incidents from Beat 601

Residential Burglary: On 10/2 a PDL Place apartment was entered (with no signs of forced entry) with a 47″ tv, an I-pad and 2 laptops taken.  On 10/4 a St. Charles Avenue apartment was entered via a rock thrown thru a window resulting in a playstation and controllers taken.  On 10/8 during the day a Virginia Avenue residence was entered by removing a kitchen window screen.  This suspect was arrested thanx to an alert neighbor who called 911 right away.  On 10/10 the first of our string of nite-time burglaries was committed on Adair Avenue with entry via a broken rear basement window – taken were 2 laptops, one laptop bag and a driver’s license.  On 10/15 on Park Drive entry was via a broken back window – taken was a sledge hammer.  On 10/18 a Rosedale Road residence was entered via an unlocked side window – taken were 2 I-pads, 2 desktop computers, 1 laptop, a wallet and contents and headphones.  A third nite-time VaHi burglary was reported on 10/26 with the Elkmont Drive residents being wakened to scare off the thief – entry was via a broken glass door.  Also – in this string of nite-time burglaries were one on East Morningside Drive in Morningside and another on University Drive in DeKalb County.

Commercial Robbery: No reported incidents from Beat 601.Residential Robbery: No reported incidents from Beat 601

Residential Robbery: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Pedestrian Robbery: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Larceny From Vehicle: A vehicle was entered on North Highland Avenue (laptop taken).  The license plate was taken from a motorcycle on Greenwood Avenue, and a catalytic converter was sawed off on North Highland Avenue.  This is an amazing decrease in the number of these incidents on our Beat.  There were 91 reported incidents in this time frame all over the Zone.

Larceny Other: At the CVS on North Highland Avenue a shoplifter put a can of beer in his shirt and he was arrested.  Two Apple I-pads were stolen from an Inman School classroom.  Two outgoing checks made out to Bank of America were stolen from an Orme Circle mailbox. One was cashed at a Forest Park Bank of America with the other check being refused to cash.  A “customer” was allowed to take out a bicycle from  Paris on Ponce for a BeltLine test ride and he and the bike never returned.

Nearby at the Edgewood Best Buy store – a customer put down her purse on a counter to get help from an employee and she lost $3000 in cash, a green card and a passport.  At all of the Edgewood Retail District stores – 14 shoplifting reports were filed.

With the recent nite-time burglaries – now is a good time to be honest with yourself and install good exterior lighting (not just a 40 watt bulb on the front porch), trim down over grown shrubbery around and under windows, get in the habit of locking ALL doors and windows (day and nite) and use your alarm system if you have one.  Hide your billfold and purse at nite before retiring – not just leave it on the kitchen table in view of a window along with your phones and laptops.

Recent Incidents in Candler Park/ Lake Claire Area

A Candler Park adult female was attacked at her home as she unloaded groceries – the story at http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/clip/10765046/candler-park-woman-fights-attacker. The suspected attacker is still at large as of today and his picture is enclosed in this tv news clip. He has supposedly been sighted a couple of times since this attack, but no arrest has been made.The attempted abduction of a Candler Park student is detailed at

The attempted abduction of a Candler Park student is detailed at http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/girl-says-she-fought-attempted-kidnapper/nhqzH/. APD Zones 2, 5 and 6 are working with the School Detectives Section to step up patrols around schools as well as main routes to schools in our general east-side area. No arrest has been yet made either of the suspects in the purple van.

There was also a report on one of our message boards about a suspicious incident on Rosewood Drive here in VaHi concerning a 7y/o female, walking her dog, stating that a white passenger van (with no commercial lettering) stopped beside her on the street and the b/m driver spoke into a phone and then drove on. The child ran home with the parent calling in a 911 report. No further word on this incident.

These incidents point out that parents should have conversations with their children about safety precautions and awareness. Children should be taught to walk in groups to and from school. Set up a safe route to school and have a plan about safe houses or businesses children can go to if they are scared or threatened. Children should know their home address and parent’s phone numbers as well as another trusted adult. Go over instructions with your children as to how to call 911 and what to say to the operator. Every afternoon as I see children walking from the Inman School – I see many of them talking and texting on their phones and not being at all aware of their surroundings. Yes – cell phones are still being snatched from pedestrians and it could very well happen here too.

And – speaking of calling 911, make sure you have signed up for the Smart911 system.  Go to https://www.smart911.com. Click on the link to create your own family safety profile. Once you are signed up and call 911, the operator already knows facts about the person calling and speeds up the call. This program has now been in effect here in the city for well over a year now and it does work.Dig out your winter jacket and sweater and enjoy fall.

Dig out your winter jacket and sweater and enjoy fall.

VaHi Safety Team Report: October 12, 2014

Please Save These Dates

Saturday, October 18th: This is the date for the annual neighborhood clean up organized by the Keep VaHi Beautiful committee. Meet before 8:30 a.m. on the patio of the American Roadhouse for coffee and breakfast sandwiches, and get assignments for where to go to pick up trash/litter. Bring along your gloves, a scraper for removing stickers and a neighbor to help clean up neglected areas of VaHi. Finish up at noon, and then adjourn to Highland Tap for a special discounted lunch. If you are a Facebook user, go to Keep Virginia Highland Beautiful and “like” this dedicated group to sign up for this clean-up. Yes - there are folks who do care about how our business district looks, being mindful that there are lots of other city neighborhoods now to shop, dine and drink.

Saturday, October 25th: Start gathering at 9:30 a.m., in the lower meeting room at Church of Our Saviour (entrance on Los Angeles Avenue), for socialization and be ready to start at 10 a.m. sharp, for our annual Street Captain’s meeting.  The speaker for this year will be Lieutenant Cummings from Code Enforcement, and I expect a lot of folks who live nearby to 1001 St. Charles Avenue to be present to find out what has happened to the investigation to find the true owners of this beleaguered empty residence that has become an urban campground (to put it nicely). Finding the true owners is tantamount to being able to have someone press trespassing charges. Yes – this educational get together is open to the neighborhood in general (including businesses) as well as all of our Street Captains. We will finish up by noon, so you will still have time to tackle other weekend projects and errands.

The 10/8 Virginia Avenue Residential Burglary Incident

Thanks to a lot of aware folks who alerted me to police activity on Virginia Avenue east of Lanier Boulevard, we found out that a good next-door neighbor called 911 about a burglary in progress in this area and rapid APD response resulted in the arrest of Phillip Gamble. He subsequently confessed to other residential burglaries on Bellevue Drive and on 6th Street in Midtown. These burglary victims owe a debt of thanx to the alert neighbor who called 911 to nab this suspected thief. This was a classic example of “See Something – Say Something” and showed our neighborhood watch system at work. Nosey and aware neighbors are still one of our best lines of defense.

Our Continuing Fulton County Jail Problem

As we enter the umpteenth year of the Rice Street Jail being under federal court order to reduce the number of prisoners – the county commission is still working on solutions (is the end in sight?).

http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local-govt-politics/price-tag-for-fulton-jail-staffing-20-million/nhZKB/

http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local-govt-politics/fulton-hopes-to-jail-fewer-offenders/nhdMc/

The following reports are taken from our APD Zone 6 (http://atlantapd.org/Zone6.aspx) VaHi Beat 601 reported incidents for 2014 week 39 (9/21-9/27). These reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to let you know what happens around us everyday – so you can be alert and aware.

Aggravated Assault: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Auto Theft: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Commercial Burglary: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Residential Burglary: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Commercial Robbery: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Residential Robbery: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Pedestrian Robbery: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Larceny From Vehicle: Vehicles were entered on Crestridge Drive (laptop, backpack and contents), Bellevue Drive (laptop and backpack), and Virginia Avenue (laptop, hard drive and binder).   Three more vehicle owners learned the hard way about the Clean Car Campaign which states ALL parked cars are to be cleaned out at ALL times.

Larceny Other: No reported incidents from Beat 601. However, at the nearby Edgewood Retail District, there were 6 shoplifting incidents reported with 6 arrests (but I always wonder as to how many such incidents go unnoticed by store security, as I am sure you do too).

Enjoy Fall safely, everyone.

VaHi Safety Report: September 29, 2014

By: John Wolfinger

A Flasher Among Us

There have been two different reports of a flasher in the neighborhood. The first report on the 9/27 NextDoor and VHLIST message boards from Brookridge Drive at Orme Park describes the suspect vehicle as a gold Honda Odyssey minivan that drove back and forth until he exposed himself in front of a female jogger, who was reported as having called 911 with the license plate number.

The second report was on the parent’s VHMPA message board on 9/29 reporting a similar vehicle where the driver exposed himself to a male and his children on Lanier Boulevard. This report thought he was maybe a w/m, but does not state as to whether 911 was called.

Does anyone know the female jogger victim at Orme Park who supposedly called 911 with a license plate number, so we can share this info with everyone? Let me know, so we can have a complete description of what to be looking for. In the meantime though, if you spot a similar vehicle with the similar behavior – please call 911 with as much descriptive info as you can provide.

For those of you (like me) who would not know what a Honda Odyssey looks like – check this link.  http://www.thecarconnection.com/cars/honda_odyssey

The following reports are taken from our APD Zone 6 (http://atlantapd.org/Zone6.aspx) VaHi Beat 601 reported incidents for the 2014 weeks 36, 37 and 38 (8/3 – 9/20). These reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to let you know what happens around us everyday, so you can be alert and aware.

Aggravated Assault: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Auto Theft: A 1996 Honda Accord was taken from Greenwood Avenue.  A 2001 Volkswagen Passat was stolen from Maiden Lane. A 2005 Mitsubishi Galant was taken from Highland Terrace with a suspect, but no word of an arrest.

Commercial Burglary: A rental unit at Extra Space Storage on Kanuga Street was broken into via the door shattered by a brick.

Residential Burglary: A home on Bellevue Drive was entered via a broken rear window, with several items taken.

Commercial Robbery: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Residential Robbery: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Pedestrian Robbery: No reported incidents from Beat 601. However, these such robberies are continuing elsewhere in the Zone – with cell phones still being grabbed, or taken at gunpoint.

Larceny From Vehicle: Vehicles were entered on Lanier Boulevard (briefcase), St. Charles Avenue (textbook and laptop), Virginia Avenue (laptop and miscellaneous papers – a witness saw this incident, but the suspect escaped on foot). St. Charles Avenue (3 guitars), Los Angeles Avenue ( 2 I-pads, 2 cameras and a backpack), PDL Place (bicycle), Virginia Avenue (dash ripped out – but nothing taken), and PDL Avenue (2 Ohio license plates taken).  Keep checking behind your car to make sure you still have a license plate.

All around the Zone in this time period there were 105 such theft incidents reported – who knows how many such thefts were NOT reported.  Nearby at the corner of Somerset and North Avenue, $5000 in cash was taken from the console of a pickup truck.  The owner had locked the doors, but left a side window open. Just sayin’ that if I ever had $5000 in cash – I sure as heck would not leave it in my vehicle.

Larceny Other: At the MJQ Club on PDL Avenue, a patron felt someone’s hand in her handbag – they took her cell phone. At the Intown Hardware a male in an old SUV pulled up to the outdoor grill display and loaded one up in the back of his vehicle. An employee asked if he had paid, he answered “yes” and while the employee went inside to check – the suspect drove off with the grill. I hate to see such a nice business being taken advantage of.

There were two front porch package thefts reported – one on Frederica Street and the other on St. Augustine Place. PLEASE, PLEASE take advantage of the free and safe delivery service offered by Intown Hardware on North Highland and Morningstar Storage and Urban Body on PDL Place. All you have to do is go by one of these friendly local merchants and sign up to use their safe address for your intended packages to be delivered to. They will even call you when you have a package to pick up. If you have friends or neighbors who are not aware of this service – please let them know – and insure that their packages are safely received. We can so easily stop this kind of theft and not give these thieves a reason to roam our streets looking for packages to steal.

Nearby at the Edgewood Retail District, a Lowe’s customer put down her wallet and (you guessed it) when she returned it was gone. Also at Edgewood at the Kroger store, a male took a bottle of wine to the men’s room and was found slumped on a commode. At all of the Edgewood stores in this time period there were 18 cases of shoplifting with several arrests made, especially at Target and Kroger. One of the Kroger thieves put a gallon of ice cream in his pants, but was caught. That would be a chilling experience to say the least. There is evidently an opening at the Best Buy for a new employee – one rang up a $749.99 item for $79.99 and was caught.

Lawn care companies continue to lose equipment from unwatched trucks and trailers. Please warn your lawn care guys of this danger.

Remember the Clean Car Campaign – ALL parked cars are to be cleaned out at ALL times.

VaHi Safety Team Report: September 9, 2014

By: John Wolfinger

Parking Laws and Regulations

Thanks to my friend Susan Kanellos of the Piedmont Heights neighborhood watch for passing on this handy list of where not to park here in the City of Atlanta – maybe save yourself a ticket by reading and then printing out this list to keep in your vehicle for reference.

http://www.atlantadowntown.com/sustainability/get-around/parking/city-parking-laws-and-regulations

“Light Up The Night” Family Bike Ride

This sounds like a neat family bike riding experience on 9/13. This ride benefits the Gold Shield Foundation which assists public safety employees injured in the course of duty. Our own Lieutenant Jeff Baxter, head of the BeltLine Path Force, is the local president of this organization.  https://vimeo.com/105166221

The BeltLine Lantern Parade

It is nice for me to report something nice that does not involve some sort of criminal activity – the Lantern Parade is one of those events.

http://saportareport.com/blog/2014/09/atlanta-beltline-lantern-parade-now-a-new-magical-tradition-for-our-city/

I have not heard of any incidents along the parade route and that is good that 15,000 people can safely gather together outside in the dark without fear. I’m sure that there were some cars that were broken into though along the route where there were things that were left visible.

The following reports are taken from our APD Zone 6 (http://atlantapd.org/Zone6.aspx) VaHi Beat 601 reported incidents for the 2014 weeks 34 and 35 (8/17-8/30).  These reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to let you know what happens around us everyday, so you can be alert and aware.

Aggravated Assault: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Auto Theft: There was a 1996 Honda Accord stolen from the parking lot at the Virginia Highland apartments on Virginia Avenue.  Around the Zone in this time period there were 35 such reported thefts.

Commercial Burglary: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Residential Burglary: Instead of relying on the responding officer’s narrative – I am repeating the report I got from the victim of a residential robbery on St. Louis Place on 8/25 at about 12:35 p.m.

“The suspect knocked on our door soliciting yard work.  My husband declined and he moved on.  Shortly thereafter we took our dog for a walk and passed the suspect on our street as he was knocking on a neighbor’s door. When we returned to our house, our MacBook, I-pad and I-phone were missing.  We called 911 and my husband went to look for a suspect. He found the same guy in Freedom Park, called 911 and followed the suspect til police arrived and apprehended him near Austin Avenue. The suspect was a 17 y/o w/m.  He had jumped our fence and entered via our unlocked back door. We are now locking all of our doors always and will not be opening doors to any unknown solicitors.”

Detective Gurley tells me that this arrestee also admitted to another residential burglary on Sidney Street in Grant Park. I admire the victim for tracking the suspect that far and being there to identify him to the responding officer.

PLEASE, PLEASE do not think that just because you have part or all of your lot fenced in that it is impenetrable by our thieves, and you do not need to lock doors and windows.

Commercial Robbery: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Residential Robbery: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Pedestrian Robbery: An off-duty waiter was held up at knife point after dark in the Intown Hardware parking lot by a lone suspect who accepted $5 from the victim’s work apron.  The suspect fled on foot west on Drewry Street.

Larceny From Vehicle: Such reported thefts were on St. Charles Avenue ( ski jacket, GPS and a laptop), Virginia Avenue (laptop, purse and contents), North Highland Avenue (laptop and printer), Virginia Avenue (laptop and backpack), Drewry Street (breast pump- no I do not make these things up), Frederica Street (laptop), Virginia Avenue (2 laptops), North Highland Avenue (camera, lenses and a tablet), Maiden Lane (cell phone, laptop, diamond engagement ring, 2 pair sunglasses), North Highland Avenue (laptop, files, bag), PDL Avenue (9mm pistol), Barnett Street (laptop, I-Pod) Virginia Avenue (clothing, cd’s),and PDL Avenue (wallet and contents – the door was unlocked!).

All over the Zone in this time period there were 92 such reported thefts – when will we ever learn??????  Elsewhere on Memorial Drive, the steering wheel air bag, headrests and the radio/cd player were taken – somebody taking orders for specific car parts?

Larceny Other: This is an interesting story.  At a North Highland Avenue parking lot, the victim came to retrieve his parked trailer and it was missing.  He had locked one wheel, so there were skid marks on the pavement, which he tracked to Briarcliff Road (the trailer must have been heavy to leave pavement marks).  It was hooked to a pick-up truck and when he confronted the driver he drove off minus the trailer.  The report does not specify as to how the trailer was unhooked.  Sometimes these reports leave some questions.

Nearby, two suspects were arrested after being caught stealing copper wire from lite poles along Freedom Parkway near Boulevard.

Also nearby at the Edgewood Retail District Target and Kroger stores there were 12 reported shoplifters resulting in 12 arrests.  Though I wonder as to how many shoplifters in these stores were not caught.

Remember the Clean Car Campaign which states that ALL parked cars are to be cleaned out at ALL times.  As long as we continue to offer lots of “stealables” left in plain sight in parked vehicles – the thieves will continue to roam our streets.

Stay alert and enjoy the rest of summer.

VaHi Safety Team Report: August 24, 2014

By: John Wolfinger

Great AJC Story About Maiden Trail

I am so glad that the St. Charles Avenue and Barnett Street residents who created the idea to clean up the unpaved alleyway between Barnett and Frederica Streets are getting some metro-wide recognition for their hard work. This alley formerly was a haven for urban campers and a place for drinking and drug usage, and now is a great place for dog walking, biking and strolling. The more of our neighbors who now use this trail for legitimate reasons, the more unattractive it is for illicit activities. Thanks to Zone 6 and FBAC for adding this to their patrol routes.  http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local/our-town-atlanta/ng6ds/.

Face Sketch of the Recent Freedom Park Trail Attacker

There is now a “face” attached to this Candler Park trail attacker at  http://www.ajc.com/news/news/sketch-released-of-suspect-in-freedom-parkway-trai/ng6kq/. Please remember that when out jogging, walking or biking stay alert at all times, whether on one of our area trails or city streets.

Body Mounted Police Cameras

I’ve always wondered when this concept was coming to APD and it may well be on the way – not going to be an inexpensive project though.  http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/atlanta-police-chief-looks-body-mounted-cameras-of/ng66q

Contacting APD

Thanks to Rosedale Drive Street Captain Kay Stephenson for penning a great essay about how to contact APD. There are so many new residents here in VaHi all the time and this information needs to be repeated.

“911 is the number to call for both emergencies and non-emergencies. When you call a precinct or zone headquarters, the phone is answered by an officer, but he has no ability to dispatch field officers, or take any action. Our 911 call center is staffed to handle these calls. The precincts and zone headquarters are not. The operators who take the initial 911 calls are trained to prioritize calls and then hand them off to dispatchers for APD, AFR and Grady EMT’s. If the call is not an emergency, it will be appropriately added to the queue and addressed as time permits. The good thing about a system such as this is that all information is captured and tracked from the first call.  Calling other APD numbers actually just mucks up the system. An abandoned car may not be an emergency, but it also might be the missing link to solving a serious case, so having it immediately added to tracking databases is important. A non-emergency 311 call center is being worked on – but is not ready to roll out yet, so until that time please do call 911 for everything.”

The following reports are taken from our APD Zone 6 (http://atlantapd.org/Zone6.aspx) VaHi Beat 601 reported incidents for the 2014 weeks 31, 32 and 33 (7/27-8/16). These reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to let you know what happens around us everyday, so you can be alert and aware.

Aggravated Assault: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Auto Theft: A 2004 Honda CRV was taken from Briarcliff Court.

Commercial Burglary: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Residential Burglary: At a Greenwood Avenue apartment, the resident victim opened the door to the suspect who had come back to retrieve some items he had left behind earlier – after an argument he grabbed her phone and fled. The suspect was found later thanx to the “Find My iPhone” app and was arrested. On Lanier Boulevard, a door and window were pried open for entry – but nothing reported missing.

Commercial Robbery: No reported incidents from Beat 601. At the Walgreen store at Piedmont and North Avenues, a simple shoplifting incident was upgraded to a robbery, when the suspect pushed an employee. Unfortunately the suspect fled and escaped.

Pedestrian Robbery: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Larceny From Vehicle: Of the reported 110 such incidents all over Zone 6 in this 3 week time period, amazingly enough, there were only 6 Beat 601 reports.  Briarcliff Place (gps), Greenwood Avenue ( headphones & cash), Virginia Avenue (radio face plate & gps), Elmwood Drive (license plate taken), PDL Avenue (backpack, 3 suitcases and contents, laptop, $300 cash,and a hard drive), Lanier Boulevard (laptop and backpack).

Keep walking behind your vehicle periodically to make sure you still have a license plate.

Larceny Other: At an un-named North Highland Avenue bar, a patron playing shuffleboard put her purse under the table and it was gone when she finished the game.  Two witnesses reportedly saw the theft, but evidently no one said or did anything at the time, and the thief (who was wearing a waiter’s apron) got away.  At the PDL Avenue library, a wallet and its contents was stolen from a patron’s laptop bag.

Nearby at the PDL Avenue Kroger and Publix stores – two shoplifting incidents reported.  At the Publix and Walgreen stores at Piedmont and North Avenues – 3 shoplifting incidents reported.  At the Edgewood Retail District Target, Ross and Kroger stores 17 shoplifting incidents were reported resulting in 16 arrests.  At this Kroger store, a suspect took a 6-pack of beer into a men’s room stall, drinking two of the cans before security could get at him.

If shopping is on your bucket list for Labor Day weekend – stay alert even though these guys are off the street.  http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/atlanta-police-arrest-second-suspect-phipps-plaza-/ng592/.

Have a good holiday weekend, and remember the Clean Car Campaign – ALL parked cars cleaned out at ALL times.

VaHi Safety Team Report: August 5, 2014

By: John Wolfinger

Watch Out For Pedestrians!!!

Thanks to Mary Stouffer for pointing out this very enlightening pictorial article about pedestrian/motorist laws: http://peds.org/wp-content/uploads/4754-ROW14.pdf.

Got Kids (or Grandkids) and Firearms???

Interesting and helpful tips about storing firearms in your household and vehicles at http://www.ncpc.org/topics/safe-firearms-storage/safe-firearms-storage.

Citywide Code Enforcement Meeting Saturday August 16

This should be a very informative session as to how our APD code enforcement section has to operate. Visit http://www.atlantadistrict6.com and scroll down to the bottom of Councilman Wan’s page for details. This will be from 9 am until noon in the Civic Center meeting rooms. This will be of particular interest to those residents who are being impacted by the urban campers at 1001 St. Charles Avenue who cannot be removed because of the current convoluted ownership situation of this property. APD has to have the property owners issue trespassing warrants – which is the problem with this property. Is it time to change the rules?  Attend this meeting and find out. We should have a big group present about this problem property (and any other neighborhood problem addresses), so be sure to register the addresses before you attend to get answers.

The following reports are taken from our APD Zone 6: http://atlantapd.org/Zone6.aspx. VaHi Beat 601 reported incidents for the 2014 weeks 25,26,27,28,29 and 30 (6/15 – 7/26). Note the long time period, which deviates from my usual every other week report. Zone 6 is now caught up and should be back to their usual weekly reporting. These reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to let you know what happens around us everyday, so you can be alert and aware.

Aggravated Assault: On 7/17 at the Frederica Street construction site for new condos, our known problem person, Danny Entrekin, was arrested for the attack on the property owner with a box cutter and chunk of concrete after he was asked to leave the property.  No injuries reported.  Entrekin was charged with a city charge – so he might be back on the street by now.

On PDL Avenue a highly intoxicated female victim with visible bruises was told by a 3rd party to make a police report of physical attack. The accused w/m suspect was present at the time and denied the attack. This happened at the Open Door on PDL Avenue.

Auto Theft: On 6/23 at 1:45 a.m., an APD Officer attempted a traffic stop on PDL Avenue for a vehicle without lit headlights, they did not stop, sped away and crashed at Linwood and North Avenues with the driver and passenger fleeing on foot. This vehicle had just been stolen from Greenwood Avenue by the 2 males (one armed) who took the key from the owner who was standing on the sidewalk with friends. The handgun was recovered in the wrecked vehicle. Other stolen vehicles were – PDL Avenue, 2003 Ford Ranger – PDL Avenue, an unsuccessful theft attempt damaged a 2005 Honda CRV (2 laptops taken though) – St. Charles Avenue, 1997 Jeep Cherokee (recovered and arrrest made) – Greenwood Avenue, 2005 BMW (recovered) – Virginia Avenue, 2000 Jeep Cherokee – Highland View, 2007 Honda Civic.

Commercial Burglary: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Residential Burglary: An under renovation house on Briarcliff Road was entered via a broken window and tools stolen.

Commercial Robbery: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Residential Robbery: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Pedestrian Robbery: On 7/13 the female victim called for an Uber cab to pick her up in front of 818 North Highland Avenue. A tan Mercury Gran Marquis pulled up, driven by a b/m and said he was her driver. On the way to the requested destination of Boulevard/Edgewood Avenue he stopped and got out for a while, but then got her to her destination where she saw her waiting friends on the sidewalk, but he drove to a secluded spot where he demanded (without a weapon) her cash. She gave him $40 and he then drove back to Edgewood Avenue, where the victim exited while he was stopped, and flagged down an APD patrol car to give this report. The Mercury did not have an Uber sticker and the victim was not hurt.

On 7/18 at 8:45 p.m., a w/f that had been walking back and forth in front of Moe’s and Joe’s patio, suddenly grabbed a cell phone and purse from a table. One of the males at the table gave chase and grabbed the purse, but the suspect fled.  The responding Officer caught the female suspect on Vance Avenue and an arrest was made.

Larceny From Vehicle: Yeah – you are right, this is a long list and this is only the reported such incidents. I’m sure there were many more intrusions that were not reported. Frederica Street – 1 report, PDL Avenue – 2 reports, Greenwood Avenue – 1 report, St. Charles Avenue – 3 reports, Maiden Lane – 1 report, North Highland Avenue – 3 reports, Virginia Avenue – 1 report, Maryland Avenue – 1 report, Adair Avenue – 1 report, Drewry Street – 1 report, Elmwood Drive – 1 report, Cooledge Avenue – 1 report, Orme Circle – 1 report, Vance Avenue – 1 report. Some of the reports of note – on Rosedale Drive a key to a vacation home was taken from a vehicle and used to try to gain admittance to the adjacent house – the noise alerted the homeowner and the thief was scared away. In the back parking lot of the Druid Hills Presbyterian Church locked lawn care equipment was taken from the back of a truck – but thanx to Lt. Roberson and Officers Somers and Irving, an arrest was made. Lawn care equipment was also stolen from an open trailer on Lanier Boulevard.In this 6 week period there were 278 such vehicle intrusions reported all over Zone 6!!!

Larceny Other: On Briarcliff Court a social security card, cash and a birth certificate were stolen by a visiting stranger. At the Urban Body on PDL Place – 2 male suspects entered when the employee went to the back room and took cash from the drawer along with a laptop. At the Briarcliff Summit a tenant lost a rented x-box and desktop computer taken by a visiting cousin. A UPS package was taken from a North Highland Avenue front porch. On PDL Avenue a street dispute between victim and known suspect resulted in a cell phone being taken from the victim. On Virginia Avenue, tires were taken from a chained bicycle in an outside stairway. In a North Highland bar, the victim advised she mislaid her purse on the bar (containing 2 I-phones, watch and wallet) but was too tired to report it immediately. The purse and some items werre recovered by police.

Nearby, our PDL Avenue Kroger and Publix stores reported 4 shoplifters, the Publix and Walgreen stores at Piedmont and North Avenues reported 11 shoplifting incidents and all Edgewood Retail District stores reported 20 shopliftings. Also at the Edgewood Kroger, yet another unwatched purse was taken from a shopping cart.

Even though school has started – there is plenty of summer left, so enjoy it safely, and keep ALL parked cars cleaned out at ALL times.

VaHi Safety Team Report: June 16, 2014

The Terrible Road Rage Incident in Piedmont Heights

I would think that by now, most everyone in the metro area is familiar with the road rage incident on Flagler Avenue in Piedmont Heights that has left cyclist Greg Germani in critical condition at Grady Hospital - but it bears repeating. The details are at http://www.decaturish.com/2014/06/apd-releases-video-vehicle-hit-cyclist/. This video came from a Flagler Avenue’s home security camera – thanks to this resident for coming forward with this tell-all tape. Thanks to my friend Susan Kanellos, the Piedmont Heights neighborhood watch chair, for recruiting folks to create a dedicated Crimestoppers reward fund for info as to the red Dodge Nitro and it’s driver. https://fundly.com/reward-fund-for-the-greg-germani-case Yes, these Crimestoppers rewards do serve as a carrot to find folks who will report anonymous info on a crime.  www.crimestoppersatlanta.org/OurImpact-24  Someone, somewhere knows about this driver and his vehicle and I hope that the reward fund will bring them to make a report to Crimestoppers.

Upcoming Citizen’s Fire Academy

Details of this wonderfully informative (and eye-opening) training session from AFR is at www.atlantaga.gov/index.aspx?page=672&recordid=2868. It’s been a while since this program has been offered and as a graduate from a few years ago – this is well worth the time spent to learn about what all is required to be a firefighter. My most memorable moment of this training was when I conquered my fear of heights long enough to climb up to the top of a 150 foot ladder on the back of a fire truck. The night we did this exercise was windy and let me tell you – that ladder sways in the wind!

APD Tackles Our Repeat Offender Problem

This article has some very revealing figures as to how many of our city’s crimes are committed by 481 repeat offenders.  www.atlantaintownpaper.com/2014/06/481-atlanta-police-targeting-repeat-offenders/

In Memorium – APD Captain Michael J. Giugliano

Unfortunately, Captain Mike only lived long enough to collect but one of his retirement checks before succumbing to cancer. I got to know him when he was our 2nd in command here in Zone 6 – a great cop and a real gentleman. http://www.legacy.com/link.asp?i=1s000171319166

National Night Out – August 5th

Even though I am not planning a neighborhood-wide event for this police/safety awareness event – if there are individual Street Captains who would like to have smaller events please let me know and I will send you the registration papers.  www.natw.org/about/  This evening is a good excuse to have a block party and help to strengthen our community crime awareness spirit.

The following reports are taken from our APD Zone 6 (http://atlantapd.org/Zone6.aspx) VaHi Beat 601 reported incidents for the 2014 weeks 21 and 22 (5/18-5/31). These reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to raise your level of awareness as to what happens around us everyday.

Aggravated Assault: No reported incidents in Beat 601

Auto Theft: Vehicles were taken from Amsterdam Avenue (2007 Chevy Malibu) which was recovered on Elkmont Drive – Virginia Avenue (2003 Chevy Impala) – Greenwood Avenue (1996 Honda Accord).

Commercial Burglary: No reported incidents in Beat 601.

Residential Burglary: No reported incidents in Beat 601.

Commercial Robbery: No reported incidents in Beat 601.

Residential Robbery: No reported incidents in Beat 601.

Pedestrian Robbery: No reported incidents in Beat 601.

Larceny From Vehicle: OK – here is our neighborhood downfall.  Lanier Boulevard (backpack, Ipad, laptop), Vance Avenue (Ipad, Iphone, chargers,briefcase), PDL Place (bag, watch), PDL Place (catalytic converter), North Highland Avenue( laptop), Virginia Avenue (duffle bag, clothing,backpack), St. Charles Avenue (owner’s manual), Los Angeles Avenue (gym bag,clothing), Virginia Avenue (gym bag, clothing), Los Angeles Avenue (laptop).

In this time period there were 71 such reported incidents all over Zone 6 with 28 laptops, books, pads, etc taken and three handguns added to the arsenal already on the streets, as well as 2 catalytic converters sawed off. PLEASE – remind your friends and neighbors of the Clean Car Campaign – ALL parked cars to be cleaned out at ALL times. I always feel sorry for those folks who adhere to these rules and still have their car broken into, just because these thieves are here in the neighborhood. These no-theft intrusions still need to be reported via 911 just to let Zone 6 know where the thieves have been.

Larceny Other: A bicycle was taken from a North Highland Avenue garage (not mentioned as to whether the garage door was locked or open). A locked bicycle was taken from Virginia Avenue. An unwatched cell phone was taken from a table at a PDL Avenue restaurant.

Around the Zone in this time period – this one takes the cake!  In the Edgewood Retail District parking lot near Best Buy, the suspect agreed to meet the victim to sell him cell phones – the victim gave the suspect $4000 in cash and he ran and (you guessed it) got away!!! Also – at the Edgewood Target store – shoplifters took $3000 worth of “Crest White Strips” in one fell swoop. Why??

Enjoy summer and stay safe. Be sure to let your Street Captain and trusted neighbors know of your vacation plans so they can watch your house. If you are a member of FBAC (www.fbacvahi.com) – be sure to let them know when you are away so your house can be on their walk around checklist. This member service from FBAC is a real comfort when you are away to have a uniformed Officer checking for you.

VaHi Safety Team Report: June 2, 2014

By: John Wolfinger

Summerfest!!

I would think that everyone in VaHi knows that this weekend, June 6, 7 and 8 is our annual neighborhood celebration of summer – but this serves to notify anyone who is not aware.  This weekend also serves as a great chance to get to know more of your neighbors by volunteering for a job spot – go to www.vahi.org/summerfest/volunteers if you have not already signed up. This also includes all of our neighborhood renters – you are as much a part of our community as homeowners, and you need to know your neighbors also.

Traffic Sign Visibility

Thanks to the ever diligent Mary Stouffer for bringing up this subject of low tree branches and new shrubbery growth that may be obscuring traffic signs.  Now that we have leaves on the branches, signs that were visible in the winter are now covered with foliage.  Please check your block and if you have such a situation, get your trimmers/pruners out and cut back the offending foliage for the safety of all.  If you spot signs, traffic lights hidden by branches that are too high to reach – then send an e-mail with a picture to publicworks@atlantaga.gov  along with a reinforcement report to PEDS at  http://peds.org/get_involved/report-pedestrian-hazards/.

The following reports are taken from the APD Zone 6 (http://atlantapd.org/Zone6.aspx) VaHi Beat 601 reported incidents for the 2014 weeks 18, 19 and 20 (4/27 – 5/17). These reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to raise your level of alertness as to what happens around us everyday.

Aggravated Assault: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Auto Theft: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Commercial Burglary: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Residential Burglary: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Commercial Robbery: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Residential Robbery: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Pedestrian Robbery: No reported incidents from Beat 601. However, nearby there were a couple of incidents to note and learn from. On Boulevard, a car stopped at a red light with the windows rolled down, was approached on the passenger side by two males, one pointing a semi-automatic handgun at the driver, who took his cell phone and wallet that held $904 in cash. Then, at a Memorial Drive gas station, the suspect reached into the car while the driver was pumping gas and grabbed her purse – she fought back, but he still grabbed $250 in cash from the purse before he fled. Also – cell phones are still being grabbed from unsuspecting pedestrians around the Zone.

Larceny From Vehicle: North Highland Avenue (laptop and backpack), Maiden Lane (laptop, headphones, saddlebag), North Highland Avenue ($1293 in cash, 4 pair of Air Jordans, car keys, backpack, tablet and laptop – this thief really hit the jackpot!), North Highland Avenue (book bag, clothing, I-Pod, tablet and laptop), North Highland Avenue (nothing reported being taken), North Highland Avenue (prescription meds), St. Charles Avenue (backpack, overnight bag and pocket knife), Maiden Lane (camera and gym bag), Los Angeles Avenue (book bag), Frederica Street (catalytic converter), North Highland Avenue (2 purses and contents), Maiden Lane (camera, suitcase), Lanier Boulevard ( gym bag), Greenwood Avenue (backpack), Maiden Lane (laptop), Lanier Boulevard (nothing reported being taken), Maiden Lane (purse and contents), St. Charles Avenue (bags and camera), Virginia Avenue (bags and clothes). Also reported was the theft from the liquor delivery truck behind the post office that I posted the security camera film footage on the last report. This was 21 reported incidents for just our neighborhood in 3 weeks!

All over the Zone in this time period there were 130 such reported incidents and goodness knows as to how many that were not reported. All around the Zone – there were 29 laptops, tablets and I-Pads taken, along with 6 firearms to be added to the arsenal already on the streets. Also – for the first time in some time – there were 4 reported thefts of catalytic converters in all of the Zone.  There must be a platinum buyer back in town again!

Larceny Other: On St. Charles Avenue a male ran up to a female seated on the ground counting her money and grabbed her $80. On Rosewood Drive, a trailer with lawn equipment was stolen.  Please tell your lawn guy to lock his trailer at the hitch, as well as chaining and locking all of his equipment – those locks and chains are far less expensive than losing all of his equipment. At the Inman School, a purse locked in a classroom cabinet had the wallet taken out of it and a juvenile was arrested. A bicycle (evidently not locked) was taken from the front of the PDL Avenue library. A cell phone and personal information (which resulted in fraudulent accounts set up) was taken from a Greenwood Avenue apartment.

Nearby, a pickpocket was reported at the PDL Avenue Publix store and a victim left her purse in a dressing room at an Edgewood Retail District store and when she returned – (you guessed right) it was gone.

I hope that everyone enjoys a safe Summerfest weekend. Remember, there are going to be thousands of visitors here, so remember to lock ALL doors and windows while you are out of your residence. And – if you see visitors leaving stealables visible in their parked cars – remind them of the Clean Car Campaign.

VaHi Safety Team Report: May 13, 2014

Pre-Summerfest Neighborhood Cleanup

Keep Virginia Highland Beautiful has scheduled a cleanup, concentrating on the Atkins Park business node, this Saturday morning 5/17. Meet at the American Roadhouse patio at 8 AM with your gloves for get-going coffee courtesy of genial owner Emile Blau. Bring along paint scrapers for removing stickers, and if someone has leaf blowers and string cutters – please bring them along too. We’ll finish up by noon. This project represents a good way for APS students to get in some public service hours. Questions to Tim Langan at t_langan@hotmail.com.

Lawn Equipment Thefts

There have been several reported thefts of unwatched lawn equipment from service locations here in this part of town – in LaVista Park on Sheridan Road, in Morningside and on Rosewood Drive here in VaHi. The Rosewood theft involved taking the entire trailer with the equipment on it. Please caution your lawn service guys to keep all equipment chained and locked and if they are using a trailer to keep it padlocked at the trailer hitch (the stolen trailer’s hitch was not locked). The pattern has identified a black Ford Explorer SUV with a paper temporary license plate, driven by two b/m.

Poncey Highland Car Jacking Story

This dramatic story from Blue Ridge Avenue at http://www.11alive.com/story/news/local/2014/05/05/carjacking-victim-fights-back/8736133/.

Liquor Delivery Truck Theft

A 5/7 theft from a liquor delivery truck at Amsterdam and North Highland Avenues was caught on tape by the new security camera system recently installed by property owner Scott Stern. See the film at  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMNAhlsmzf0&feature=youtu.be.This is a long tape so skip to about 10 minutes to see the thieves pull up to the truck with an unlocked back door and make off with several cases of liquor. It’s a good guess that these thieves have been watching this driver and know he is errant in door locking as they had this heist so well planned. Bar and restaurant owners – please warn your liquor delivery guys to keep their back truck door locked at all times.

Calling 911 From The New Highland Park

The much-discussed incident recently about the belligerent homeless guy at the New Highland Park pointed out the need to heed the query from the 911 operator as to whether the caller for service wishes to be contacted by the responding Officer – it is a good idea to say “yes” if you want to add more to the story as it has unfolded as well as being able to find you. If you are moving away from the incident scene – leave your cell phone number so the Officer can call you to ascertain your current location. Since this parkland is privately owned and not a city park, give your location as N. Highland Avenue at St. Charles Place. This does not show up on the GIS screen at the 911 call center as a park, so the operator does not know you are calling from parkland.

The following reports are taken from  APD Zone 6 (http://atlantapd.org/Zone6.aspx) VaHi Beat 601 reported incidents for the 2014 weeks 16 and 17 (4/14-4/26). These reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to raise your level of alertness as to what happens around us everyday.

Aggravated Assault: At the Inman School, a student victim was pulled down a hallway and out a door by 2 juvenile arrestees. The victim’s front teeth were damaged.

Auto Theft: On Drewry Street, an unsuccessful attempt was made to take a 2005 Chrysler.  The steering column, ignition switch and door lock were damaged.

Commercial Burglary: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Residential Burglary: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Commercial Robbery: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Residential Robbery: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Pedestrian Robbery: No reported incidents from Beat 601

However, elsewhere in the Zone – snatch and grab thefts of cell phones continue.

Larceny From Auto: Vehicles were entered on North Highland Avenue (nothing taken), Virginia Avenue (loss not listed), Virginia Avenue (concrete saw taken off trailer – suspect was driving a black Impala – tag # BJT2609), Maiden Lane ( bookbag and contents), North Highland Avenue (keyboard, 2 mice, USB, modem, birth certificate and IRS tax papers), Maiden Lane ( backpack and laptop).

All over Zone 6 in this time period, there were 78 such reported incidents.

Larceny Other: Two locked bikes were taken from a Rosedale Drive porch, and on Virginia Avenue a locked bicycle taken from a bike rack.  A victim got a ride from 2 unknown males for a lift to work in return him buying them gas.  They stopped at the gas station at North Highland and Virginia Avenues with the victim going inside for a soda.  When he came out his ride was gone along with his laptop and a bag containing medication.

At the Edgewood Retail District, both the Target and Office Depot stores were hit by shoplifters taking printer ink cartridges.  The take at Target was $1383 and $3900 at Office Depot.  This is part of a trend of large thefts of such items.

We still are in need of someone to step forward and take command of the VaHi Graffiti Task Force. The initial hard work has been done by diligent Laura Voisinet – now it is a matter of erasing or covering up sporadic cases of this vandalism. Please let me know if you can cover this community need.

VaHi Safety Team Report: April 29, 2014

“Maiden Trail” Awarded a “Love Your Block” Grant From the City

Congratulations to the dedicated and hard-working St. Charles Avenue residents whose homes back up to the alleyway between their backyards and PDL Avenue (now dubbed Maiden Trail) for applying for and receiving a city grant for improvements to what they envision becoming a well-used walking and exercise path. Thanks to Zone 6 for instituting regular patrols through this alley. These folks are having another cleaning session Saturday 5/3. Meet at the alley and Barnett Street dressed in old clothes and with heavy gloves. These folks deserve some help from all of the community.

The Car Repair Scammer Is Back

Thanks to WSB-TV for broadcasting this story, complete with a mug shot, about Orlando Rodriguez, who has been scamming folks for many years along PDL Avenue. He selects mostly American made trucks, vans and SUV’s where it is easy to crawl under and quickly disengage the transmission cable – then when the driver comes back to their vehicle and cannot get it into gear, he suddenly appears with an offer to fix the problem. Please refuse his offer and call 911 immediately. Then call Midtown Tire at 404-874-1112 for real help – store manager Seth Jones will send someone to help you at no charge.  http://midtowntire.com/tires-auto-services-atl-ga. The WSB-TV story is at http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/apd-issues-new-warning-about-long-running-repair-s/nfhTP/.

The following reports are taken from our APD Zone 6 (http://atlantapd.org/Zone6.aspx) Beat 601 reported incidents for the 2014 weeks 14 and 15 (3/30-4/14).  These reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to raise your level of alertness as to what happens around us everyday.

Aggravated Assault: No reported incidents in Beat 601. However, nearby on Boulevard in front of the Atlanta Medical Center, the suspect cut off the victim in traffic – the victim blew her horn and slammed on her brakes to avoid hitting the suspect vehicle. Shortly the suspect cut her off on Freedom Parkway, she pulled up next to him and he flashed a revolver at her. Road rage could be dangerous – resist the temptation for interaction.

Auto Theft: An unlocked 1994 Honda Accord was taken from a Virginia Circle driveway and was later recovered still in drivable condition.

Commercial Burglary: No reported incidents in Beat 601.

Residential Burglary: No reported incidents in Beat 601.

Commercial Robbery: No reported incidents in Beat 601.

Residential Robbery: No reported incidents in Beat 601.

Pedestrian Robbery: No reported incidents in Beat 601.

Larceny From Vehicle: An unlocked Grady EMS van on Monroe Drive was entered and a drug bag and narcotics taken. On Drewry Street $15 in cash and a checkbook were taken. On Virginia Circle there were two incidents with unlocked cars in driveways - a camera and jewelry taken from one and a laptop taken from the other. On Adair Avenue clothing was taken. On St. Charles Avenue a GPS, laptop and sunglasses were taken. On Cresthill Avenue an iPod was stolen. And on Virginia Avenue a camera, clothing, a cell phone and a book bag were stolen. All around the Zone in this time period there were 77 such reported incidents.

Larceny Other: A bicycle was taken from under a PDL Terrace back porch.

Nearby the Walgreen and Publix stores at North and Piedmont Avenues reported 7 shoplifting incidents. Amazingly enough, no reports from the Target store at Edgewood. There was a snatch and grab of a purse at the Publix at North and Piedmont Avenues.

In between the rains get out and enjoy spring in Atlanta. Do please remember though the Clean Car Campaign and keep ALL parked cars cleaned out at ALL times. Remind your visitors, too.

VaHi Safety Team Report: April 18, 2014

By: John Wolfinger

Crime/Safety Summit Meeting

Fulton County Commission Chair John Eaves will be hosting this meeting 4/22/14 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at St. Mark Methodist Church at Peachtree and 5th Streets in Midtown. On the panel will be 5 judges representing all of the county courts as well as DA Paul Howard, Sheriff Ted Jackson, City Councilman Andre Dickens, Zone 5 Commander Major James Whitmire, and Chris Leighty now of Midtown Blue. There is parking at 5th and Juniper Streets. I have attended one of these meetings in southwest Atlanta and it is very interesting as these folks discuss how their jobs interact.

Two Atlanta Firefighters Pass

Our thoughts are with all of our Atlanta firefighters as they mourn the passing of two of their comrades – Jermaine Hall and Frank Guinn.  http://www.wsbtv.com/ap/ap/georgia/funerals-scheduled-for-2-atlanta-firefighters/nfb6s/

http://www.ajc.com/gallery/news/local/photos-family-colleagues-mourn-atlanta-firefighter/gCKHg/#5095960

Our VaHi Safe Delivery Program

For all of the new VaHi residents who have packages delivered by USPS, UPS and FedEx and want to make sure they are not stolen from their front porches – please use the safe delivery address program that has been in operation for several successful years now. Simply go to Intown Hardware, Morningstar Self-Storage or Urban Body on PDL Place and sign up for this free service from these neighborhood merchants, and then have your packages delivered to them in their secure environment. They will even call you when you have a package to pick up.

APD Traffic Stops

I’ve had some questions about the traffic stops that APD conducts city-wide on a regular basis. No – these operations do not steal personnel from the affected beat. Most of the Officers conducting these stops are “floaters” who are not assigned to a particular beat that day. These operations catch a lot of folks with warrants and drivers who are driving without either a license or insurance. You are only detained for a few minutes, but they serve a very distinct purpose and end up benefitting us all in the long run.

APD On Facebook

If you are a Facebook user you may want to friend City of Atlanta Police Department and City of Atlanta Fire Rescue Department – both have very good pages that allow you to see what all they are doing in real time.

The following reports are taken from our APD Zone 6 (http://atlantapd.org/Zone6.aspx) Beat 601 reported incidents for the 2014 weeks 11, 12 and 13 (3/9 – 3/29).  These reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to raise your level of alertness as to what happens around us everyday.

Aggravated Assault:  No reported incidents in Beat 601. However in a North Avenue road rage incident, the victim exited his vehicle to confront the other driver who pulled a pistol on him. The suspect turned around and fled when the victim told him he was calling 911. Yeah – you may really be ticked off when somebody veers in front of you or something of this nature – but keep your middle finger down and off the horn – the other driver may be armed and confrontational.

Auto Theft A 2000 Honda Civic was taken from Frederica Street, a 2006 Honda Accord taken from North Highland Avenue, and a 2007 Jeep Liberty was also stolen on North Highland Avenue.

Residential Burglary:  No reported incidents in Beat 601.

Commercial Burglary:  No reported incidents in Beat 601.

Residential Robbery:  No reported incidents in Beat 601.

Commercial Robbery No reported incidents in Beat 601.

Pedestrian Robbery No reported incidents in Beat 601. However in nearby Little 5 Points there were three such incidents on the evening watch (3 – 11 p.m.).

Larceny From Vehicle:  I usually only list the streets where these incidents happened – but this time I am listing what was stolen to give you an idea of what is left in vehicles to keep these thieves coming back to VaHi on a regular basis.  St. Charles Avenue (lingerie), PDL Place (backpack, boots, sweater, jacket), North Highland Avenue ($250 cash, purses, clothing, prescription drugs), North Highland Avenue (briefcase), Maiden Lane ( bookbag, gym clothes), Arlington Place (laptop, leather bag, books), Drewry Street (suitcase, laptop, camera, GPS, leather jacket, usb modem, clothes, gift card), Briarcliff Terrace (laptop, wallet, $50 cash, passport, credit and ATM cards, driver’s license), Virginia Avenue (laptop), North Highland Avenue (laptop), and Greenwood Avenue (jacket, bicycle).  As long as we and our visitors continue to offer all of these items available for theft – the thieves will be here.  PLEASE – remember and remind visitors about the Clean Car Campaign that states ALL parked cars are to be cleaned out ALL times. In all of Zone 6 in this time period there were 99 reported such incidents – all of which kept our Officers tied up for a long time filling out these reports.

Larceny Other:  On PDL Avenue at Chipotle a patron left behind a purse and when she returned (you guessed it) the purse was gone.  At the CVS store on North Highland Avenue 2 males came in, went behind the counter and took 6 cartons of cigarettes – they tried to strike the manager as they fled.  This must be the 3rd or 4th such incident at CVS stores around the city in the past few weeks.  On St. Charles Avenue a FedEx driver gave a package containing a computer to a person who said he was a neighbor – but he was not. I guess that this resident did not know about the safe address delivery program. At the Inman School a 16 y/o juvenile stole an I-phone and was arrested.  Also at this school a 12 y/o juvenile took an envelope from a counter in the office containing $20 – they were also arrested.

Nearby there were 2 shoplifters caught at the PDL Avenue Kroger and Publix stores – 8 shoplifters caught at the Walgreens and Publix stores at North and Piedmont Avenues, and 8 caught shoplifting in Edgewood Retail District retailers.

A tip from a recent Virginia Circle vehicle theft victim – keep one copy of your registration card out of the vehicle for easier identification.

Stay alert, remember the Clean Car Campaign and enjoy this cool spring weather.

VaHi Safety Team Report: March 13, 2014

By: John Wolfinger

Fulton County Sheriff’s Citizen’s Academy

Sheriff Ted Jackson has announced a new session of his Sheriff’s Citizen’s Academy starting on the evening of 4/23/14 and continuing on Wednesday evenings for 6 weeks. I was a graduate of the first of these sessions a couple of years ago and I highly recommend it. You will get to spend at least one evening behind bars at the Rice Street Jail and another evening inside the Fulton County Courthouse examining all of the security arrangements in place there. Most of the other sessions were held at the Fulton County training center in south Fulton County off Camp Creek Parkway. Hopefully you will get to enjoy a meal prepared by prisoners who are enrolled in the food prep course offered in the jail. Yes – the dinner we were served was very good and no, it was not typical of what is served to the general jail population. Further details can be had by sending an e-mail to Lieutenant Brian McGee at brian.mcgee@fultoncountyga..gov An overview of the Sheriff’s department at http://www.fultonsheriff.org/ – it is a big department responsible for a myriad of functions, and these are enlightening classes.

Another Room Service Lounge Report

This saga continues on, even after the Mayor has signed the punishment recommendations from the License Review Board – yes they are still pouring. The story at http://clatl.com/atlanta/room-service-lounge-slapped-with-alcohol-code-violations/Content?oid=10677929.

The following reports are taken from our APD Zone 6 (http://atlantapd.org/Zone6.aspx) VaHi Beat 601 crime reports for the 2014 weeks 7 and 8 (2/9-2/22). Again, I state as always, these reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to raise your level of laertness as to what happens around us everyday.

Aggravated Assault – No reported incidents from Beat 601

Auto Theft – An unsuccessful attempt was made on Drewry Street resulting in a damaged door lock and ignition. A 2005 Honda Accord was stolen from PDL Avenue along with a wallet and its usual contents. An unsuccessful attempt was made on Greenwood Avenue of a 1999 Dodge Caravan leaving a damaged door lock and ignition. Also on Greenwood Avenue, a 2000 Jeep Cherokee was stolen and later recovered in the Old 4th Ward on Highland Avenue, with the usual damaged door lock and ignition. A 2003 Cadillac Seville was stolen from Virginia Avenue and yielded a bonus to the thief of a revolver.

Commercial Burglary – No reported incidents from Beat 601.

The Liberty Tax Service on PDL Avenue near Kennesaw was entered via the same window used a few weeks earlier with drill bits and a bag of snacks taken, an unsuccessful attempt was made to take the flatscreen off the wall.Residential Burglary – No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Commercial Robbery – No reported incidents from Beat 601.

However, nearby, two shoplifting incidents became robberies when the suspects resisted arrest and fought with security guards – at the Edgewood Target and at the Dollar Store on North Avenue. Both of these guys would have gotten minimal sentences for shoplifting, but will now get stronger sentencing for robbery.

Residential Robbery – No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Pedestrian Robbery – No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Larceny From Vehicle – Vehicles were entered on Clemont Drive, Cooledge Avenue and two on North Highland Avenue. All around the Zone in this time period there were 40 such reported incidents.

Larceny Other – On St. Charles Avenue a chained front porch bicycle had the seat and tire pump stolen from it. Front porches are NOT safe places to keep bicycles – unfortunately your front porch is not as private as you may think it is. A stolen vehicle was used to try to open or dislodge the ATM next to the North Highland Avenue post office – as you probably saw, this attempt was unsuccessful. The slightly wrecked vehicle was left at the scene. Two cell phones were taken from MJQ Club patrons – but the perp was caught and the phones returned to the owners.

Elsewhere in the Zone the PDL Avenue Publix caught 3 shoplifters – one of whom had taken 5 boxes of laxatives and a box of wipes (you read into this whatever you want to). The Edgewood Target store caught a shoplifter who had items in his buggy covered by his jacket who went past the registers and went to the return desk for a refund. When that request was refused, he tried to wheel the buggy out of the store, but was nabbed. At a Moreland Avenue construction site – 3 dumpsters were stolen.

A nasty cold kept me from attending the safety meeting on Cascade Road called by Fulton County Commission chair John Eaves on 3/6 – but I hear there was nothing settled. If there will be another such meeting on this side of the city – I’ll let you know.

VaHi Safety Team Report: February 25, 2014

By: John Wolfinger

Update on VaHi’s Problem Alleyway

The problem-plagued alleyway between Ponce de Leon and St. Charles Avenues has begun an amazing transformation thanks to a dedicated group of St. Charles Avenue and Barnett Street residents. Read about the first cleanup at http://vahi.org/residents-clean-up-vahi-alleyway/.

Now these folks have scheduled a second work session to trim back overgrown shrubbery and small trees to open up the alley and eliminate hiding places for urban camping and other undesirable activities. This session will be this Saturday 3/1/14 at 9:00 AM – meet at the corner of the alley at Barnett Street on the north side of the 737 Barnett Street condo building. Bring heavy gloves and whatever cutting tools you have for use on brush, bamboo and small trees. These dedicated residents have now dubbed this area ‘Maiden Trail’ and are working on plans for this to be a new walking area for neighbors and their pets. If you have questions or want to volunteer to help, contact the group at MaidenTrailATL@gmail.com. Congrats to these folks for facing a problem head-on and working to eliminate it, instead of just complaining about it.

Crime and Safety Summit Meeting and Discussion

There will be what could be a real defining moment in our total city safety situation on Thursday 3/6/14 from 7:00 to 8:30 PM at the Cascade United Methodist Church at 3144 Cascade Road, S.W. Atl 30311. The panelists are John Eaves, Fulton County Commission Chair; Judge Gail Tusan from Superior Court; Judge Bradley Boyd from Juvenile Court; Paul Howard, Fulton County D.A.; Caesar Mitchell, our City Council President; APD Chief George Turner; Fulton County Police Chief Cassandra Jones and Fulton County School Police Chief Felipe Usury.

Some of these are Fulton County people that can address the recidivism problem that Mayor Reed talked about both in his inaugural address and the recent State of the City address. I will be there and hope to see other VaHi and NPU “F” folks also. City-wide and county-wide safety problems impact what happens in VaHi.

Some Sign-Ups To Be Aware Of

If you have neglected to register your home or business alarm system – do this now at https://www.crywolf.us/oss/atlantaga/.

No one plans to call 911 – but you can plan ahead and have the operator already be aware of your name, address, etc. by registering at Smart 911:  https://www.smart911.com/. This can save a lot of talk time on a call for assistance.

If you have vacant property for over 30 days, you are required to register it as such at http://www.atlantaga.gov/index.aspx?page=754.

Thanks to our Zone 6 Commander, Major Peek, for finding more help for our crime analyst section, so that we can have our regular narrative incident reports from Zone 6 again. The following reports are taken from our APD Zone 6: http://atlantapd.org/Zone6.aspx. VaHi Beat 601 crime reports for the 5th and 6th weeks of 2014 (1/26- 2/8). These reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to raise your level of alertness as to what happens around us everyday.

Aggravated Assault:  No reported incidents from Beat 601. However, at the recently changed-ownership Ponce Hotel on PDL Avenue gunshots were fired as the victim and the suspect had a verbal argument over whom a female was to have sex with – the suspect fled. And, at the Clermont Lounge, the bouncer pulled a gun on two patrons for taking pix.

Auto Theft:  A 2006 Ford was taken from PDL Place and recovered in southwest Atlanta. A 2010 Toyota was stolen from a PDL Avenue parking lot and later recovered at a Boulevard gas station.

Commercial Burglary:  No reported incidents from Beat 601. However, at the Druid Hills Methodist Church on PDL Avenue, the suspect hid in the building after closing, broke into a vending machine and stole snacks and cash. At Dugan’s Bar on PDL Avenue, thieves broke a side window and took 50 bottles of liquor.  And at the Liberty Tax Service on PDL Avenue, thieves broke a side window and took a box of fake $50 bills and candy – which were recovered later.  I guess that they thought the bills were real?

Residential Burglary:  No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Commercial Robbery:  No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Residential Robbery:  No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Pedestrian Robbery:  No reported incidents from Beat 601. However, robberies of cell phones continue elsewhere, including a daytime cell phone robbery at Bessie Branham Park in Kirkwood. I had to read this report several times to believe – far south of here on Moreland Avenue, the male victim came to a residential address to meet a female for a paid sex date from an on-line connection, when he was approached by two armed males – the victim jumped out of his car and ran for a mile until he flagged down a cab and called 911.  He admitted he was drunk and high.

Larceny From Vehicle:  Vehicles were entered on Virginia Avenue (yielding a cellphone, laptop and an iPad), Maryland Avenue (a book bag was taken), Bonaventure Avenue (nothing listed as taken), Frederica Street (sunglasses were lifted), and on Greenwood Avenue (a Glock pistol was taken – the report states a window was left rolled down). All around the Zone in this time period there were 34 such reported incidents.

Larceny Other:  A cell phone was left at Neighbor’s Bar and, of course, it was not there when the owner returned. Lawn care equipment was taken from a (quite obviously unwatched) trailer on Virginia Avenue.  An unwatched bicycle was stolen in Piedmont Park. And at Inman School, an unwary student lent his cell phone to a stranger and he fled with the phone.

Stay alert and aware and enjoy city life.

VaHi Safety Team Report: January 17, 2014

By: John Wolfinger

The Room Service Lounge

As most of you know by now, the Room Service Lounge at 1937 Piedmont Circle, NE, was voted unanimously by the License Review Board on 12/17/13 to have a 360 day suspension of their liquor license and be fined $12,500. This establishment has been a thorn in the side of APD (and the immediate neighborhoods) for years now, being the site of many, many crimes as well as underage serving. This decision is now on Mayor Reed’s desk awaiting his signature to become active. Please take the time to e-mail the Mayor and ask him to sign this decision – mkreed@atlantaga.gov

The Ponce Hotel

The sale of this hotel at 551 PDL Avenue, that I was so excited about happening, now seems to have taken a turn-around – there is a Stop Work order placed on their front door.  http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/real_talk/2014/01/ponce-hotel-has-new-owner.html   I was hoping that, with new ownership, this would not continue to be a hang-out for many criminals, prostitutes and druggies.  Now the yellow sign on the door may not signal hope after all.  I’ll keep you posted when I learn what is happening at this building.

Lest We Forget

As we now enter 2014 – let us not forget the memory of the two VaHi murder victims in recent years.  Charles Boyer, killed on Virginia Avenue on 11/22/2010 and Mushtaq “Mike” Moloo, killed on Barnett Street on 8/16/2012.  Boyer’s killer, part of the Jack Boys gang, is in prison for life – but Moloo’s killer has never been apprehended.

Your Sensitive Papers

There were multiple reports just a week or so ago in Piedmont Heights of a young w/m with a shaved head going thru trash cans looking for paperwork.  PLEASE remember to not throw any sensitive paperwork into the trash (including all of those credit card application offers with your name and address preprinted on them), but to shred them for safety.  If you do not have a shredder, take this paper to the monthly Keep Atlanta Beautiful recycling event on the 2nd Saturday at 320 Irwin Street, NE in the Old 4th Ward.  http://www.keepatlantabeautiful.org/community-recycling-centers/  Your 1st box of paper to be shredded is free.

A Good Zone 6 Neighborhood News Story

This Boulevard Heights resident seems to have the VaHi crime-fighting spirit.  Also featured in this newsclip is our Zone 6 Officer Jason Somers – another one of APD’s finest.

http://www.wsbtv.com/videos/news/woman-police-team-up-to-thwart-thieves/vCNZgR/

APD’s December Activity Summary

The APD Greatest Hits at  http://www.atlantapd.org/files/GreatestHitsDecember2013.pdf.

The following reports are taken from our APD Zone 6 (http://atlantapd.org/Zone6.aspx) VaHi Beat 601 crime stats for the 2013 weeks 49 and 50 (12/1 – 12/14).  These reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to raise your level of alertness as to what happens around us everyday.

Aggravated Assault: No reported incidents in Beat 601

Auto Theft: No reported incidents in Beat 601

Commercial Burglary: No reported incidents in Beat 601  We did however have a recent such incident on 1/14/14 at the Rosemont apparel store on North Highland Avenue.  http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/story/24453382/smash-and-grab-robbers-target-vahi-boutique#axzz2qTeW9xfn.

Residential Burglary: A home was broken into on PDL Place via a broken bedroom window with jewelry taken.

Commercial Robbery: No reported incidents in Beat 601

Residential Robbery: No reported incidents in Beat 601

Pedestrian Robbery: No reported incidents in Beat 601.  However, around the Zone – snatch and grabs of cell phones are still happening.  I’m still always amazed that we have not had any of these incidents here, what with all of the folks who walk and talk and are not at all aware of their surroundings.

Larceny From Vehicle: Vehicles were broken into on PDL Place, St. Charles Avenue, North Highland Avenue (3), Hudson Drive, PDL Avenue, Virginia Avenue, Adair Avenue, Maiden Lane, Lanier Boulevard, and in a Cooledge Avenue incident an arrest was made of Dwight Beck – who led  Zone 5 Officers here after he was spotted crouching behind cars on Midtown’s St. Charles Avenue.

There were 88 incidents of this crime throughout Zone 6 in this time period.

Larceny Other: A cellphone and keys were taken from a Briarcliff Summit building apartment.

Thanks to all of the VaHi citizens who responded to my plea for toys to take to Zone 6 for their annual Christmas toy party – the gathering was a resounding success – even with Major Peek leading the singing of carols!!  Not only is he an outstanding cop – but an outstanding vocalist too.

Happy New Year!

VaHi Safety Team Report: 2013 Zone 6 Summary

City of Atlanta logo colorBy: John Wolfinger

Passing on this message from our APD Zone 6 Commander, Major Tim Peek, with a look back at the 2013 Zone crime stats and looking forward to 2014, urging citizen participation in crime prevention.  To see how big Zone 6 is – look at the map at  http://atlantapd.org/Zone6.aspx  Zone 6 goes from Amsterdam Avenue southward to McDonough Boulevard, from the Downtown Connector on the west and eastward to the East Lake neighborhood.  VaHi is but a small part of the entire Zone 6 and we are designated as Beat 601, which follows our neighborhood boundaries.  Zone 6 is also the only APD Zone that is divided between two counties – Fulton and DeKalb.

Note that Major Peek urges those who have not registered their alarm systems to do so before February 1, 2014.  The reasoning is explained at http://www.ajc.com/news/news/police-atlanta-residents-businesses-must-register-/nY7Bm/

The most significant crime category we suffer here in VaHi is larceny from vehicle – so please remember the Clean Car Campaign and keep ALL parked cars cleaned out at ALL times.  Probably most of our VaHi victims of this crime are visitors to our many bars and restaurants – so I again urge our business community to remind their patrons of the danger of leaving ANYTHING visible in their cars before enjoying an evening here.  These thieves know that there is a gold mine of opportunity here and they will continue to roam our streets and parking lots – until they only find empty parked cars and go elsewhere.

Happy New Year!

John

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Citizens of Zone Six, please see the information below…

2013 Overall Crime Statistics

2% up YTD from 2012

2% up YTD from 2011

18% down YTD from 2009

Robbery arrests – 72 robbery suspects arrested in 2013 (18 arrests in the last two months)

Burglary arrests – 74 burglary suspects arrested in 2013 (9 in the last two months)

Theft from auto arrests – 109 suspects arrested for breaking into autos in 2013

You may ask the question “What does any of these statistics mean?” If you, a family member or friend have been the victim of a crime, absolutely nothing. Please know that no number can take the place of a victim of crime. As a method of seeing what’s happening and where, it is critical that we look a these numbers to develop crime trends and strategies. Over time, statistics will paint a picture of what is taking place in the community. The law enforcement profession has undergone enormous changes. Each day, it appears that we are dealing with new crime trends all over. In attempts to make a difference, we are performing many additional tasks aimed at reaching youths since we are seeing a growing trend of senseless crimes attributed to youthful offenders. Of course, if youth commit crimes, the responsibility of the police department is to deliver the offenders to the judicial system and formally charge them just as we would for an adult. We are also working closely with the DeKalb and Fulton County District Attorney’s Offices. We have also reached out and received support from our state and federal law enforcement partners.

In 2013, we experienced a disturbing trend with violent crime.  With that, we also experienced an increase in arrests for those same crimes.  In the last two months, we have arrested 7 persons for burglary and 18 persons robbery/armed robbery.  Although we can’t call this a victory, we can consider it a great step in the right direction.  What is significant is that several investigations were aided by citizens taking the time to report suspicious activity.  This police/citizen partnership is so very important in fighting crime.  We also worked closely with our law enforcement neighbors in the metropolitan area.  Particularly, Zone Six worked closely with DeKalb County’s South Precinct to investigate many of the crimes that border both jurisdictions.  Zone Six also received an enormous amount of support from other sections within the Atlanta Police Department such as our Special Operations Section, Special Enforcement Section and our Community Oriented Policing Section.  All were willing participants and we look forward to working with all for continued progress.

For 2014, we hope that you (citizens and residents) will remain vigilant and continue to partner with police.  We know and realize that without public support, we may struggle to expediently develop information that we need to solve certain crimes.  We ask that you continue to do the following:

  • We ask that you continue to look, observe and report any suspicious activity to the police by calling 911.
  • Install an alarm system if you don’t already have one. Make sure all windows and doors are covered with sensors.  Glass break sensors and audible sirens are also great. Once you have the system installed, be sure to have it registered with the City of Atlanta.  You can do so by going to https://www.crywolf.us/oss/atlantaga/.
  • Light up your lots so that your neighbors can easily see suspicious activity around your homes.
  • At night, please close curtains and blinds so that prowlers cannot see inside your homes at night.  Investigations have revealed that professional criminals often go out and scout which properties they will target.  That is why they are able to hit and leave in such a fast manner.
  • Reinforce your door thresholds so that a simple kick will not allow easy access.  Although not cheap, there are some decorative storm doors that will not simply shatter.  They are good at deterring crime but they must be properly installed.
  • Continue helping with the Clean Car Campaign.  Remember not to hide items in your car but keep them out of your car.  Leave them at home or take them with you when you get out of your cars.
  • Be watchful and always be aware of your surroundings.  Listen to your gut feelings. If someone’s presence makes you uncomfortable, avoid remaining in their immediate presence.
  • When you receive notice of arrests from our Court Watch programs, please be willing to participate in the court process and show up.  We need your help to slow and stop the process of repeat offenders entering and exiting the jails, only to prey on more victims.

In closing, we look forward to having a great 2014.  Our hearts go out to all families that were victims of violent crime, and particularly those who experienced bereavement as a result of crime in Zone Six and throughout the Atlanta metropolitan area.  We can’t simply close out 2013 and act as if it never happened but we can learn from history and hopefully, we can change the future.  Get to know each other and be good, nosy neighbors.  I look forward to working with each and every person.  Happy New Year!

The mission of the Atlanta Police Department is to create a safer Atlanta by reducing crime, ensuring the safety of our citizens and building trust in partnership with our community.

Sincerely,

Major T. D. Peek

Commander, Zone Six Precinct

Atlanta Police Department

2025 Hosea Williams Drive

Office – 404-371-5002

City Cellular – 404-831-0824

Efax    – 404-546-9110

Email  – TPeek@AtlantaGa.Gov

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VaHi Safety Team Report: December 22, 2013

By: John Wolfinger

Holiday Messages from APD and AFR

Our APD Chief Turner sends us a holiday message – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixbiGMxclu8&feature=youtu.be.

A light-hearted but serious musical message from AFR and Chief Cochran  – http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/story/24232277/video-atlanta-firefighters-sing-holiday-safety-song#2o7kGAE7x. I think most of our firefighters were hired for their bravery and not their vocal talents! :) Too bad our folks at # 19 were not included.

APD’s Highlights for November 2013

http://atlantapd.org/files/GreatestHitsNovember2013.pdf

MARTA’s New “See and Say” App

MARTA now has a new app, which is a free smart phone application that allows patrons to report suspicious activity directly and discreetly to the MARTA police at http://www.itsmarta.com/police/see-something.aspx. From someone who does not have a cell phone, I think that this technology is so neat.

The Clean Car Campaign

This much touted APD campaign that states that ALL parked cars are to be cleaned out at ALL times, still gets forgotten about. Our thanks to Scott Stern, the owner of the commercial area at North Highland and Amsterdam Avenues, who has upgraded the parking lot lighting and installed more of our VaHi Safety Team Clean Car Campaign signs as a reminder to his patrons to clean out their cars when parking there. Unfortunately, some folks do not think these signs apply to them.

A couple of sad stories about folks who had forgotten about this campaign – http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/thieves-steal-couple-celebrating-engagement/ncQ8z/. I hate it when a merchant’s reputation gets smeared because of his patron’s naiveté. Another story that does not have a direct link is at http://www.wsbtv.com/, then go to the “news videos” on the right hand side of the page and click on the video captioned “police warn shoppers to be aware of car”. This incident happened in Dawsonville – this can happen anywhere anymore.

Be sure to warn your holiday visitors of this danger when they are at your home or business. VaHi is known to the thieves as a great place to ply their trade, and our car break-ins are increasing. This particular crime is so easy to prevent, yet it goes on and on.

The following reports are taken from our APD Zone 6 (http://atlantapd.org/Zone6.aspx) VaHi Beat 601 crime stats for the 2013 weeks 46, 47 and 48 (11/9-11/30). These reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to raise your level of alertness as to what happens around us everyday.

Aggravated Assault: There was a domestic dispute on Highland Lane.

Auto Theft: Two incidents in this time period – a 2007 Honda Accord was taken from Frederica Street and an unspecified vehicle taken from St. Charles Place.

Commercial Burglary: No reported incidents in Beat 601

Residential Burglary: Two incidents in this time period.  Elkmont Drive- where there were no signs of forced entry other than a slit in a porch screen, with jewelry taken.  Park Drive – entry via a rear window with jewelry and small electronics taken.

Commercial Robbery: No reported incidents in Beat 601

Residential Robbery: No reported incidents in Beat 601

Pedestrian Robbery: The reported details are very sketchy other than a lone pedestrian walking home on Drewry Street from a bar at late nite was approached by two males in a car who asked for directions, then a third male tried to grab a purse. The victim was knocked down in the struggle – but nothing was taken. No reported injuries. There was also a reported such incident with the address of the Briarcliff Summit building – but no details as to whether it was inside or outside of the building or what happened.

Larceny From Vehicle: These reports are seasonally escalating with vehicles entered on Los Angeles Avenue (3), Barnett Street, Hudson Drive, North Highland Avenue (4), Frederica Street, Virginia Avenue (3), Briarcliff Terrace, Greenwood Avenue (2), St. Charles Avenue, Drewry Street, and Clemont Drive.  This is NINETEEN incidents in three weeks – not good!!!!  If you do not clean out your parked car – someone else will!!

Larceny Other: An iPhone, driver’s license and an ATM card were taken from a purse at an un-named bar on PDL Avenue.  When you are unloading your car – do not assume that someone is not watching.  At Amsterdam Walk, a whole case of cymbals was taken from the parking lot – they had been placed on the ground while drums were being taken into a building.  I can only assume that there was a very unhappy musician.

Around the Zone in this time period there were 3 shoplifters caught at our PDL Avenue Kroger and Publix stores and 4 non-payers caught at  the Target Store in the Edgewood Retail District.

In the Edgewood Retail District parking lot a victim met a Craigslist buyer in daylite for her two cellphones – he grabbed the phones and fled. Surprised??   Also in this same parking lot in front of Kroger, a shopper with plastic bags on her arms, picked up her child from the cart, then turned around to get her purse out of the cart and it had been snatched.  All in an instant!!!

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Thanks to all of the generous VaHi folks who left piles of toys on my front porch to take to the Zone 6 Christmas toy drive. I attended the party at the precinct on Friday and there were a lot of very happy kids. I am proud to live in such a caring neighborhood.

Five more thank you’s: first one to Rad Slough from Urban Body who continues to clean up Maiden Lane on a regular basis – we are all indebted to Rad for cleaning up after less civic-minded folks. Also thanks to Dennis Baker of Paris on Ponce for hosting Thanksgiving and Christmas luncheons for our first responders – APD and AFR. And a third thank you to Intown Hardware, Morningstar Self-Storage and Urban Body for being safe delivery addresses for our intended package deliveries. This is a unique VaHi service not found in other city neighborhoods. A fourth thank you to Osteria 832 for hosting their annual Breakfast with Santa. We are so lucky to have such great businesses amongst us. Be sure to let them know with your patronage, and verbal thanks. The fifth thanks goes to all of our diligent and caring Safety Team Street Captains who help our unique neighborhood watch really make a difference in the safety for all of us.

There was a fire in the unpaved alleyway between St. Charles and PDL Avenues after dark on 12/19, evidently caused by urban campers. Thanks to fast response from AFR # 19 there was no serious damage. I had not been informed of all of this camping activity until this incident – but it is evidently becoming a big problem again. The St. Charles Avenue residents who abutt this alley have pledged a cleanup after the holidays and I will be glad to help – keep me informed so we can all help as a whole neighborhood. What goes on in this alley affects all of us.

Stay alert and have a safe holiday season!

VaHi Safety Team Report: December 2, 2013

By: John Wolfinger

Holiday and Every Day Safety

I have a feeling that many of us, who are safety minded most all of the time let the “holiday syndrome” overtake us at this time of year, and let common sense slip as we try to get way too many things done in a limited amount of time. Yeah, you may run into Starbucks or a convenience store thinking you are going to be gone from the car only a couple of minutes and absent-mindedly leave your laptop on the front seat – but that guy hanging around in the parking lot looking for an opportunity to steal something only needs seconds to break your car window and get away with your laptop and all of the data stored in it. Yeah – you have a home alarm system and usually always set it before leaving home – but you think you are only going to be gone a few minutes at the drug store and it will be ok this time – but that guy sitting in the parked car on your street sees that the driveway is empty and no one answers his knock on the door – so he is free for a few minutes to open a back bedroom window that you forgot to lock and he is in and out of your house in minutes and gone in his car. Yeah – you are out shopping and have a bunch of packages to stow in the car trunk before going to another store nearby – but that guy in a nearby parked car sees what you have put in the trunk and while you are gone he jimmies the trunk lock and is gone in seconds with a lot of loot. You have a lot of out of town guests at your annual holiday party and you don’t want to scare your guests, so you don’t remind them to clean out their parked cars before they enjoy your hospitality, and they leave and find their car windows smashed and now they vow never to visit your house again! I think that you get the idea now – just slow down a bit and remember the same common sense safety rules you follow the rest of the year.

The VaHi Holiday Home Tour

By now you know that the annual VaHi Home tour is this weekend. Eleanor Barrineau states she is short just a few volunteers to staff all of the houses – don’t assume your neighbor will step up to fill your slot.  Go to http://vahitourofhomes.org/ to volunteer. Also use this site to see where the open houses are and if you live near one of the houses, expect a lot of cars and park your car in your driveway if you have one and leave that spot for a visitor. Also, if you see a suburban visitor get out of their car with laptops, cameras, etc. visible, gently remind them to hide them. We have never had an incident (that I know of anyway) during the tour – let’s keep it that way. I’ll be letting Zone 6 know about the tour.

Our Safe Address Package Delivery Program

I know, I know – I keep writing about this, but there always seems to be folks who do not know that we have a no-cost way to thwart the front porch package thieves that will be here amongst us. Just go to Intown Hardware, Morningstar Self-Storage or Urban Body on PDL Place and sign up to have your packages sent to their safe address. Then remember to tell your out-of-town friends and relatives to send their holiday gift packages to this safe address (including Aunt Ruth who sends you a fruitcake every year). These friendly community-minded merchants will also call you when you have a package to pick up.

Recent Home Burglaries

We have suffered three home burglaries and one attempt in just the past few days – two in Morningside on Wayne Avenue and N. Highland Avenue and one here in VaHi on Park Drive. There was also a foiled attempt on Virginia Avenue on 12/2. Be sure to lock ALL doors and windows and set your alarm system EVERY time you leave your house. If you are going away on a holiday trip – let your trusted neighbors know and request a house check from FBAC, if you are a member (one of the greatest membership perks IMHO). Not an FBAC member?  Go to http://www.fbacvahi.com/ to find out about this off-duty subscription neighborhood patrol service. If you are already a member be sure to avail yourself of their house check service. Oh yes, stop the mail and newspaper while you are gone.

Stanley Eugene Spradlin

I’m certain that this name rings a bell for most of you (especially Elmwood Drive) in that he was the subject of a neighborhood-wide search the end of September before his arrest by Officer Joe Cooper. He is still our guest at Rice Street and is coming up for a hearing on December 13th in the Fulton County CourtHouse downtown. When I learn of the time, courtroom number and specific charges I will be making a posting on our community message boards, as I am sure there will be many of you who will want to CourtWatch to show the judge we do not want him back on our streets anytime soon.

ADP Zone 6 Toy Drive

The Officers of Zone 6 (http://atlantapd.org/Zone6.aspx) have gotten a list together of needy children in the Zone and are asking for donations of new, unwrapped toys for a Christmas party at the precinct on 12/20. I will serve as a VaHi collection spot for your donations – just leave them on my front screened-in porch at 1054 Vance Avenue, NE before 12/18 and I will take them to the Kirkwood Zone headquarters for you. If you have questions as to what sorts of toys are needed – e-mail Sergeant Caroline Tanksley at   ctanksley@atlantaga.gov to get her advice. Please notify me via e-mail when you are leaving items on my front porch so I can take them inside.

The following reports are taken from our APD Zone 6, VaHi Beat 601 crime stats for the 2013 weeks of 44 and 45 (10/27-11/9). These reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to raise your level of alertness as to what happens around us everyday.

Aggravated Assault: On 11/1 on St. Charles Avenue a solo female resident was walking home late at nite and as she reached her apartment a male assailant grabbed her, pushed her down and stated “if you scream I will kill you” while holding a knife at her neck.  She screamed anyway (good for her) - her boyfriend heard her, came to the window and yelled at the knife-wielder to stop.  Amazingly enough, the assaulter fled into the nite on foot.  Please, please, if you know folks who walk solo late at nite – ask them to take a cab or at the least, walk with a group.  Our neighborhood watering holes will help you find a safe way home – if they are just asked.

Auto Theft: A motor scooter was taken from the garage of the Briarcliff Summit.

Commercial Burglary: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Residential Burglary: On 11/8 a residence was entered on St. Charles Place, stating only that entry was via a rear door, no word as to whether it was locked or not.  On 11/9 a Greenwood Avenue residence was entered with no forced entry noted.

Commercial Robbery: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Residential Robbery: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Pedestrian Robbery: No reported incidents from Beat 601  However though, this category of crime is still prevelant elsewhere in the Zone – which means no walking and talking on your cell phone, as I see so often here in VaHi.

Larceny From Vehicle: A Drewry Street resident lost a purse in a taxi cab, and amazingly enough, her driver’s license was mailed back to her – but not the other contents of the purse.  Vehicles were entered on Briarcliff Terrace (a usually crime-free street), PDL Place, Greenwood Avenue, Orme Circle, North Highland Avenue AND a theft of note on PDL Avenue, in that an off-duty APD Officer lost from his private vehicle’s trunk – 2 handcuffs, an APD flashlite, an APD taser, an APD baton, an APD traffic vest, a 40 cal. Smith & Wesson handgun, 40 cal ammo and his own GPS.  I have a feeling that a certain APD Officer had some serious “splaining to do. Yeah – this kind of theft can happen to any of us, if we are not careful.

Larceny Other: A bicycle locked to a Monroe Drive tree was taken with the lock left on the ground.  I wonder if the bolt-cutter used for this theft was also stolen.

Elsewhere in the Zone – our PDL Avenue Kroger and Publix stores caught 5 shoplifters, and always wonder as to how many are not caught, including the folks who eat their way thru the aisles.

The Target store at the Edgewood Retail District caught four shoplifters – one of whom, after confronted, offered to pay for the merchandise with a bad check!!  He just racked up two charges with that offer.

Stay alert, use common sense safety tactics and enjoy this beautiful holiday season.

VaHi Safety Team Report: November 12, 2013

Two Community Volunteer Job Opportunities Open

Our FBAC (Fight Back Against Crime – http://www.fbacvahi.com/) neighborhood subscription off-duty patrol system is in need of a Marketing/Membership point person to continue the great work started by Brian Gross before he moved to Mexico. Brian has laid all of the important groundwork – so this volunteer job will be to follow and make sure this important safety group maintains its strong membership base. Interested persons please contact Nancy Safay at  safay629@comcast.net.

We also need a successor to follow in the footsteps of Laura Voisinet to head up the VaHi Graffiti Task Force – here again, Laura has done the important groundwork, and a new person just needs to eradicate any new graffiti vandalism that is spotted here. Hopefully this new person will have a tool shed or basement to store the eradication supplies that Laura has in the ready and be able to summon Task Force members to do a quick cleanup. Contact Laura at graffiti@vahi.org to get a rundown on the details.

Zone 6 Christmas Toy Drive is Underway

Yes – it’s that time of year and Zone 6 Officers are creating a list of children in need of some special Christmas cheer.  They are asking for donations of new, unwrapped toys, and I will be glad to serve as a VaHi collection point.  Just being your donations to my front porch at 1054 Vance Avenue, NE after 11/25 until 12/17 and I will take them to Zone 6 headquarters in Kirkwood for the Christmas party on 12/20.  If you have questions as to what sorts of toys are needed send an e-mail to Sergeant Caroline Tanksley at  ctanksley@atlantaga.gov.

Public School Safety Meeting

APS will be having a school safety meeting at Inman Middle School on Virginia Avenue from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on 11/19.

Fulton County Drug Courts – Good or Bad??

This is a tough question to answer as there are good and bad results.  http://www.wsbtv.com/videos/news/state-gathering-statistics-on-effectiveness-of/vCH4DM/

The following reports are taken from our APD Zone 6 (http://atlantapd.org/Zone6.aspx) VaHi Beat 601 crime stats for the 2013 weeks of 42 and 43 (10/13 – 10/26). These reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to make you aware of what happens around us everyday and to raise your level of alertness.

Aggravated Assault: No reported incidents in Beat 601.

Auto Theft: No reported incidents in Beat 601.

Commercial Burglary: The under renovation Briarcliff Summit building on PDL Avenue @ North Highland Avenue had a series of construction supply thefts on two days. On 10/14 two pressure washers and metal pieces were taken from the back parking lot with 2 males in a pickup truck being seen taking these pieces. On 10/15 heavy unchained/unlocked equipment pieces were taken.  Then also on 10/15 two more folks were seen looting the basement storeroom of windows and loading them into a U-Haul truck. Thanx to an observant neighbor across the alley in the Collonade Condo building 911 was called and 2 arrests were made in this incident.

Residential Burglary: A Greenwood Avenue residence was entered with no signs of forced entry (maybe via an unlocked door) with small personal items taken.  An Adair Avenue home was entered via a bedroom window with jewelry and small electronics taken.

Commercial Robbery: No reported incidents in Beat 601.

Residential Robbery: No reported incidents in Beat 601.

Pedestrian Robbery: No reported incidents in Beat 601.

Larceny From Vehicle: Vehicles were entered on Bonaventure Avenue, PDL Avenue, North Highland Avenue and Drewry Street.

Amazingly enough – the Drewry Street incident was the only report for Week # 43!!

Larceny Other: A bicycle was stolen from PDL Place and power saws were taken from an Adair Avenue residence work site.

Elsewhere in the Zone – our PDL Avenue Kroger and Publix supermarkets caught 4 shoplifters.

Stay alert and keep ALL parked cars cleaned out at ALL times.

VaHi Safety Team Report: October 28, 2013

By: John Wolfinger

Two Neighborhood Cleanups Planned

The fall neighborhood business district clean-up coordinated by Keep Virginia Highland Beautiful will be this Saturday morning (11/2) from 8 until 12 Noon – meet at the American Roadhouse patio for coffee and pastries before donning your gloves and setting out for your assigned area. This will be a good family outing  – if your kids are old enough to bend over and pick up litter they are quite eligible to join in. The Old 4th Ward had 150 people at their recent Boulevard cleanup – so let’s not let them beat us in numbers. More details at  http://vahi.org/date-set-for-keep-virginia-highland-beautiful-fall-clean-up-event/

Then, on the following Saturday morning (11/9), the BeltLine Security Patrol and the Piedmont Park Conservancy will be cleaning up under the Park Drive bridge from 9 until 12 Noon. This cleanup should be of particular interest to those VaHi residents west of Monroe Drive and I hope that many of you can join in on this cleanup, since this is right in your midst. Just show up under the bridge with your gloves and be ready to join in.

VaHi Home Tour Needs More Volunteers

Eleanor Barrineau is looking for more helpers to staff all the houses for this annual event on 12/7 and 12/8. I always meet more neighbors by volunteering for this event and it is an enjoyable way to introduce our community to visitors.  Read the details at  http://vahi.org/volunteers-needed-for-2013-vahi-tour-of-homes/

Our Safe Address Delivery Program

For those of you who may be new to the neighborhood – we have an easy and free way to thwart the front doorstep thieves who will soon be out looking for packages to steal. Just go by Intown Hardware, Urban Body on PDL Place or Morningstar Storage (formerly CityStorage) and sign up to use their safe addresses for the intended delivery of your packages. Then be sure to let all of your friends and relatives who send you holiday packages to use this address for shipping to you. These friendly neighborhood businesses will also call you to let you know you have a package to pick up. This program has been in operation for several years now and it really works – take advantage of it. Also – if you know a package is to be shipped via FedEx – their office on PDL Avenue at the Plaza will hold packages for you – stop by there to get the details. Don’t let Aunt Millie’s gift fruitcake end up in the bushes somewhere.

Making Suspicious Activity 911 Calls

The COPS division of APD has a great video on YouTube showing how to make such calls. This video “stars” two Zone 6 alums – Officers Woolfolk and Trotter – in their premier acting assignments.  http://youtu.be/ZupdDxc3WCE

Last Summer’s Missing Child Incident

I was very impressed at the writing and reporting ability of Grady High School student Mary Claire Morris as she wrote up the facts of this scenario that we all lived thru last summer.  http://thesoutherneronline.com/frontpage/?p=8162

FBAC Activity Reports

For those of you who always wonder what our subscription off-duty neighborhood patrol group (Fight Back Against Crime) does during their patrol times – the following figures will give you an idea at how busy this service is.  These figures are for 9/22 – 10/19.

Directed Patrols – 22, Park and Walks – 21, Suspicious Person – 6, Alarm Response – 9, Suspicious Vehicle – 3, Parking Complaints – 5, Noise Complaints – 2, Out of Town Checks – 12, Abandoned Auto – 1, FBAC Member Contacts – 5, and Intoxicated Person – 2.

Learn more about this community service and how to join up at  http://www.fbacvahi.com/

The following reports are taken from our APD Zone 6 (http://atlantapd.org/Zone6.aspx) crime stats for the 2013 weeks of 40 and 41 (9/29 – 10/12).  These reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to make you aware of what happens around us everyday and to raise your level of alertness.

Aggravated Assault : On 10/6 at the clubs around the corner of PDL Avenue and PDL Place, an intoxicated club patron was arguing with club security.  He was calmed down and went to the parking lot – it was then that people were screaming that someone had a gun.  An arrest was made by an off-duty officer at the scene with no shots fired.

Auto Theft: A 2000 Honda Civic was stolen from St. Charles Avenue.

Commercial Burglary: No reported incidents from Beat 601

Residential Burglary: No reported incidents from Beat 601

Commercial Robbery: No reported incidents from Beat 601

Residential Robbery: No reported incidents from Beat 601

Pedestrian Robbery: On 9/29 a group of friends was leaving a North Highland club at closing time when one female was supposedly forced into a car that was not a cab.  One male friend ran alongside the car trying to open the door, but was not successful.  The driver took $120 in cash from the victim’s purse and then they stopped at an ATM where the victim withdrew more cash. She left the ATM location with 2 unidentified females who were following the car and they took her home to Sandy Springs.

On 10/3 a male/female couple were robbed at gunpoint at the corner of Greenwood and Frederica by 3 males who sped off in a waiting vehicle.  No injuries to the victims were reported.

On 10/8 the male victim stated he was riding his bicycle on Greenwood Avenue in the evening when a vehicle hit him intentionally from behind.  The victim stated 2 males exited from the vehicle and kicked him in the face, and that they fled in the vehicle.  The victim stated he was unable to find help, so climbed a grassy hill and passed out.  No word in the report as to how it was that he was found by the officer or as to the extent of his injuries.

Larceny From Vehicle: Vehicles were entered on PDL Place, Bonaventure Avenue, Virginia Avenue, St. Charles Avenue (3), North Virginia Avenue, Lanier Boulevard, Greenwood Avenue, Los Angeles Avenue, North Highland Avenue, and Drewry Street.

In this two week time period there were 84 such incidents all over Zone 6.

Larceny Other: The victim plugged her I-pad into a plug at an unidentified PDL Avenue restaurant, went to the restroom and (surprise!) it was gone upon her return.

An unwatched cell phone was taken from a counter at the Bank of America on PDL Avenue.

At a St. Louis Place apartment the victim stated the suspect came in his (unlocked?) front door stating he was looking for his cell phone.  A fight ensued and the suspect grabbed the victim’s cell phone and fled on foot.

An unwatched purse left on a chair at an un-named PDL Avenue bar had the wallet taken from it while the owner was in the restroom.

Elsewhere in the Zone our PDL Avenue Kroger and Publix stores caught 2 shoplifters and the Edgewood Target store caught 5 non-paying visitors.  An unwatched cell phone was taken from a shopping cart at the Edgewood Kroger store.  A cell phone was snatched out of a hip belt- holder from an Edgewood Barnes and Noble customer.

At a Boulevard gas station a male approached a female in a cab offering her some cocaine.  She handed him her phone so he could enter his phone number, he ran and she gave chase – only for him to circle around the cab to take her I-pad off the seat, and he got away.

For all of the hundreds of parents who are accompanying their kids for trick-or-treat night – don’t forget to get new batteries for your flashlight. In all of the years I have been doing these reports I am not aware of any incidents on this night – let’s keep it that way.  FBAC and APD both will be looking out for the roving groups of parents and kids Thursday evening.

Enjoy fall and Halloween safely!

VaHi Safety Team Report: October 14, 2013

By: John Wolfinger

Neighborhood Cleanup Planned for Nov. 2

Keep Virginia Highland Beautiful, an independent coalition of concerned businesses and residents, has announced a community fall cleanup on Saturday morning, November 2, from 8 AM until Noon. Meet at the patio of the American Roadhouse restaurant at 8 AM for coffee and pastries and to get assignments to fan out along the North Highland business corridor. RSVP at either  keepvirginiahighlandbeautiful@gmail.com or at their Facebook page  https://www.facebook.com/events/221805984647003/.

If you are involved with a church, school, service, business or other such group – please consider this as an invitation to join in to make this morning a resounding success. If you also would like to self-organize a cleanup for other specific neighborhood areas – please let us know so you can be worked into the total effort for this day. Our previous cleanups have made a significant difference – let’s make this the best one yet.

What does this cleanup have to do with public safety? A lot – in that I am a confirmed believer of the “broken windows theory of crime prevention” – read about this at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broken_windows_theory.

In the meantime before the cleanup – we urge business and property owners to take a critical look at the area from your front door to the street and make an extra effort to clean up broken glass, cigarette butts and trash every day. This also apples to residents by making sure your property is well groomed all the way to the street. As you take your daily walk, take a plastic bag with you to gather up litter as you walk.

A special thanks goes out to Rad Slough of Urban Body for continually cleaning up the west end of Maiden Lane. If your business or residence backs up to this street, please consider partnering with Rad to keep this street even cleaner.

Cell Phone and I-Pad Thefts

These devices continue to be stolen from unwary addicted users every day all over the city. Many are stolen as they are laid down unwatched. Display these personal electronic devices cautiously in public. A recent such theft incident in Buckhead is documented at  http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/story/23663243/police-arrest-3-after-woman-robbed-of-ipad. This caution also applies to the BeltLine – this popular path has been free of incidents lately, but don’t tempt fate.

Residential Security Camera Systems

Two very recent incidents were captured on high-resolution camera systems. The stories at  http://www.wsbtv.com/videos/news/home-surveillance-video-catches-robbers-breaking/vCFfHf/  and http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/gun-wielding-car-jacker-caught-tape-20541011. Congrats to Zone 5′s Lieutenant Cantin for becoming a nationally known crime fighter via this film.

These camera systems are increasingly becoming more and more sophisticated with very clear images – but I am not knowledgeable about such electronic gear. If anyone out there would like to write up a short blurb about these new cameras, I would be glad to share with everyone in the community.

The following reports are taken from our APD Zone 6 (http://atlantapd.org/Zone6.aspx) crime stats for our VaHi Beat 601 for the 2013 weeks of 37, 38 and 39 (9/8 – 9/28). These reports are now meant to scare anyone, but to make you aware of what happens around us everyday and to raise your level of alertness. Note that this report contains 3 weeks of stats, instead of the usual 2 weeks – life has gotten in my way and I’ve just gotten behind in compiling a report.

Aggravated Assault: No reported incidents from Beat 601

Auto Theft: A 2008 Toyota Camry was stolen on Virginia Avenue and a scooter was taken from Briarcliff Court.

Commercial Burglary: No reported incidents from Beat 601

Residential Burglary: No reported incidents from Beat 601

Commercial Robbery: No reported incidents from Beat 601

Pedestrian Robbery: No reported incidents from Beat 601

Larceny From Vehicle: Vehicles were entered on PDL Place, Virginia Circle, Drewry Street, Virginia Avenue, PDL Avenue, Los Angeles Avenue (2), and North Highland Avenue (2).  In this 3 week total, there were 120 vehicles entered for theft all over Zone 6. Imagine that if everyone adhered to the Clean Car Campaign – how much more time Zone 6 Officers would have to spend patrolling, instead of writing up auto larceny reports. This is one of the easiest crimes to prevent – yet this category continually drives our crime stats upward every week. And – we all pay for this with higher insurance rates. Please warn your out-of-the-neighborhood visitors to clean out their cars before leaving their parked cars. The same goes for your lawn service guys – all equipment in the back of their trucks needs to be chained down.

Larceny Other: An unwatched cell phone was taken at an un-named PDL Avenue business.  Four unwatched cell phones were taken from 4 student football players while they were exercising in the gym. The North Highland Avenue CVS store spotted a shoplifter, but he got away.

Do you lock your car doors while pumping gas?  At Buddy’s gas station on North Avenue a purse was stolen from the front seat while one perp distracted the gas pumper and another took a purse from the front seat and both fled.  At a gas station on Boulevard – one perp asked the pumper “what you need?” and his accomplice took a laptop from the front seat and both fled.

At the Edgewood Retail District Target store, an unwatched cell phone was taken from a shopping cart.

Stay alert and enjoy this wonderful fall weather.

VaHi Safety Team Report: September 10, 2013

By: John Wolfinger

Good People Rule!!!!

I know that when most of you see yet another Safety Team Report, you expect to see more bad news on the crime front (and yes there is such news further down in this report), but I wanted to lead this time with some good news about recent events that have come down with no significant bad problems.

During the Labor Day weekend, Downtown and Midtown hosted DragonCon, several athletic events, Black Pride, etc. with no bad incidents per the Zone 5 report at last week’s NPU “M” safety meeting. Thanks to Zone 5, led by Major Whitmire, for all of the advance planning that culminated with tens of thousands of visitors enjoying Atlanta hospitality.

Then, this past weekend thousands more reveled in the glow of the nighttime BeltLine lantern parade and the daytime sunshine of Peachtree Street’s Streets Alive celebration – again without major incidents. I was a bit apprehensive about so many folks being on the BeltLine well after dark – but there was safety in numbers of good folks. What was not too long ago an urban wasteland, the BeltLine hosted tens of thousands of residents enjoying each other’s company in safety.  http://www.atlantaintownpaper.com/2013/09/estimated-50000-took-part-atlanta-streets-alive/   http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/news/2013/09/09/atlanta-beltline-lantern-parade.html

911 Calls Do Make A Difference!!!!

This past week’s events demonstrated this very well. All of the 911 calls that were placed about sighting Stanley Spradlin resulted in his arrest last Thursday 9/5. That recap and the note of thanx from our Zone 6 Commander, Major Peek, at  http://vahi.org/vahi-safety-team-update-spradlin-and-hannibal-captured-neighborhood-thanked/.  Thanks to our new Zone 6 Community Prosecutor, Keith Lamar, Spradlin has no bond and is safely ensconced in the Rice Street jail, awaiting further hearings. We will have CourtWatch opportunities eventually and I will be making message board posts as these come up at the Court House.

This past week also, a VaHi resident called 911 about a guy sleeping on their front walk, and it turned out to be Bobby Perry, who has warrants from Bartow County. He was one of the four who burglarized and vandalized the Virginia Highland Church back in 2009 – but is out of prison now from that sentence. He has been seen a lot lately on PDL Avenue, as well as North Highland, and has a  long list of priors just like Spradlin. Our Zone 6 Investigator Gurley has told me he is going to talk to Perry about our recent home burglaries and car break-ins before he gets shipped off to Bartow County.  http://www.jailbase.com/en/arrested/ga-fcso/2013-09-07/bobby-james-perry-1325296.

Also – while on the subject of 911 calls, there is finally discussion about the confusion of cell phone placed 911 calls near the Atlanta-DeKalb County border that happens here in this area.  http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/residents-911-call-confusion-could-cost-lives/nZp8Q/. Thanks to Natalyn Archibong for exploring this dangerous problem.

Emergency Preparedness

If you do not yet have a family plan for emergencies – there is a good form for listing details for all household members at – http://www.cdc.gov/phpr/readywrigley/documents/family_communication_plan.pdf.

Police Information Sharing Plan

Yes, I would have thought that this would have been SOP, evidently not – but is becoming a reality now.  http://www.atlantaga.gov/index.aspx?page=672&recordid=2266

The following reports are taken from our APD Zone 6 (http://atlantapd.org/Zone6.aspx) for the 2013 weeks of 33 and 34 (8/11 – 8/24) for our VaHi Beat 601. These reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to make you aware of what happens around us everyday and to raise your level of alertness.

Aggravated Assault: No reported incidents from Beat 601. But – across PDL Avenue at Dugan’s bar, a patron pointed a handgun recklessly at several other patrons and an arrest was made. Guns and booze don’t mix well.

Auto Theft: A ’93 Toyota was stolen from Greenwood Avenue. On Orme Circle a stolen car report was cancelled after the owner realized the car had been left on Park Drive around the corner. Whoops!!

Commercial Burglary: Two separate incidents from the under-renovation Briarcliff Summit building on PDL Avenue. On 8/14 there was a lot of scrap metal pieces taken from the basement workroom via a kicked-in door. Then on 8/24 stoves, a/c units, etc were taken again from the basement via a damaged door. Hope that basement door is now REALLY secured!

Residential Burglary: The first of our string of residential burglaries was reported on 8/23 in the 600 block of Park Drive – with entry made via a broken out rear window.

Commercial Robbery: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Residential Robbery: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Pedestrian Robbery: On 8/23 in the 500 block of Park Drive at 11:30 p.m. the female victim was returning home and saw a male on the sidewalk who raised her suspicions.  She stayed in her car for a while until he left from sight. When she got out of her car, he reappeared with a companion and asked for her car key – the car was keyless ignition and they did not know how to start it. They then took her cell phone, debit card and driver’s license and fled into the night on foot. The victim was not hurt. In a situation such as this – it’s a good idea just to drive away and either wait for a while before returning home or call 911 or FBAC (if you are a member and they are on duty) to ask for a safety escort to your door.

Larceny From Vehicle: Vehicles were entered on North Highland Avenue (6), Briarcliff Road, St. Charles Avenue, Monroe Drive, PDL Place (2), Virginia Avenue, Maiden Lane and St. Louis Place.

Larceny Other: At a North Highland Avenue store, two males took an employee’s unwatched cell phone while being distracted by these males. A chained bike was taken from a Virginia Avenue apartment porch. PLEASE – hide these bikes while not in use!  Front porches are not a good hiding place, as we see from this and many, many previous reports!

Safety Team Meeting

Street Captains, business owners and other interested neighbors – don’t forget the safety meeting this Saturday morning (9/14) from 9:15 until 11:30 in the basement meeting room at Church of Our Saviour at North Highland and Los Angeles Avenues.  Enter from the Los Angeles side of the church. We fully realize that all Street Captains and business owners will not have the chance to attend – but please ask a watch list neighbor or staff member to attend in your place. Our guest speaker will be Captain Brent Schierbaum of the 911 call center and video integration center. This represents an excellent way to better understand how these vital APD services function to serve us. Coffee from San Francisco Roasting and pastries from the BeltLine Kroger will be served. Thanx also to Father John Bolton for allowing us to use the church meeting room.

VaHi Safety Team Update: Spradlin and Hannibal Captured, Neighborhood Thanked

By: John Wolfinger

Major Peek has written a nice note to the citizens of VaHi that I am glad to share below. Thanks to all of the folks who reported their Spradlin sightings to Zone 6 via their 911 calls. I saw Keith Lamar, our Zone 6 Community Prosecutor at the NPU “M” safety meeting last night and he will see that Spradlin does not get bond this morning at his first hearing in the jail house courtroom. Now – his arrest does not necessarily clear up the recent residential burglaries we have suffered. It remains to be seen yet as to what, if any, of these recent incidents can be attributed to Spradlin – so this does not mean you can let up your vigilance on safe guarding your home. I suspect that it will be a while yet before we know anything on this front.

I have also been informed by Zone 6 Investigator Gurley that Kevin Hannibal is also behind bars in a capture away from this neighborhood on entering auto charges. Once he is finished with Fulton County charges – he will be sent to Clayton County for charges against him there. His dance card is filled for a while now.

This still leaves us to be watching for the silver 4-door Chevrolet sedan for suspicous activity.

I also want to state that it is great to have Officer Cooper working in our neigborhood again, as per Major Peek’s note below.

And another shout-out to the Elmwood Drive folks, led by Jo Ann Zyla, who had their way to capture Spradlin all set to go by luring him back to their street with the promise of more work. He was nabbed though before this plan got to go forward.

Major Peek’s email:

Good evening,

With the help of the Virginia Highland Safety Team and the residents in the community, we are glad to share that Stanley Spradlin has been arrested. Mr. Spradlin was wanted for a burglary in the Virginia Highland community. Under the supervision of Sergeant T. Apple, Officers J. Cooper and L. Alston were working in an undercover capacity. They were able to spot Stanley Spradlin in the area based on the tips that you (citizens in the community) provided. This is a true testament of how successful we can be as a city, when citizens and police work together as one to fight crime. Thank you all for what you are doing. We look forward to this relationship growing as we continue to serve the Zone Six community.

Sincerely,

Major T. D. Peek

Commander

Zone Six Precinct

Atlanta Police Department

2025 Hosea Williams Drive

VaHi Safety Team Report: BOLO

By: John Wolfinger

I received the message below from our Zone 6 Commander, Major Peek, on Monday and I immediately posted it on all of our neighborhood message boards. Since then I have had several requests to send it out via our Safety Team network also, since there are many residents who are not members of any of the message boards. At the bottom of this report are two people and one vehicle to be on the lookout for.

This is a time when “See Something – Say Something” is of vital importance to get whomever is violating our fellow residents’ homes. Yeah – these burglaries have happened at night – but this thief may very well be out and about during the daytime checking out houses. Since two of the incidents have involved entry via 2nd story windows – please make sure your ladders and those of your neighbors are well stowed and hidden away. Even though the thief reportedly unscrewed the exterior light bulbs on Amsterdam Avenue – keep all of those outside lights on anyway. If you know of neighbors who are away from home – make sure their newspapers and mail have not accumulated and collect this for them. Make sure your electronics are not visible from your windows, and above all – make sure that ALL doors and windows are locked at ALL times – whether you are in or out of your house.

There have been a couple of “fake” jogger reports, too – the runner that stops and starts a lot looking in yards and cars as they are trying to look like they are just out getting some exercise and trying to blend in with the community. This sort of behavior should raise your suspicion and if you see such people while you are on the street – stop and ask them an innocent question such as if they know the time or where a certain street is (if you are comfortable doing this) – this will help to get across to them that they have been noticed. Then when you are out of their sight – make a suspicious person call to 911 noting which way they are traveling, their physical description and what they are wearing.

—————————————–

John,

Thanks for giving us an opportunity to address the concerns listed. We have noticed the burglary pattern that has appeared with late evening/early morning burglaries.  Unfortunately, several communities are experiencing similar patterns. We are aware and we are also in dialogue with Zone Two and DeKalb County since they are also experiencing similar trends. We are also communicating with other law enforcement partners in attempts to increase visibility while we gather more leads to try and bring these criminals to justice. If possible, please send the message to your community that we need their help (eyes and ears) to combat these crimes. I can assure you that we are putting all of our officers out in the areas when we see crime trends changing. Understanding that we can’t be everywhere at the same time, having extra eyes and ears allows us to cover more ground. The cases have already been assigned to detectives and they are working diligently to resolve them. In recent days, we have been able to catch one burglar and identified some other burglars. We have caught other thieves because residents called when they noticed suspicious behavior. Yes, it will help if they make sure that ladders and other items are not left for criminals to use in their attempts to gain entry to the properties. The option of partnering (community and police) will prove to be very effective in the fight against crime. To sum it up, we will be there and we will increase our efforts in every way we can to detect and deter criminal activity.

Please see the incident locations below:

  • #132412694     5XX Orme Circle 08/29/13 (Thursday) Resident left at 2030, alarm went off at 2228. Rear window broken out and back door left closed but unlocked. Main floor ransacked. Electronics stolen.
  • #132432716    10XX Amsterdam Avenue 08/31/13 (Saturday) Resident left at 1730, returned at 2250 found rear window broken and the rear door closed but unlocked. Electronics stolen.
  • #132450776    7XX Amsterdam Avenue 09/02/13 (Sunday) Resident at home from 2300. At 0800 found side window broken and electronics stolen. Resident was home at the time of burglary.
  • #132450991    7XX Virginia Avenue 09/02/13 (Sunday) Resident was at home at 0320 and heard noise in house, disregarded it. At 1030 resident found side window broken out and electronics stolen. Resident was home at time of burglary.

VaHi Safety Team Report: August 27, 2013

By: John Wolfinger

Fulton County Sheriff’s News

Fulton County Sheriff Ted Jackson has announced a new sex offender location service at http://www.communitynotification.com/cap_main.php?office=55274. You can use this website to locate the residences of such offenders.

At the Rice Street jail, Sheriff Jackson announced the graduation for some inmates who have completed one of the jail programs being utilized to help turn inmate’s lives around.  https://www.facebook.com/?ref=tn_tnmn#!/media/set/?set=a.187023658145379.1073741864.141153622732383&type=3

Read about one of these programs, Canine Cellmates, at http://caninecellmates.org.  Granted, all of these jail programs cannot turn around all persons being released, but every former inmate who does not return to a life of crime is good for all of us. Thank you, Sheriff Jackson.

Registering Your Burglar Alarm

You can now register your business or residence alarm system at https://www.crywolf.us/oss/atlantaga/GeneralDocs.aspx?Rpt=FAQs.c1d. Granted, you have until February to complete this mandated registration – but why wait? It’s something you need to do – so get it over with. I registered mine online and it only took a few minutes (would be even less for those of you who can type faster than I can).

Crime Stoppers

The phone number of 404-577-TIPS that you see at the end of so many crime stories on local TV station newscasts, must really work as detailed in this Crime Stopper report at  http://crimestoppersatlanta.org/blog/.

The BeltLine Mounted Patrol

If you have not yet seen this terrific YouTube video – check it out at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oMciWt-qqw&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D-oMciWt-qqw&nomobile=1. There have not been any reports (that I know of anyway) of criminal activity on this popular pathway since the new police force took charge – but do not tempt fate by flaunting electronics. This beautiful addition to our city scene is drawing thousands of joggers, bike riders, and strollers – but please stay alert as you are still in the city.

A New Crime Fighting Tool Proposal

I was a somewhat skeptical meeting attendee at police headquarters on 8/27 to announce a new crime fighting tool that is under consideration by APD to be used here. I will admit that I left with most of my skepticism left behind. Rather than trying to describe all of the details on how this system works, please go to the company’s website at www.copdots.com for a better explanation. This is a marking system to be used on items that you would consider to be candidates for theft and does not rely on your etching or writing your own identification marks. Using a glue stick looking tube you rub on an adhesive substance that contains crystals the size of a salt crystal that contains a code number that is matched to you. There is a tool used by the police that can then read the crystals on items that have been stolen and recovered. The tool would be available at Lowe’s for about $30.00. Also – try Googling “copdots” for even more info about this system and where it has already been put in use. After you have read the web info about this and you have questions/suggestions/remarks, please pass them on to me and I’ll forward on to the APD folks working on this project. Remember, this is only a proposal at this time – no commitments have been made by the city or APD.  But – this is your chance to influence APD’s thinking about this system.

Maiden Lane Cleaning

We all owe Rad Slough, the Urban Body owner, a vote of thanx for his continual cleaning along Maiden Lane on the PDL Place end of this street. It is my hope that others will follow Rad’s lead and help him keep this street clean, especially those whose property abuts this once neglected street.

Also – does anyone know folks who live in the apartments along Bonaventure Avenue between St. Charles and PDL Avenues? The trash and recycling bins in this area are often left in the street long after the Monday pickup day, in violation of city ordinances which state they are to be taken in by Tuesday. We also really need a Safety Team Street Captain for Bonaventure and if you know of someone who would be a good candidate for this position – please let me know.

Safety Team Street Captain’s Meeting

As I announced in the last Safety Report, there is a terrific meeting planned for all residential Street Captains and businesses on 9/14 Saturday morning (9:30 til noon) at the Church of Our Saviour.  If you will not be able to attend (and we realize not everyone will be able) please nominate another person in your watch area or from your business who can attend.  Captain Brent Schierbaum of the 911 call center and video integration center will be the speaker and I am sure we can all learn from him about this vital part of APD.  San Francisco Coffee is providing coffee with the BeltLine Kroger providing pastries.

The following reports are taken from our APD Zone 6 (http://atlantapd.org/Zone6.aspx) for the 2013 weeks of 31 and 32 (7/28 to 8/10) for our VaHi Beat 601. These reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to make you aware of what happens around us everyday and to raise your level of alertness.

Aggravated Assault - On 7/31 at an unnamed St. Charles Avenue at North Highland Avenue bar (there are only 2 here) the victim (a male employee) stated that a young w/m who was asked to leave earlier, stayed around and when female employees were leaving he began to yell at them as he went to his car. The armed victim then came out to check on the situation and the suspect aimed his car at him. The victim then fired at the car as it barreled towards him, causing the suspect to crash the car who then fled on foot into the early morning darkness. The suspect’s name was on the debit card he had used for payment – but no word as to an arrest. I’m glad that no one was hurt in this incident.

Auto Theft - No incidents reported from Beat 601.

Commercial Burglary - No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Residential Burglary - Two such incidents and both on Lanier Boulevard. The 8/1 entry was made via an unlocked door with jewelry and silver taken. The 8/3 entry was made by breaking a door- side window with electronics taken. I always wonder as to how many houses thieves have to check out to find one with an unlocked door.

Commercial Robbery – No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Residential Robbery - No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Pedestrian Robbery - No reported incidents from Beat 601.

However, around the Zone, there are still lots of reports of such robberies taking cell phones, wallets, etc. either via weapons, strong arm or intimidation.

Larceny From Vehicle - Here we go with another long list of folks, many of whom ignored the Clean Car Campaign.  Vehicles were entered on North Highland Avenue (3), Rosedale Road, Lanier Boulevard (2), Maiden Lane, and PDL Avenue – this last incident resulted in an arrest courtesy of a security camera that showed the suspect with an identifiable limp.  Good police work here to find this limping guy.

All over the Zone in this time span there were 118 incidents with 12 arrests made.

Larceny Other - No reported incidents from Beat 601.

At the PDL Avenue BeltLine Kroger a customer left his cell phone at the u-scan checkout – and (you guessed it) it was gone when he returned.

Enjoy these rain-free days while they last and stay alert.

VaHi Safety Team Report: August 12, 2013

By: John Wolfinger

Burglar Alarm Registration

City Council has passed an ordinance requiring all of we residents and businesses to now register our burglar alarm systems to get hold of all of the false alarms that APD responds to.  http://www.ajc.com/news/news/police-atlanta-residents-businesses-must-register-/nY7Bm/

The registry site is available at www.crywolf.us/atlantaga/ or by calling 1-855-725-7102. I’ve registered mine online and it only takes a few moments. The new ordinance takes effect September 15 and you have until February 15, 2014 to register without a penalty – but why wait until February?

Does This Article Describe VaHi?

Interesting article on the Atlantic Cities website describing what makes a safe neighborhood. I think that this is a pretty good description of VaHi, but I also wonder if too many think that our community is Mayberry and we are not as vigilant as we should be.  What do you think?  http://www.theatlanticcities.com/neighborhoods/2013/07/google-street-view-knows-why-some-neighborhoods-just-feel-safe/6326/

The First Anniversary of Mike Moloo’s Murder

There will be a gathering for reflection and remembrances on September 17 at Fellini’s Pizza at 909 PDL Avenue at 3 p.m. RSVP to Rita at rmyersga@aol.com if you plan to attend so there will be a head count. Too bad that this Barnett Street murder is still unsolved.

Safety Team Street Captains – Save The Date

There will be a Street Captains’ meeting on Saturday morning September 14 from 9:30 until Noon at Church of Our Saviour in the lower level meeting room.  The guest speaker will be Captain Brent Schierbaum – now the interim head of our 911 call center and video integration center. I’m sure many of you wonder as to what happens after you dial 911 – this will be a good chance to get all of your questions answered. This gathering will also be open to other interested residents and our community business folks too. I’m sure many of you remember Schierbaum from when he was our evening watch Sector Sergeant a few years ago. He has remained a good friend of VaHi as he has moved up the APD ladder.

The following reports are taken from our APD Zone 6 (http://atlantapd.org/Zone6.aspx) for the 2013 weeks of 29 and 30 (7/14 to 7/27) for our VaHi Beat 601.  Again, as always, these reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to make you aware of what happens around us everyday and to raise your level of alertness.

Aggravated Assault - No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Auto Theft - A 1992 Honda was taken from PDL Place.

Commercial Burglary - An unsuccessful entry attempt was made at Going Coastal restaurant on Virginia Avenue, with pry marks left on the front door.

Residential Burglary - At a Greenwood Avenue residence entry was made via a front bedroom broken window with 3 laptops taken. A Barnett Street home was entered via a kicked-in door. A Greenwood Avenue apartment was entered via a kicked-in door, with the male resident confronting and having an altercation with the burglar who escaped. The suspect is the ex-boyfriend of the victim’s girlfriend.

Commercial Robbery - No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Residential Robbery - No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Pedestrian Robbery - No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Larceny From Vehicle - In spite of this being the easiest of all crimes to prevent by cleaning out ALL parked cars at ALL times – thieves were lured here and vehicles were violated on Drewry Street (2), Frederica Street, Virginia Avenue (3), Los Angeles Avenue (3), PDL Avenue, North Highland Avenue, and Greenwood Avenue. There were 134 such vehicle intrusions in all of Zone 6 in this time period with 5 more firearms being added to the arsenal already on the streets! Comforting thought – right?

Larceny Other - A Nancy’s Pizza delivery guy was seen on camera taking an unwatched laptop from a Brookridge Drive front porch. No word as to whether he has been apprehended. An arrestee was caught taking money from a tip jar at the Bookhouse Pub on PDL Avenue. A ten foot piece of angle iron was taken from the grounds of the Briarcliff Summit building on PDL Avenue. At an un-named retailer on North Highland Avenue, an unwatched cell phone was taken while the employee was lured to the back of the store by two “shoppers”.

Around the Zone – there were many reports of unwatched cell phones taken from all sorts of places. If you want to keep that phone – keep it in your pockets.

No bad reports that I know of from the BeltLine lately and this is good. But, do not let up your guard and flaunt your personal electronics on this wildly popular recreational pathway. Granted we have the dedicated security force on duty now here – but they cannot be everywhere at all times.

Stay even more alert while driving now that school has started again.

VaHi Safety Team Report: July 29, 2013

By: John Wolfinger

BeltLine Safety News

Thanks to VaHi’s own John Becker we have a great article covering last Friday’s APD press conference at the 4th Ward Skatepark introducing the new BeltLine APD path force.  http://www.vahi.org/mayor-introduces-new-beltline-path-force-unit/. This article has a link to the AJC article which, in turn, has a link to a WSB-TV story also.

APD “Major” Changes

We welcome Major Timothy Peek as commander of our APD Zone 6, and wish Major Keith Meadows the best of luck as he leaves Zone 6 to assume command of the new APS school security force.  https://www.facebook.com/AtlantaPolice/posts/626956123981920

Here in Beat 601 we also welcome Officer K. F. Romer and Sergeant N. Mitchell to the evening watch patrols. They were both at the July VaHi civic association meeting to introduce themselves to our community. Welcome aboard!

Run With The Cops

The annual Atlanta’s Finest 5K is August 3rd this year. Details at  http://www.atlantapolicefoundation.org/Atlanta’sFinest5K-25  While you are on this page, note the APF and APD 2012 annual reports linked on the right hand side.

National Night Out on 8/6

As in the past few years, since we suffered a complete rainout about 4 years ago – there is not a community-wide event scheduled for this date. But, if you want to set up a block party this evening for your watch area, let me know and I’ll advise Zone 6 of your plans – so you can get APD visitors.  Interesting article about National Night Out and neighborhood watches in general at http://www.theatlanticcities.com/neighborhoods/2013/07/new-way-understanding-eyes-street/6276/. As this article points out, I hate how the term “neighborhood watch” has been bandied about in the media following the Trayvon Martin case, where the group that George Zimmerman was a part of is completely different from our naturally-occurring neighborhood system dedicated to neighborliness and watching out for each other, assisted by our network of dedicated Street Captains.

Zone 6 Back To School Event

This event will be held in the parking lot of Israel Baptist Church – just east of Zone 6 headquarters – on Hosea Williams Drive, SE in the heart of Kirkwood on 7/31 from 8 am until noon. This event is where the school supplies that many of you generously left on my front porch will be given out to needy Zone 6 school kids.  Many APD units will be represented here – including the helicopter unit, the mounted unit, COPS, PAL, motorcycle unit, gang unit, and the K-9 unit among others.  This might make an interesting field trip to see so many different aspects of APD all on display in one place.

The following reports are taken from our APD Zone 6 (http://atlantapd.org/Zone6.aspx) crime stats for the 2012 weeks of 27 and 28 (6/30 to 7/13) for our VaHi Beat 601. These reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to make you aware of what happens around us everyday and to raise your level of alertness.

Aggravated Assault - No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Auto Theft - Vehicles were stolen from Drewry Street and Barnett Street.

Commercial Burglary - No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Residential Burglary - A home was entered on PDL Place via a possible unlocked door.

Commercial Robbery - No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Residential Robbery - No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Pedestrian Robbery - Such a robbery was reported on 7/13 on Park Drive (west of Monroe Drive). The victims (not listed as to how many) were robbed at gunpoint by 4 males on the morning watch time period (10 pm – 7 am). No other details available from the report.

Around the Zone – These robberies continue with many of them aimed at taking cell phones from unaware victims. Do NOT walk and talk or text on our sidewalks, the BeltLine path, parks or other public areas. That call is not that important that you have to risk losing a cell phone. Yes a good idea to have your phone along – but keep it hidden in your clothing.

Larceny From Vehicle - Vehicles were entered on North Highland Avenue (3), PDL Avenue (3), Virginia Avenue (2), Barnett Street, Drewry Street, Highland View, Maiden Lane and St. Charles Avenue.  One of the Virginia Avenue incidents involved yard care equipment being taken from the back of a contractor’s pickup truck.  Have you warned your yard care guys of the danger of leaving unwatched and unlocked equipment on the street while they are working???  Somebody in the 1100 block of Virginia Avenue did not, or at least the lawn guys did not, pay attention to a warning.

Among all of the items taken from vehicles during this time period all around the Zone – the most alarming incidents involved the theft of handguns SIX times!!!!  These are all weapons that can now be used for armed robberies!!

Larceny Other - A wallet and its contents was taken from an unwatched purse at a North Highland Avenue bar. Yet another chained bike was taken from a balcony of an apartment at the Virginia Highland apartments on Virginia Avenue – this is one of a continuing sequence of such thefts at this apartment community – are we getting the word out to these residents that the porches/balconies are not safe places to store bikes????

Nearby at the Edgewood Target store – there were 6 shoplifters caught.  The Publix at Piedmont @ North Avenues caught 3 shoplifters while our PDL Avenue Kroger and Publix stores only reported one such incident. At the Edgewood Kroger store an unwatched cell phone was taken from a shopping cart – keep those phones in your pocket while not in use!!! They are NOT a status symbol to be shown off to the world.

Stay alert, keep ALL parked cars cleaned out at ALL times,  and enjoy a few days outside without any rain!!

VaHi Safety Team Report: July 16, 2013

By: John Wolfinger

Zone 6 School Supply Drive

Zone 6, in conjunction with the IBPO (the police officer’s union) is conducting a drive hoping to collect enough school supplies to provide at least 50 Zone 6 families with the basics to send their children back to school.  They need backpacks and all of the usual school supplies.  Your donations can be taken directly to Zone 6 headquarters at 2025 Hosea Williams Drive, ATL 30317 in the heart of Kirkwood or you can leave them on my front porch at 1054 Vance Avenue, NE.  The more kids that we can keep interested and successful in school – the better it is for all of us.

APD’s June Highlights

This new report is at  http://www.atlantapd.org/files/Greatest_Hits_June.pdf

SouthEast Atlanta/DeKalb County/Decatur Crime Meeting

This AJC article sums up the problems that Zones 6 and Zone 3 are facing south of here, as well as neighboring unincorporated DeKalb County and the City of Decatur.  http://www.ajc.com/news/news/crime-law/residents-crime-perception-based-on-painful-fact/nYpPg/  Note the references in this article to the very young ages of some of these perps and why I mentioned above the importance of keeping kids successful in school and away from becoming criminals, which is the importance of this Zone 6 school supply drive.  You may think that these areas are far away from VaHi – but think again – they are only a few minutes driving time from VaHi.

BeltLine News

Thanx to Lieutenant Jeff Baxter, the head of the APD BeltLine Path Force, we now have some contact info to report non-emergency issues on this urban pathway.  For homeless issues – call the Path Force office at 404-546-7284 or e-mail the supervisors, Day Watch Sergeant Hannula at channula@atlantaga.gov  or Evening Watch Sergeant Andry at candry@atlantaga.gov

For other issues related to the BeltLine, call the BeltLine fixit line at 404-477-3687 or e-mail at fixit@atlbeltline.org

I am hearing a lot of very positive reports about the police presence on the BeltLine – but do not assume that you can let down your guard on this greenspace and show your personal electronics to the world.  You are still in the city on the path and the same common sense rules apply here too.

Crime Statistics

Since the subject of crime statistics comes up very often, VaHi resident David Berl, has compiled a table of statistics specifically for our neighborhood, which also is Zone 6 Beat 601.  Lots of data can be found in the Uniform Crime Reports at  http://www.atlantapd.org/uniformcrimereports.aspx  David has taken the Zone 6 information provided for all beats and separated out our Beat 601 and sorted it out by crime category for the first two quarters of this year.  His report is at https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0BzUR49O5UmzjNWhsd1ZwSGpCZVk&usp=sharing

This data shows that – larcenies from vehicle tops all other crimes by far – and up 49% in the 2nd quarter.

This is the type of crime that we as citizens can really have an impact on.  Don’t leave anything in your parked vehicle.  Remind your visitors to remove valuables from their vehicles.

Residential burglary comes in 2nd.  Down 33% in the 2nd quarter.

In 3rd place is Auto Thefts – also down 33%

Robberies are infrequent, but of great concern nevertheless.  Twice as many robberies occurred in the 2nd quarter.

No homicides this year – which is really great news.

David’s intent is to provide a quick view into crime trends here in Beat 601. To make the data meaningful, all criminal activity must be reported via 911 – if it is not reported, it did not happen as far as APD is concerned.

Thank you David for the above commentary and for compiling these statistics.

The following reports are from our APD Zone 6 (http://atlantapd.org/Zone6.aspx) crime stats for the 2013 weeks of 25 and 26 (6-16 to 6/29) for our VaHi Beat 601, along with some news from around the Zone.  Again, I state that these reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to make you aware of what happens around us everyday and to raise your alertness.

Aggravated Assault  -  No reported incidents from Beat 601

Auto Theft  -  A 2000 Chrysler Voyager was stolen from Greenwood Avenue, and a ’94 Acura Integra was taken from Los Angeles Avenue.

Around the Zone in this time period there were 37 vehicles stolen and another 14 attempts at theft.  6 of the stolen vehicles had the keys left in the ignition!!!

Commercial Burglary  -  No reported incidents in Beat 601

Residential Burglary  -  A PDL Place home was entered by breaking a rear door.  On Park Drive entry was made via a front window broken with a rock.  A bicycle was stolen from a Briarcliff Road garage through an invitational open door.  A Lanier Boulevard tool shed was entered by breaking the lock.

Commercial Robbery  -  No reported incidents in Beat 601

Residential Robbery  -  No reported incidents in Beat 601

Pedestrian Robbery  -  No reported incidents in Beat 601

However around the Zone – there are still reports of snatch and grab Apple pickings, both on residential and commercial streets.

Larceny From Vehicle  -  Vehicles were entered on St. Charles Avenue, North Highland Avenue (3), PDL Avenue, Lanier Boulevard, Drewry Street, and Frederica Street.

Around the Zone in this time period there were two Glocks taken – one fully loaded with a 15 round magazine.  So – two more weapons on the street for robbery.

Larceny Other  -  Another locked bike was taken from a porch in the Virginia Highland apartment complex on Virginia Avenue – this theft is one of several in this community lately.  A cell phone was taken from the hostess stand at a PDL Avenue restaurant – the perps had distracted her long enough to grab the phone.  Personal items were taken from a Drewry Street home while work was being done.  A laborer picked up at the PDL Avenue McDonalds is suspected.  You may completely trust your contractor, but if one of his sub-contractors hires questionable people to work, you can still be vulnerable.

Going on vacation?  If you are a FBAC (Fight Back Against Crime) member – be sure to notify them for house checks.  Learn more about FBAC at  http://www.fbacvahi.com/

To those of you who asked me about the naked female sighting Sunday nite on Los Angeles Avenue – this was NOT a stranger on stranger assault case, but the after effects of a domestic situation.  The victim was taken to Grady for observation and this is all I know.

Stay Alert!!!

VaHi Safety Team Report: June 17, 2013

By: John Wolfinger

APD and AFR News

AFR just announced recently that 29 new firefighters were graduated from the training academy on 6/4/2013 – but no word as to whether this number of graduates is enough to keep up with retirement and resignation replacements.  I hope that it is.

APD has released an informative LGBT YouTube video that can be viewed at  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05DHphO2ccY

An Urban Coyote Posse?

I have been asked to act as a go-between for the recruitment of folks interested in forming a group for neighborhood coyote control. Send me an e-mail if you are interested in joining up and I will pass on your name and contact info to the core group. jjonww2@earthlink.net  No – I do not know of what plans they are making, so don’t ask me.

Platinum Price Increases and Your Catalytic Converter

According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, platinum prices are on the increase, which leads me to believe that stolen catalytic converters will be worth even more on the scrap metal black market. Not good news.  http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20130513-707238.html This is a very difficult crime to prevent, other than watching where you park (especially at night) keeping under strong light and if possible, parking against a wall or street-side tree that will make it difficult to crawl under your high-bodied SUV or pickup truck. There are locks and other such welded-on security devices available – but from the reviews I have read on the Internet they are not completely worth the money. If you know otherwise, let me know and I’ll pass your info on to our neighbors.

The following reports are taken from our APD Zone 6 (http://atlantapd.org/Zone6.aspx) crime stats for the 2013 weeks of 21 and 22 (5/19 to 6/1) for our VaHi Beat 601, along with news from around the Zone as it applies to us. Again, these reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to make you aware of what happens around us everyday and to raise your alertness.

Aggravated Assault - No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Auto Theft - No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Commercial Burglary - No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Residential Burglary - A residence on Stillwood Drive had an intrusion on 5/25 via a broken guest room window.  A burglary was reported on Brookridge Drive on 5/27 with entry being made via an unlocked window with the homeowner asleep elsewhere in the home.

Commercial Robbery - The cashier at the Chinese restaurant on PDL Avenue @ Bonaventure was robbed at gunpoint of cash – entry was made via the unlocked back door while the business was open.  Let this be a warning to business owners to keep the back door locked when not in use.  Most all businesses watch the front door, but completely forget that the unlocked back door is an easy entry for thieves and robbers.  This is especially true at closing time when trash is being taken out – remember the Taco Mac robbery a few years ago when entry was made after closing and during clean-up time.

Residential Robbery - No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Pedestrian Robbery - No reported incidents from Beat 601. Nearby though on Parkway Drive in the Old 4th Ward – a pedestrian was robbed of his gambling earnings after one of his fellow gamblers held him up at gunpoint a short distance from where the victim had taken his winnings. The suspect was unknown to the victim – so – know who you are gambling with.

Larceny From Vehicle - Vehicles were entered on St. Augustine Place, PDL Avenue (3), Virginia Avenue (2), and North Highland Avenue (3).

Larceny Other - A locked bicycle was taken from a Virginia Avenue apartment porch.  Keep those bicycles hidden from view when not in use at home.  Bolt cutters render a chain and lock completely useless.

Remember – “See Something – Say Something.” Don’t assume that someone else will call 911 to report suspicious activity or persons. We are the extra eyes and ears of APD.

VaHi Safety Team Report: June 5, 2013

By: John Wolfinger

Score One For Off-Duty VaHi APD Officers!!

The following report was posted on many of our neighborhood message boards, but since this report reaches many who are not members of these boards – I felt it was well worth repeating.  This is the narrative from the Zone 6 report with my comments in parentheses:

“On May 23, 2013, at 0007 hours (7 minutes after midnight in civilian time) Officer Gilstrap, unit 1601 responded to 1026 North Highland Avenue (in front of Fontaine’s Oyster House) on a robbery call.  Upon arrival he met with the listed victim (a suburban w/f) who related she was robbed by a Hispanic male on Los Angeles Avenue (this was west of North Highland Avenue) while sitting in her vehicle.  The male approached her and asked for change.  She went to reach for change, the male produced a knife and held her at knifepoint. the victim resisted and was able to speed away.  She flagged down Officer J. Sutton who was working an extra job at 1026 North Highland Ave.  While reporting the incident to Officer Sutton she noticed the suspect who had robbed her walking southbound on North Highland Ave across the street from their location.  Officer J. Sutton and Detective W. Skeens (our FBAC officer) who was also working a nearby extra job apprehended the suspect later identified as Elmer Serrano, H/M, born 6-15-1970.  The victim sustained a laceration to her face during the incident.  Grady EMS responded and treated the victim for her minor injury.”

This incident really points out the importance of having off-duty police personnel in the neighborhood to supplement our on-duty Beat 601 officers. Thanx to Fontaines’s and FBAC for having these officers available to assist in this arrest.

Serrano had been in the area during the evening as he was sighted begging for change on North Highland earlier this date, stating to one witness that he was from Guatemala.  In addition to three charges he got from the robbery attempt -he has also been charged with two counts from the Federal immigration folks. He may be deported before the armed robbery charges come up in Fulton County court. Stay tuned for more word as I hear from the DA’s office about this.

New Fulton County Jail Program

A new shelter dog program ( http://midtown.patch.com/articles/fulton-county-jail-dog-program-gives-sheltered-dogs-and-inmates-a-new-lease-on-life ) at our Rice Street jail joins existing programs instituted by Sheriff Ted Jackson to give inmates skills and life lessons to provide them with alternatives to a life of crime after release, such as the culinary arts program, floor tech certification, and GED classes.  The more guys that are released with some education and skills, other than the fastest way to hot-wire a car, the safer we can all be.

Positive News From Nearby

I attended the combined Old 4th Ward neighborhoods meeting earlier this week to see a presentation from Wingate Properties, the owner/manager of the Bedford Pine community concerning a proposed new senior citizens residence as part of their holdings.  http://www.atlantamagazine.com/agenda/2013/06/03/wingate-plans-city-lights-new-building-in-bedford-pine. The question and answer period though had several 4th Ward citizens questioning security at their existing buildings. A further meeting was proposed to deal with safety measures at Bedford Pine.

The area around PDL Avenue @ Boulevard is being enhanced by Fidelity Bank finally beginning work to open a new office in the abandoned bank building, the erection of the Dunkin Donuts to replace the seamy check cashing facility and the Zaxby’s to replace the abandoned KFC building.  Hopefully these new businesses will be diligent in patrolling their areas and keeping illicit and illegal activity away from this troubled and very visible corner.

Door to Door Solicitors

The neighborhood message boards have all been reporting the seasonal crop of young door to door solicitors wanting money for a myriad of reasons – all of which I am sure are scams. Hopefully you have a way to see who is knocking at your door without having to open the door and you can tell them thru the door to leave. I certainly hope no one is “buying” magazines from them – if they are not successful here they will go to new territory. I also saw that some are using the ruse of stating they want to “practice their public speaking” – and hope that no one falls for this either.  As to whether these people are casing houses for possible future visits is anyone’s guess – just don’t give them the opportunity to see inside your home. A “No Soliciting” sign at your front door is not a bad idea either and may deter some from knocking. If you have a gut feeling from the ones that are threatening and rudely persistent – don’t hesitiate to call 911 with a good report of their physical description and which way they were headed after leaving your home.

Orme Park Events

The Friends of Orme Park are having a work day session on Saturday morning 6/8 from 9 to 11 and are asking you to bring your shovels and work gloves. Water, coffee and donuts provided. Then, on Sunday 6/9 they are hosting a potluck dinner from 5 to 7 in this beautiful neighborhood park.  If you are a user of this park by taking your kids to the playground or taking your dog for a good walk on the paths thru this forested park – you are the person that should be at the work session Saturday morning. We have the amenities at this park courtesy of dedicated and hard-working neighborhood volunteers and they deserve your support for a couple of hours.

The following reports are gleaned from our APD Zone 6 (http://atlantapd.org/Zone6.aspx) crime stats for the 2013 weeks of 19 and 20 (5/5 to 5/18) for our VaHi Beat 601, along with news from around the Zone as it affects us.  Again, I state that these reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to make you aware of what happens around us everyday, and to raise your alertness.

Aggravated Assault - No reported incidents from Beat 601

Auto Theft - Kentucky Avenue was hit on 5/16 with the thefts of a 1999 Plymouth and a 1999 Dodge.  No – they are not always after taking a new Mercedes, these older vehicles are easier to steal and are less noticeable for driving around and easier to sell to the illicit scrap dealers.

Commercial Burglary - The Dozier Hair Studio on Barnett Street was entered via a pried open front door.

Residential Burglary - There was an attempt at entering on Rosedale Road – but the residents heard noise on the front porch and scared the suspect off.  A Virginia Avenue home was entered via an unlocked window, and a PDL Avenue address was entered via a pried open door (not sure from the report as to whether this was a residence or a garage or shed).

Commercial Robbery - No reported incidents from Beat 601

Residential Robbery - No reported incidents from Beat 601

Pedestrian Robbery - On 5/6 a Greenwood Avenue resident (900 block) returning to his apartment in the early morning hours was approached by suspect # 1 asking him if he had a phone (the answer was no), then suspect #2 came from behind choking the victim taking a phone from his pocket as well as his briefcase with both suspects fleeing on foot.  This was all by physical force – no weapon shown.  The well publicized incident of a BeltLine jogger who was held up at gunpoint and lost her cell phone occured on 5/7.  And on 5/8 a female homeless victim who was asleep in the MARTA shelter in front of the library on PDL Avenue had her face pushed to the ground and her purse was stolen from between her legs.  This was a sick act and hope that this perp gets his/her just rewards sometime someplace.  If you are like me, I have always wondered as to why our neighborhood homeless advocates have not gotten this person the help she obviously needs and gotten her off the street.

Also – all around the Zone, Apple pickings continue from unaware and unalert phone owners/users.  It still always amazes me that we do not have a lot of these such incidents here in VaHi with all of the folks who walk or jog around with cell phones in hand as if they are worried they may miss a call or text.

Larceny From Vehicle - Vehicles were entered on Maiden Lane, Rosedale Road, Virginia Avenue, PDL Avenue, Elkmont Drive, St. Charles Avenue, Los Angeles Avenue, and North Highland Avenue.

Larceny Other - No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Nearby though, the PDL Avenue Kroger and Publix stores caught 3 shoplifters – the Edgewood Retail District Target store caught 3 non-paying visitors and the Piedmont@ North Avenues Publix and Walgreens also caught 3 shoplifters.  Of all of these shoplifters that are caught, I always wonder as to how many are not caught – don’t you too?

Summerfest Suggestions?

Now that yet another successful Summerfest is behind us, if you have suggestions for making the festival even better next year, send an e-mail to summerfest@vahi.org and copy John Becker at jnbecker@me.com.

VaHi Safety Team Report: May 21, 2013

By: John Wolfinger

More Beltline Safety News

I would like to share with you this excellent latter penned by APD Lieutenant Jeffery Baxter, head of the new Path Force Unit, which is responsible for BeltLine patrolling and safety measures and sent to Street Captain Kay Stephenson who is also a BeltLine Trees Atlanta arboretum docent.  Since this letter was written, Dennis Baker of Paris on Ponce has offered his facility on the BeltLine as a rest stop for the BeltLine patrols, complete with water and hay for the horses.

____________________________________________

The Atlanta Police Department (APD), in its strong commitment to the Atlanta Beltline Project, will be launching a new unit within APD, to provide Public Safety to the Atlanta Beltline, it’s adjoining parks, and communities. This comes from a grant awarded to APD from the U.S. Department of Justice. The new unit will be called the APD’s Path Force Unit, and will consist of (15-20) Police Officers that will get out and Patrol the Atlanta Beltline, adjoining Parks and Communities.

The Patrolling methods will come in the form of Foot Patrols, Bicycle patrol, Horse patrol (provided by our APD Mounted Patrol Unit), along with specialized motorized vehicles. In addition to actively Patrolling, we will also offer programs to engage and foster citizen participation through our Community Orientated Policing model. An example of this will be to incorporate a Trail Watch program, similar to a Neighborhood Watch Program but tailored to the Atlanta Beltline Trail sections.

I have been working closely with the Atlanta Beltline since the start of this year in creating the new Path Force unit, and in developing programs. I regularly attend Atlanta Beltline meetings, and provide input on making sure crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) methods are being used in its design. http://www.ncpc.org/training/training-topics/crime-prevention-through-environmental-design-cpted-

In addition to receiving other agency’s policies, I have actually traveled to other major cities that have active urban trail systems to study how they deliver Public Safety and programs. I have also partnered with the Rails to Trails Conservancy which is a nonprofit group dedicated in promoting trail systems.  www.railstotrails.org This has allowed me to incorporate a best practices approach in our delivering Public Safety to the Atlanta Beltline project.

The Path Force Unit will be located out of the Atlanta Beltline donated space at the Reynolds Town Lofts located at 890 Memorial Dr. directly next to the Reynoldstown Trail.  We plan on launching the new unit sometime in June and plan on inviting all of our stakeholders and community members to a opening event at 890 Memorial Dr .In addition we are planning a media press release for the launch, and plan on using social media and community blogs to communicate along with regularly attending community Neighborhood Planning meetings.

I have included below, several safety tips to be followed when using the BeltLine and our city streets in general.

Lieutenant Jeff Baxter APD

  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
  • Walk/jog confidently.
  • Look people in the eye as you pass them. This lets others know you are aware.
  • Don’t wear headphones while exercising. Being able to hear your surroundings will allow you to notice someone you don’t see.
  • Wear shoes and clothing that allow freedom of movement.
  • Carry a cell phone with a full battery charge.
  • Carry a whistle with you.
  • Walk or jog in a familiar area.
  • Avoid secluded areas where there are places to hide.
  • Vary the route you take. Do not take the same route every day.
  • Walk or jog with a companion, especially at night.
  • Wear bright colored clothing so that you can easily be seen; at night wear reflective clothing.
  • Lock your vehicle. Don’t leave valuables, such as purses/wallets/cell phones, visible inside.
  • Always let someone know when you begin your walk or jog. Tell them the route you will be taking and when you plan to return. Inform them when you do return.

APD’s April Report

The April report is at  http://www.atlantapd.org/files/Greatest_Hits_April_FINAL.pdf. If you are on Facebook – you can “like” Atlanta Police Department and see a day to day report of what they face in real time.

The following reports are gleaned from our APD Zone 6 (http://atlantapd.org/Zone6.aspx ) crime stats for the 2013 weeks of 17 and 18 ( 4/21 thru 5/4 ) for our VaHi Beat 601, along with news from around the Zone as it affects us.  Again, I state, these reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to make you aware of what happens around us every day, and to raise your alertness.

Aggravated Assault  - No reported incidents from Beat 601

Auto Theft  - A ’94 Acura was taken from Los Angeles Avenue

Commercial Burglary  - No reported incidents from Beat 601

Residential Burglary  - A North Highland Avenue apartment was entered via a pried open front door. Around the Zone in this time period entry was made to homes 8 times via kicked-in doors and thru unlocked doors or windows 5 times.

Commercial Robbery  - No reported incidents from Beat 601

Residential Robbery  - No reported incidents from Beat 601

Pedestrian Robbery  - A lone male victim was robbed by 2 w/m on Vance Avenue by intimidation as no weapon was shown in an after-dark incident.  The suspects fled in a car.  In the 900 block of Greenwood Avenue in the late night, the victim stated he was being followed in his car by another car.  The victim parked and 3 b/m got out, approached him with one pointing a gun while another punched him in the face.  The victim’s vehicle was taken, with the suspects fleeing in both cars.  If you suspect that you are being followed – keep driving to a well-lit populated place such as a convenience store and then call 911 from your car with a report.

Nearby in Grant Park – three juveniles were arrested after a pedestrian robbery there.  http://eastatlanta.patch.com/articles/police-nab-three-gunmen-in-robbery-at-tin-lizzy-s-parking-lot  “Apple Picking” thefts of cell phones continues throughout the Zone from unwary pedestrians and folks who leave their phones unwatched in public places.

Larceny From  Vehicle  -  Vehicles were entered on Rosedale Drive, PDL Avenue (3), Drewry Street (2), North Highland Avenue (3), Barnett Street, Los Angeles Avenue (2), Orme Circle, Virginia Avenue, Briarcliff Road, and Bonaventure Avenue.

Please, please remember the Clean Car Campaign and remind your VaHi visitors of the same.  This is one of the easiest crimes to prevent just by not having anything in your car to steal.  Granted, sometimes there are clean vehicles broken into, but the perps are here because of the other cars here that are tempting them.

Larceny Other  -  The CVS drugstore on North Highland Avenue caught a shoplifter.  Movers are suspected in a theft of personal items at the Briarcliff Summit when the victimized tenant was moving to another apartment due to the renovations of this building.  The Open Door on PDL Avenue reported a theft of $416 in cash from a locked desk drawer.  Contractors are suspected in a Hudson Drive theft of jewelry, cash and a checkbook.  You may have perfect trust in your contractor, but you do not know whom all will be in your home during renovations, maintenance work, etc.

The Piedmont @ North Avenues Publix and Walgreens reported 6 shoplifters and the Edgewood Retail District Target and Kroger stores caught 9 non-paying visitors.

Remember that Summerfest is just around the corner on June 1 and 2.  If you live on a street that traditionally has no parking on one side for this festival and you are going to be away during this time – make sure you do not leave your car on the side of the street usually blocked for this event.  Save yourself some hassle and worry.

Remember – “See Something – Say Something” when you spot suspicious people or activity and be sure to call 911 with a report.

VaHi Safety Team Report: May 7, 2013

By: John Wolfinger

Apple Pickings
Thanks to the unfortunate incident involving the CNN newsperson having her cell phone snatched from her hands on Piedmont Avenue in Midtown – this whole nation-wide plague of cell phone snatchings has really driven home the point that it is not prudent for pedestrians to display personal electronics while out in public.  Thanks to David Eckoff for finding the following links on this subject: https://www.facebook.com/CarolCNN/posts/559664884078130 http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/cnn-anchor-robbed-piedmont-avenue/nXg3f/   http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/technology/2012/09/iphone-thefts-apple-picking-on-the-rise/
This has led Mayor Reed to make the following statements: http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/story/22175531/mayor-vows-to.
This is all well and good, but until ALL citizens choose to not walk and talk and keep their cell phones hidden in their clothing- this is going to be somewhat an exercise in frustration.  Crime prevention begins with each of us and our actions.
To give you an idea of the demand for stolen phones, in the time period of 4/7 to 4/20 in just Zone 6 alone there were 9 phones snatched from pedestrians, one taken from the hand of a driver stopped at a red lite, 7 phones taken from bars or stores (including one taken from a child with unwary parents at a sidewalk cafe table), as well as 11 phones taken from vehicle break-ins.
If you know of folks who walk and talk, and subsequently are completely unaware of their surroundings, PLEASE tell them of this danger – regardless of what neighborhood or city they are in.  We have had very few of these incidents in VaHi – but not because there is a shortage of phones to be snatched here.  Amazingly enough also, there have been no reports lately of such thefts on the BeltLine and this is good.
The Recent Zone 2 Buckhead Area Carjackings
This story at http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/police-investigate-string-carjackings/nXfY5/. Heed the words from Major Hobbs as to what to do if this “bumping” happens to you.
A Suspicious Person In The Neighborhood
There were postings on the neighborhood message boards recently about a w/m who resembles the suspect wanted in a Fayette County rape incident.  Read the story and see an artist’s sketch at  http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/story/22081775/authorities-seek-rape-suspect-in-fayette-county. All of the reported sightings have this person on foot. If you see this person, make a 911 call with a detailed description of him including race, hair color, clothing including footwear, and which way he was heading. Also make sure that you reference your concern by citing the Fayette County incident so that the 911 operator will better understand why you are calling.  We are a long way from Fayette County, but people can get around.
Yet Another Way To Get Into Your Home
Recently a Morningside home was burglarized when a young w/m knocked on the victim’s front door asking about tree maintenance.  When the victim followed the suspect to her backyard, leaving the front door unlocked, an accomplice entered to steal.  Be very wary of such strangers at your door wanting to do work – just tell them thru your unopened door you are not interested and to please leave.  Do respond to a door knock though, so the thieves will not think the house is unoccupied at the time.
The following reports are gleaned from our APD Zone 6 (http://atlantapd.org/Zone6.aspx) crime stats for the 2013 weeks of 15 and 16 (4/7 to 4/20) for our VaHi Beat 601, along with news from around the Zone as it affects us.  Again, I state, these reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to make you aware of what happens around us everyday, and to raise your awareness.
Aggravated Assault  -  No reported incidents from Beat 601.
Auto Theft  -  A 1991 Buick Roadmaster was stolen from Barnett Street and later recovered in bad shape on Conley Road, SE.  This was the 2nd older vehicle to be stolen from the same victim in less than a year.
Commercial Burglary  -  No reported incidents from Beat 601.
Residential Burglary  -  A North Highland Avenue residence was entered on 4/7 via a pried open rear window with jewelry taken.
A Lanier Boulevard home was entered on 4/8 by breaking a window next to a door and then reaching in to open the window – the thief then reached in and took a visible laptop.  The victim made a posting on the area message boards stating ” The open laptop with a glowing screen was visible from very far away.  So it was pretty bold to break in at such a visible area (this was at 5 a.m.), but the laptop would have been enticing to someone looking for an easy target.”  Take heed and move visible electronics away from windows.
Commercial Robbery  -  No reported incidents from Beat 601.
Residential Robbery  -  No reported incidents from Beat 601.
Pedestrian Robbery  -  No reported incidents from Beat 601.
Larceny From Vehicle  -  Vehicles were entered on Virginia Avenue (2), North Highland Avenue (3), St. Charles Avenue, Lanier Boulevard and Kanuga Street.  One of the Virginia Avenue incidents resulted in the arrest of Stan Spradlin and Ben Elder (both career criminals) thanx to a suspicious activity 911 call.  Thanx to the person who made this 911 call.
Larceny Other  -  A UPS package was taken from a Virginia Avenue porch.  PLEASE arrange with Intown Hardware, CityStorage or Urban Body (PDL Place) to have your intended packages delivered to their safe address.  This is a free neighborhood program and is such an easy way to insure you get the packages you ordered.
A bicycle was stolen from a North Highland Avenue condo building storage room.  Real Chow Baby had a six person party walk out without paying – how low!
Our PDL Avenue Publix and Kroger stores caught 2 shoplifters, the Edgewood Target store caught 7 non-paying visitors, and the Publix and Walgreen stores on Piedmont @ North Avenues caught 7 shoplifters.
Our former Zone 6 Community Prosecutor, Paul Arena-Camarillo, has been reassigned to major crimes prosecution, and our former CourtWatch coordinator, Janet Martin, has not been replaced yet – so it is difficult for the time being knowing about when criminal hearings are being held.  But, I hope to find out when Spradlin and Elder will have their hearings so we can CourtWatch them.
Remember the Clean Car Campaign and keep ALL parked cars cleaned out at ALL times!!!!!!

VaHi Safety Team Report: April 20, 2013

By: John Wolfinger

Successful Neighborhood Cleanup Report
Thanx to a small but determined group of folks, there was a lot of trash, litter and obstructive vegetation cleaned up last Saturday. Read the story at  http://vahi.org/keep-vahi-beautiful-group-holds-successful-clean-up-event/. We had a lot of VaHi business participation – thank you to these folks.  If you would like to help organize a neighborhood-wide business association, please contact Juliet White at  juliet.white_atl@gmail.com  to see how you can assist in this effort to unite all of our businesses for the common good of strong and united commercial districts.
How Many People Do We Reach?
In an attempt to find out how many folks are reached with these reports – would all of the residential Street Captains for streets, apartment and condo buildings please send me the number of folks you have on your watch list?  Then, I would also like for all business, organizations and churches to do the same by letting me know how many copies you forward in your group.  I know that we have grown considerably over the years – but do not know what the distribution totals.  Thanx.
The following reports are taken from our APD Zone 6 (http://atlantapd.org/Zone6.aspx)  reported crime stats for the 2013 weeks of 12, 13 and 14 (3/17 to 4/6) for our VaHi Beat 601, along with news from around the Zone as it affects us.  Again, I state, that these reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to make you aware of what happens around us everyday and to raise your awareness.
Aggravated Assault  -  No reported incidents for Beat 601.
However, nearby at the PDL Avenue Publix store, the store manager was hit by a rock thrown by a male who had been ushered out of the store for disruptive acts.  Yes, he was arrested.
Auto Theft  -  Vehicles were stolen from Greenwood Avenue with scooters taken from Briarcliff Terrace and Briarcliff Court.  Scooters and small motorbikes are so easily picked up and loaded into the back of a pickup – consider parking them in a hidden locked area, and not on the street.
Commercial Burglary  -  No reported incidents for Beat 601
Residential Burglary  -  Residences were violated on Amsterdam Avenue – entry here was made via breaking a back door window, then reaching in to turn the key that was in the lock. Even if you have double key locks – do NOT leave the keys in the lock, especially if the keys can be seen thru a window!!!!  A Brookridge Drive house was entered via a pried off screen to access an unlocked back window. Another Amsterdam Avenue house was entered via a kicked-in back door.   On Monroe Drive a witness saw 2 males loading a washing machine into a vehicle trunk – they fled when she came out to confront them.  Entry was made via an unlocked back door.
Commercial Robbery  -  No reported incidents for Beat 601
Residential Robbery  -  No reported incidents for Beat 601
Pedestrian Robbery  -  On 3/17 on the evening watch time period ( 3 p.m.-11p.m.) on St. Charles Avenue between North Highland and Frederica Street, a male suspect approached the female victim and grabbed her cell phone from her hand.  She resisted to no avail and the suspect fled in a waiting car.  PLEASE – warn your friends who walk and talk (or text) and are not aware of  other people in their surroundings.  Keep those personal electronics hidden while walking, running or sitting in public places.  This kind of snatch and grab thievery continues all over the city.
Larceny From Vehicle  -  Vehicles were entered on PDL Avenue (4), North Highland Avenue (4), Greenwood Avenue, Los Angeles Avenue (2), Maiden Lane, Lanier Boulevard, Drewry Street, and Hudson Drive.  I think that we as neighborhood residents are well aware of the Clean Car Campaign – but PLEASE remind visitors to clean out their parked cars.
Larceny Other  -  A billfold was taken from a Monroe Drive residence by a visitor.  An ex-employee of the CVS store on North Highland Avenue was accused of taking 4 bottles of prescription drugs while employed.  A bicycle was taken from a PDL Avenue parking garage.  If you cannot completely hide bicycles while not in use – store them inside.
Elsewhere in the Zone – the PDL Avenue Kroger and Publix stores caught 5 shoplifters (and I always wonder as to how many they do not catch).  The Edgewood Retail District Target store nabbed 9 shoplifters.  A Target customer left her wallet on the customer service counter and it was gone when she returned (surprised?).  In the PDL Avenue Publix store parking lot in broad daylite, the victim was putting her grandchild in the car while her purse was still in the shopping cart and it was snatched with the perp escaping.South of here on Rosemont Drive, SE, the victim woke up at 5:30 a.m. to the sound of water running.  After calling watershed management it was discovered that his water meter had had been stolen (scrap metal?).
Stay alert and enjoy spring in the city.

VaHi Safety Team Report: April 3, 2013

Neighborhood Cleanup – Save The Date 4/13/2013
Going along with the “broken windows” theory of crime prevention (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broken_windows_theory ) our Keep Virginia Highland Beautiful group, an off-shoot of the Safety Team initiative – will be leading a neighborhood-wide cleanup session Saturday 4/13.  Read the details at http://vahi.org/Keep-vahi-beautiful-group-sets-date-for-spring-clean-up-seeks-volunteers.  If you would like to join the Team St. Charles group that is tackling the litter on Maiden Lane – just meet us on this street that morning.  Thanx to a St. Charles Avenue Street Captain for organizing this group – questions to him at brian_mcguire@bellsouth.net.  If you are a Street Captain that is organizing a group to clean a specific area – be sure to let Kay Stephenson of your plans at kay.stephenson@gmail.com.
This is going to be a great day in the neighborhood – see you with a trash bag somewhere on our streets, or at Highland Tap at lunchtime.
Laura Voisinet, our graffiti team coordinator, is looking for more helpers this spring as she continues to fight this ugly vandalism.  She is at graffiti@vahi.org.  Laura also works with Officer Brad Etterle of the city-wide graffiti task force to help id these vandals with the pix she takes.  We are so lucky to have Laura as a neighborhood leader.
Monroe Drive Sidewalk Improvements Coming
Our public works department has announced that sidewalk improvements on Monroe Drive from PDL Avenue north to 10th Street will begin 4/10/2013 to include ADA ramps, spot sidewalk repairs, new curbing and amazingly enough -a real sidewalk in front of Woody’s Restaurant along with two driveway aprons.  Thanx to the Midtown folks and PEDS who have advocated for this for years.
Going along with this announcement – read Maria Saporta’s article about pedestrians at http://saportareport.com/blog/2013/03/a-more-walkable-atlanta-equals-a-healthier-and-more-prosperous-city/.
APD’s Latest Achievement Report
The following reports are from our APD Zone 6 (http://atlantapd.org/Zone6.aspx ) crime stats for the 2013 weeks of 10 and 11 (3/3 to 3/17) for our VaHi Beat 601, along with news from around the Zone as it affects us.  Again, I state these reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to make you more aware of what happens around us everyday, and to raise you alertness.
Aggravated Assault  -  on the early morning of 3/10 a Greenwood Avenue (between PDL Place and the BeltLine) resident was hit by a rock thrown by the suspect, as he was entering the code for his condo garage.  As the suspect said “give me your money” – the victim grabbed the suspect’s arm and then he hit the victim on the head, knocking the victim’s glasses off.  The victim refused to surrender any money and the suspect fled on foot.  PLEASE, PLEASE stay aware of your surroundings at ALL times – even doing something as innocent as returning to your own home that you are so familiar with.  If you need better lighting or have some overgrown shrubbery – take care of it NOW.
There was a domestic situation at the Briarcliff Summit building.  In the daytime on the PDL Avenue sidewalk near North Highland Avenue a female victim was attacked by another female who showed a gun.  The victim evidently knew the suspect as she gave her street name.
Auto Theft  -  No reported incidents from Beat 601
Commercial Burglary  -  No reported incidents from Beat 601
Residential Burglary  -  There was an attempt on Amsterdam Avenue – the garage door was pried open, but the suspect was unsuccessful in trying to kick in the door to the house.  A storage shed was entered by damaging the lock on Lanier Boulevard with a bike and a lawnmower taken.  A Monroe Drive home was entered via a broken rear window with only food and cleaning supplies taken.
Commercial Robbery  -  No reported incidents from Beat 601
Residential Robbery  -  No reported incidents from Beat 601
Larceny From Vehicle  -  Vehicles were entered on North Highland Avenue (4), Hudson Drive, Lanier Boulevard (2), PDL Place,and Greenwood Avenue
Larceny Other  -  A bicycle chained to a North Highland Avenue apartment building’s gas meter had the rear wheel and seat taken.
Our PDL Avenue Publix and Kroger stores caught 5 shoplifters (and who knows how many were not caught).  The Edgewood Target store caught 10 non-paying visitors.
A gas station on Memorial Drive lost 574 gallons of gas after someone had reprogrammed 2 pumps to keep pumping after the paid for amount had been reached.  There were security cameras at this location.  There have to be folks who lay awake at nite thinking of ways to steal!
Pedestrian Robbery -  No reported incidents from Beat 601
However around the Zone there are still reports of cell phone snatchings.  It amazes me that we do not have more such incidents here in VaHi, judging from the number of folks I see walking on our streets, talking on their phones at the same time and having no idea as to what is going on around them.
I drove down to Greenbriar Mall this week to see a machine that will accept and pay cash for “used’ cell phones.  You have to place your driver’s license in the machine for ID and the machine says that APD is notified of all transactions. I forgot to look to see if there is a limit on how many transactions can be done with one ID.  I have a feeling though, that if you have a lot of “used” cell phones to trade for cash, you could use stolen driver’s licenses.  Some clever thief could figure out a way to play this game.
Enjoy springtime and stay alert.  Remember the Clean Car Campaign and keep ALL parked cars cleaned out at ALL times.  If you do not clean out your car – someone else will.

VaHi Safety Team Report: March 19, 2013

By: John Wolfinger

APD’s 2012 Crime Report
The Atlanta Police Foundation now has a link on their site to this report.  Go to http://www.atlantapolicefoundation.org/  and click on “2012 Crime Report” on the right hand side of the page.
Citizens Police Acadamies
You now have two of these informative sessions to choose from this spring.  APD’s academy starts 4/17 and continues every Wednesday evening for 7 weeks from 6 to 9 p.m.  Send an e-mail to Sergeant Chad Hannula for an application at channula@atlantaga.gov  Spend an evening inside the new 911 call center and video integration operation as well as ride-alongs with on duty beat officers.
The Fulton County Sheriff’s department has announced that their academy will begin 4/24 and continues every Wednesday evening for 6 weeks from 6 to 8 p.m.. Send an e-mail to Natasha Mootoo for an application at natasha.mootoo@fultoncountyga.gov   I was in their first session last year and a couple of the highlights were an evening spent inside the Fulton County Jail and an evening inside the Fulton County Courthouse learning about how the building is secured and seeing how prisoners are brought from the jail and held in cells beside each courtroom.
Monroe Drive Traffic Problems
Our new NPU “F” traffic/transportation chair, Laura Stephens, is really grabbing the bull by the horns concerning the many pedestrian and vehicular problems of this very busy street in our midst.  She is asking for pix and stories about what you have witnessed or been involved in along this thoroughfare.  Make sure you include specific times and dates in your e-mails to her at laura.stephens@cushwake.com, and also copy the Midtown folks at  traffic@midtownatlanta.org.  There was to have been improvement funding in the failed t-splost vote, and now the next ray of hope for safety changes lays with a proposed city infrastructure bond issue next year. Documenting all of the problems will help to push Monroe Drive safety enhancements to the forefront when funding is available.
BeltLine Security
Thanx to VaHi resident Chris Juckins for attending the recent Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. meeting on 3/7 at Atlanta Tech and passing on his notes about security.  For the time being we have APD’s mounted patrol working the trail until such time as a designated COPS unit will protect trail users.  APD has hired 15 military vets with a federal grant and will supplement them with 5 more officers from within the APD organization.  The new hirees are now in training but will not be ready to hit the trails til later this year.  Additional lighting is being added, 10 more bicycles are being ordered, and street numbers are being assigned to the mile markers on the trail for ease in identifying where you are if you need to call 911.
The BeltLine is a fantastic addition to Atlanta’s list of assets – but do not consider that you have left the city and gone to the country when using the path.  Use common sense by keeping usage to daylite hours, keep personal electronics hidden in your clothing, go with someone else, and do not get lost in your thoughts as you walk, jog or bike ride.  Stay aware and alert while getting some good exercise.
The following reports are from our APD Zone 6 (http://atlantapd.org/Zone6.aspx) crime stats for the 2013 weeks of 8 and 9 (2/17 to 3/2) for our VaHi Beat 601, along with news from around the Zone as it affects us.  Again, these reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to make you aware of what happens around us everyday and to raise your alertness.
Aggravated Assault  -  No reported incidents from Beat 601.
Auto Theft  -  No reported incidents from Beat 601.
Commercial Burglary  -  No reported incidents from Beat 601.
Residential Burglary  -  Two residences were entered on Glen Arden Way, one via a broken out side window and the other via a kicked-in back door.  The residents of this last incident were out of town at the time – but thanx to caring neighbors the open back door was secured.  An open tool shed on Hudson Drive was entered and a lawn mower taken.  A St. Charles Avenue residence was entered and netted the thief a hand gun.  On Virginia Avenue a home was entered via an unlocked door.
Commercial Robbery  -  No reported incidents from Beat 601.
Pedestrian Robbery  -  No reported incidents from Beat 601. However nearby on the BeltLine near the Ponce City Market on the evening watch (3 to 11 p.m.) the 2 victims were approached by 2 males asking if they wanted to buy drugs – the victims declined, but the 2 suspects came back with one of them brandishing a hand gun and robbed them of $500 cash, 6 debit/credit cards and 2 cell phones.  The suspects fled northward on foot.  I can’t help from making a comment about being on the BeltLine with that much cash.
Residential Robbery  -  No reported incidents from Beat 601.
Larceny From Vehicle  -  Vehicles were entered on Briarcliff Terrace, Highland Terrace, Amsterdam Avenue and two on North Highland Avenue.  All of these incidents were from week # 8 – week # 9 was free of such intrusions. Remember the Clean Car Campaign and keep ALL parked cars cleaned out at ALL times.
Larceny Other  -  A delivered package on an Adair Avenue front porch was opened and the contents taken.  Remember, we have a very easy way to thwart these front porch thefts, by having packages delivered to one of our safe delivery addresses.  Stop by Intown Hardware, CityStorage or Urban Body on PDL Place and sign up for this free program to use their address.  These folks will even call you when you have a package to pick up.
At the Bed, Bath and Beyond store at the Edgewood Retail District, an unwatched purse was taken from a shopping cart (surprised?).  The Target store at this same location caught 4 non-paying visitors.
Stay alert and enjoy spring in Atlanta.

VaHi Safety Team Report: March 7, 2013

By: John Wolfinger

Another Citizen’s Police Academy Session

APD has announced the next Citizen’s Police Academy starting 4/17/2013 for 7 weeks every Wednesday evening from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Police Academy on the far south side of the city near the main post office.  Deadline for applications is 3/30 and contact Sergeant Chad Hannula for an application at channula@atlantaga.gov  and Lieutenant J. Durant for questions at jdurant@atlantaga.gov  I’ll also be glad to answer questions as I am a graduate with class #15.  Sessions include ride alongs with officers while on duty, an evening at the 911 call center and many other memorable experiences.  Graduation is also a memorable experience as it is combined with a regular police academy graduation (complete with the police bagpiper).

The Publix Georgia Marathon

This huge race is again scheduled to run thru VaHi on 3/17.  See the race route and other details on travel that day at http://www.georgiamarathon.com or at this related story on the VHCA website. Plan ahead and avoid frustrations that Sunday morning as you are out and about.

The Jan. 27 Sexual Assault on Virginia Avenue

I received this message from Sergeant E. Britton as to the status of this investigation.  He replied to me – “I have been asked to respond to your enquiry into a sexual assault on Virginia Avenue.  This investigation has been closed with no arrest.  I hope that you understand that given the sensitive nature I must protect my victim first.  I can assure you there is no threat to the community from anyone concerned with this investigation.  The victim is being offered all available assistance in this matter.  I thank you and the community for their concerns.”

This really is all I know – so please do not ask me for further information.

Juvenile Justice and APS Police News

The Georgia General Assembly is in the process of producing drastic new legislation as to our juvenile justice system.  I am glad that this controversial subject has been faced and steps are being worked on to improve how our total juvenile system will operate.  These juvenile offenders either stand to be led into being productive law abiding adults or continue their law breaking lifestyle into their adult lives.  Some of the story at http://www.ajc.com/news/news/crime-law/push-begins-to-reform-juvenile-justice-system/nWJbt/  and at http://www.ajc.com/news/news/state-regional-govt-politics/georgia-house-approves-juvenile-justice-overhaul/nWc4R/

This surprising article about success in Clayton County with juvenile offenders is at  http://www.ajc.com/news/news/clayton-juvenile-program-becomes-model-for-state-r/nWg6f/. Thanx to David Berl for pointing out to me this interesting NY Times article about juvenile work in NYC  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/04/nyregion/to-stem-juvenile-robberies-police-trail-youths-before-the-crime.html?hp&_r=0  Since APS is considering creating their own police force, I would hope that something of these NY and Clayton County models could be incorporated, instead of just creating a new guard force.  http://www.ajc.com/news/news/atlanta-schools-may-create-own-police-force/nWgF7/  We need to be getting at the root of the problem of juvenile crime to avoid creating yet another generation of law-breaking adults. I also applaud the folks who are working with the Bedford Pines kids here in our neighboring Old 4th Ward to break the criminal cycle there via the YoBoulevard! program, and giving them positive adult role models.

The following reports are from our APD Zone 6 (http:atlantapd.org/Zone6.aspx) crime stats for the 2013 weeks of 6 and 7 (2/3 to 2/16) for our VaHi Beat 601, along with news from around the Zone as it affects us.  Again, I state, these reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to make you aware of what happens around us everyday, and to raise your alertness.  Thanx to our Zone 6 Officer Dodson for getting us caught up with these reports with the new APD reporting model.  I know that this has been a big job to adjust to this new system.

Aggravated Assault  -  No reported incidents in Beat 601

Auto Theft  -  A car was stolen from North Highland Avenue and a pickup truck (with a lot of tools inside) was stolen from a construction site on PDL Terrace.

Commercial Burglary  -  No reported incidents in Beat 601

Nearby, at the AFR station # 10 on Boulevard in Grant Park, the station was entered via a broken front window.  I am assuming that the firemen were out on a call at the time and that there is an alarm system for the building.  The responding officer was on Boulevard at the traffic lite in front of the staion when the call came to him.  The perp was caught as he was climbing back out of the broken window.

Residential Burglary  -  The following burglary incidents seem to be the end of our spate of these incidents – I have not heard of any more residential burglaries after week 7.  A Barnett Street apartment was entered via a broken window.  A Highland View home was entered via a broken rear basement window.  A Highland Green Way residence was entered via a kicked-in back door.  A PDL Terrace home was entered via a rear window left open for cat usage.  On PDL Place two apartment units were entered via kick-in front doors at the Highland View complex.  A Cooledge Avenue home was entered via a crawl space hole.  On Virginia Avenue a rear patio door was kicked in for entry (but nothing taken).  Also on Virginia Avenue an entry was aborted by the resident who arrived home at the right time.  This home was also the source of the youtube video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxriryS56ao  that I posted on my last report.

Commercial Robbery -  No reported incidents in Beat 601

Residential Robbery  -  No reported incidents in Beat 601

Larceny From Vehicle  -  Vehicles were entered on Virginia Avenue, North Highland Avenue, St. Charles Avenue (2) and a catalytic converter was sawed off on Greenwood Avenue.

Larceny Other  -  Tools were taken from the 2nd floor balcony of a Barnett Street apartment.

Nearby at the Target store in the Edgewood Retail District, 6 non-paying “customers” were caught.

Pedestrian Robbery  -  No reported incidents in Beat 601

Nearby, a 13 y/o Inman School student was robbed at knifepoint on Euclid Avenue.  The young victim identified one of the suspects as a fellow Inman classmate.

PLEASE, PLEASE remember the CLEAN CAR CAMPAIGN and keep ALL parked cars cleaned out at ALL times.  Also remind your visitors and customers of this vital rule to avoid becoming a victim and having to get a new car window.  Vehicle break-ins are a crime we can so easily prevent.

Stay alert.

VaHi Safety Team Report: February 18, 2013

By: John Wolfinger

Residential Burglaries

We are experiencing an abnormal (read very high) amount of home burglaries this month and everyone in VaHi is urged to be extra alert.  If you see any activity here that gives you a gut feeling that it is not normal or indicates something is wrong – please make a suspicious activity report to 911 immediately.  Try to remember as many details as you can see – vehicle make, color, license plate number if you are lucky enough to see it, how many passengers, which direction it is traveling – or if you see a person – note the race, gender, clothing being worn, direction walking, backpack or bags being carried, approximate heighth and weight.  This is all part of the “See Something – Say Something” APD campaign – we are the extra eyes and ears for APD and what we may witness may be of importance.

As usual, make sure that ALL doors and windows are securely locked, outside lighting is set to come on at dusk, and your alarm is set EVERY time you leave your house.  If you are leaving town – make sure your trusted neighbors, including your Street Captain, know as well and how to get in touch with you.  If you are having work done at your house or having visitors – also make sure your neighbors know, so there will not be false alarms raised.  Nosy neighbors are our best first-line of defense.  If you are a FBAC member – make sure they are notified of your absence also, so they can do walk-about checks on your property.  http://www.fbacvahi.com/

The recent break-ins that I know of were – Highland Green Way (2/10), two apartment units at Highland View on PDL Place (2/13), Barnett Street (2/3), PDL Terrrace (2/7), two homes on Glen Arden Way (2/16), Cooledge Avenue (2/15), Highland View (2/6) and an aborted attempt on Virginia Avenue (2/15).  Nearby in Piedmont Heights – Piedmont Way (2/11) and Rock Springs Road (2/16).

Home alarm systems and security cameras will not necessarily prevent break-ins (I always wonder if our thieves can read), but alarms will limit the amount of time spent in your home and cameras can provide pix of intruders to help APD.

We have a dynamic duo of Zone 6 investigators working on all of these cases – Officers Jason Somers and Chad Gurley.  If you have any tips – please let them know at  jtsomers@atlantaga.gov or cgurley@atlantaga.gov

There is terrific video of the aborted break-in attempt on Virginia Avenue, courtesy of the tech-savvy homeowner at -

http://imgur.com/a/qjgD9  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ni-FLVAgCHM  and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxriryS56ao

Zone 6 is still looking for this person of interest – http://vahi.patch.com/articles/police-seek-man-in-virginia-highland-break-ins

Police Arrrested

I was extremely saddened at the news of the arrests of several metro police personnel, including one from our APD Zone 6.

http://www.ajc.com/news/news/corruption-scandal-shocks-saddens-metro-law-enforc/nWRNs/  As much as I am an avid supporter of our local police, I am also forced to admit that there can be bad apples in every barrel.  But – these arrestees do NOT exemplify the APD folks that I encounter every day in my volunteer work for our Safety Team.  We are blessed to have a dedicated and loyal group of folks protecting us every day.

The following reports are from our APD Zone 6 (http://atlantapd.org/Zone6.aspx ) crime stats for the 2013 weeks of 2,3,4 and 5 (1/6 – 2/2 ) from our VaHi Beat 601, along with news from nearby as it affects us.  Again, I state, these reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to make you aware of what happens around us everyday, and to raise your alertness.

Aggravated Assault  -  No incidents reported from Beat 601

Auto Theft  -  Vehicles were stolen from Monroe Drive (recovered in SW Atlanta), PDL Place, North Highland Avenue, Virginia Avenue (3 – one being a botch attempt), Barnett Street, Frederica Street, and Bellevue Drive.  The North Highland Avenue stolen vehicle also netted the thieves 2 hand guns and 2 rifles that were in the vehicle.  More weapons on the street to be used in other crimes!

Commercial Burglary  -  The Bridge Boutique on St. Charles Avenue was entered via a brick thrown thru the front window.  Their alarm also let police responders see that the Threadz store on the same black was also entered via a broken front window.

Going Coastal restaurant on Virginia Avenue was entered via a pried open front door with 8 bottles of liquor stolen.  The American Roadhouse rstaurant on North Highland Avenue was entered via a broken side glass door.

Residential Burglary  -  A residence on Rosedale Drive was entered via a rock thrown thru a kitchen window.  That same nite a chained bicycle was taken from a front porch and a tool box stolen from the driveway of a nearby Rosedale Drive address.  The rest of the recent residential burglaries are beyond the week 5 dates and I do not yet have these report details.

Commercial Robbery  -  No incidents reported from Beat 601

Residential Robbery  -  No incidents reported from Beat 601

Larceny From Vehicle -  Vehicles were entered on Arlington Place, Cresthill Avenue, Lanier Boulevard, North Highland Avenue (2), PDL Avenue (2), Rosedale Road, Greenwood Avenue and a catalytic converter taken on PDL Place.

Larceny Other  -  Maintenance crews are suspected in a theft from a Greenwood Avenue apartment.  A scooter and two bicycles were taken from a North Virginia Avenue backyard storage shed.  Two chained and locked bicycles were taken from a St. Charles Avenue apartment building common stairway.  A hitched trailer was unhooked and taken from a North Highland Avenue parking lot.

Nearby, our PDL Avenue Kroger and Publix stores caught 5 shoplifters (I always wonder how many they do not catch).  The Edgewood Retail District Target store caught fourteen shoplifters.

Pedestrian Robbery  -  An ATM customer leaving the Virginia Avenue Wells Fargo Bank had a handgun armed perp walk behind him on Todd Road and robbed him of his cash.  The gunman ran to a vehicle parked at Todd and Virginia Circle and drove away.  I do not know a time for this incident, other than it was on morning watch (10 p.m. to 7 a.m.) – but well after dark, and evidently late enough that there were no other pedestrians nearby to witness.  I wonder if the victim REALLY could not have waited to get cash the next day in daylite.  ATMs are convenient – but they also pose dangers (especially at late hours).

Rape -  On 1/27, the victim was walking home from Midtown Plaza and was assaulted from behind on Virginia Avenue just east of Barnett Street.  The perp knocked the victim face down to the sidewalk and assaulted her, with a condom being used.  There is no time listed on the report, other than it was on the morning watch ( 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.).  The report does not state as to whether the victim was taken to a hospital.

Stay alert and remember the Clean Car Campaign – ALL parked cars cleaned out at ALL times.

VaHi Safety Team Report: February 11, 2013

By: John Wolfinger

I know, I know – it has been a while since I issued a report. As Zone 6 converts to a new reporting format, I am still waiting for 2013 week 2 – so this report only includes 2013 week 1.

Gunfire From Piedmont Park

Thanx to an inquiry I received from a Virginia Hill condo resident – my friends at MPSA helped me get this Zone 5 report about this incident.

“On 2/5/13 at 9:57p.m. I SPO Bunyan and Ofc. Zemaitis responded to a call at Charles Allen Drive and 10th Street.  There we met SW who reported someone was shooting inside the park.  According to S. she had just walked out of the Grady High School premises at 929 Charles Allen Drive when she observed a black male standing on the opposite side of the school entrance inside the park.  S said she heard several gun shots and saw the black male pointing his hand in the air.  At the end of his hand she saw fire which made her realize he was actually firing a pistol.  S described the suspect as a short black male wearing grey pants, black jacket and a black skull cap.  She was unable to give the suspect direction of travel as she was hiding behind a car for safety.”  No word yet as to more news from this active investigation.

Then the next day, 2/6/2013, a 911 call was placed from the Virginia Hill condo building when a resident found a hole in the outside wall of his unit and a bullet lodged in a wall opposite the entry point.  This may or may not be part of the same gunfire incident in the park.

There were no injury reports filed following this incident, thank goodness.

Carjacking Incidents Arrests

The arrests announced this past Friday may be as important as the arrests of the Jack Boys as the investigation continues as to this crime rampage.  Look for more news as this unfolds.  There were no local victims that I know of.

http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/6-charged-string-carjackings/nWJ8D/

Residential Burglaries

I do not have the Zone 6 reports yet – but there has been a rash of home break-ins in the past few weeks.  I have heard of reports on Todd Road, Highland Green Way, Highland View, Barnett Street, PDL Terrace and an unsuccessful attempt on St. Charles Avenue.  A PDL Terrace neighbor provided a description of the suspect there – a black or hispanic male, 5’9″ to 5’10″, wearing a grey sweatshirt and a black baseball cap.  When I have more details of these incidents, I will let you know.

We have not had many home break-ins in quite a while – but these recent incidents show that you need to let neighbors and FBAC know when you are going to be away, keep your alarms set when you are away from home, make sure ALL doors and windows are securely locked, and keep all your outside lighting set to be on after dark.

The following reports are from APD Zone 6 crime stats for 2013 week # 1 (12/30/2012 – 1/5/2013) from our VaHi Beat 601.  Again, I state, these reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to make you aware of what happens around us everyday.

Aggravated Assault  -  No reports from Beat 601

Auto Theft  -  Vehicles were stolen from Cresthill Avenue and St. Charles Place.

Commercial Burglary  -  The China Dragon restaurant on PDL Avenue was entered via a broken out front window with only the tip jar cash taken.

Residential Burglary  -  No reports from Beat 601

Commercial Robbery  -  No reports from Beat 601

Residential Robbery  -  No reports from Beat 601

Larceny From Vehicle  -  Vehicles were broken into on Amsterdam Avenue, PDL Avenue, St. Charles Avenue and Virginia Avenue.  This is one crime category that we all can help to prevent by remembering the Clean Car Campaign – that is keeping ALL parked cars cleaned out at ALL times.

Larceny Other  -  No reports from Beat 601

Nearby at the PDL Avenue Publix store, the arrestee was seen taking a bottle of cooking sherry into the men’s room.  He drank it all and threw the empty bottle in the trash can.  That must have been quite a rush!

Pedestrian Robbery  -  No reports from Beat 601.

I have not heard of any such reports from the BeltLine lately – but still, keep yourself aware and alert on this path and keep those personal electronics hidden in your clothing.

APD has just released a January success report at – http://www.atlantapd.org/files/greatesthitsjanuary.pdf

Stay Alert and Aware!!!

VaHi Safety Team Report: January 7, 2013

By: John Wolfinger

Happy New Year!!!

We’ve survived the dire predictions of the turn of the century 13 years ago and the recent alarm about the end of the Mayan calendar, and here we are in 2013 and still going strong!!

Even though we live in the middle of a big city and an even much larger metro area – and yes, we have incidents – this remains a well-connected and pretty safe neighborhood area. When I see news stories about some neighborhoods that have suffered some sort of criminal activity and residents are crying out for “meetings”, increased police patrols and demands that “they” find solutions to their problems – I am so thankful that we already have a network of safety measures in place.  We have APD Zone 6 patrols (http://atlantapd.org/Zone6.aspx), the protection afforded by AFR Station #19 (http://www.vhfirecompany.com/), the additional off-duty police patrols of FBAC (http://www.fbacvahi.com), our network of Street Captains for our neighborhood watch organization – the VaHi Safety Team, our various neighborhood community message boards – the vhlist, vhmpa and nextdoor – and affiliated grassroots organizations that promote cleanliness, such as our Keep VaHi Beautiful group ( http://www.facebook.com/KeepVirginiaHighlandBeautiful) and our graffiti squad led by Laura Voisinet (graffiti@vahi.org). All of these groups are responsible for keeping our corner of the world a much safer place to live, work and play.

We are all lucky to be surrounded by caring neighbors looking out for each other, making 911 suspicious activity reports, picking up litter, and letting each other know about safety and quality of life problems. I am also grateful for the instant communications I enjoy with the safety folks in our surrounding neighborhoods.These are the things that differentiate our neighborhood from unorganized communities that have to be reactive to problems rather than being proactive.

The Fulton County Jail

The Fulton County Commissioners FINALLY voted the funding to correct the dangerous cell locks situation that have plagued the jail for years. http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local-govt-politics/fulton-jail-will-get-working-cell-locks/nTbQf/  Now – let’s hope we do not have a situation at the jail before this work can be done.

Dangerous Morningside Situation Averted

I just received a report yesterday about some 5th grade boys who found a gun on Saturday 1/5/2013 in the Daniel Johnson Nature Preserve. These kids did the right thing by reporting their find to their parents who called Zone 2. The gun turned out to be loaded and an investigation is underway – no further news at this time. I do not know who the families of these kids are – but I do credit the parents for having educated their children not to mess with found guns and to let their parents know. This situation could have ended up tragically. If you are a parent and have not had a talk with your kids about what to do in situations such as this, tonight would be a good time to have such a safety talk. This is all part of APD’s “See Something – Say Something” campaign.

The Year of Boulevard Report

Granted, this beleaguered street has a long way to go yet with social and safety concerns, but changes have to start somewhere and thanks to a lot of dedicated people, a positive difference is being made. I know that there are VaHi folks who are volunteering in this neighborhood – thank you.

http://www.cbsatlanta.com/story/20479222/year-of-boulevard-brings-positive-change

The following reports have been gleaned from our APD Zone 6 crime stats for the 2012 weeks of 48, 49, 50 and 51 (11/25 to 12/22) with emphasis on our VaHi Beat 601, but with some news from around the Zone as it applies to us. Again, I state these reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to make you aware of what happens around us everyday.

Aggravated Assault  -  No incidents reported from our Beat 601

Auto Theft  -  Vehicles were stolen from Bellevue Drive and Greenwood Avenue.  A vehicle was also stolen from Monroe Drive, but was located parked on Angier Avenue in the Old 4th Ward.  It was discovered via the device installed in many of our APD cars that “looks” for certain license plate numbers.

Commercial Burglary  -  The construction contractor’s office at the Briarcliff Summit was broken into via an unlocked window and then thru the ceiling.  Someone went to to a lot of trouble to gain this entry.

Residential Burglary  -  A Highland Terrace home was entered via a pried off lock from a rear window.

Commercial Robbery  -  No incidents reported from Beat 601

Residential Robbery  -  At 7 p.m. an apartment door at the Briarcliff Summit was kicked in while the resident was sleeping.  The perp awoke the victim, threatened him with a knife and took a tv set.

Larceny From Vehicle  -  Vehicles were broken into on Frederica Street, PDL Avenue (6), Kanuga Street, North Highland Avenue (6), Greenwood Avenue, Maiden Lane, Virginia Avenue (2), and a catalytic converter was stolen from Maryland Avenue.

An important arrest was made on 12/12/2012 with Scott Patrick still in jail with a $16,000 bond.  He was charged with entering an auto and possession of tools to commit a felony.  He has a record of car break-ins going back to 2006.  I’m still waiting word as to a CourtWatch opportunity at his hearing.  I’ll make a message board post when I hear from the DA’s office.

Larceny Other  -  Locked bicycles were stolen from a Briarcliff Place condo building laundry room and from a St. Charles Avenue front porch.  As I have stated many times before – hide those unused bikes inside somewhere that no one else has access to.  As we see now – inside a common laundry room does not qualify as a hiding place.

A cabbie took a fare to the Briarcliff Summit building – she did not have enough money, but went inside to borrow the money from a friend and never came back out.  The KT Nails Salon on PDL Avenue had two male clients dressed as women to have their nails done – they fled without paying and took the owner’s I-phone also.  A parked trailer was taken from PDL Avenue.  An observant neighbor reported 3 subjects stealing the street name sign at PDL and North Highland Avenues – the reporting officer saw them, but they fled and left the sign in front of the Briarcliff Summit.

The following was a complicated narrative and I hope I have condensed it correctly – a Limerick Junction patron did not have money to pay his tab, so the off-duty officer working there agreed to walk him to a nearby ATM to get cash.  A scuffle occured at the ATM (this is where the story got complicated) and a passerby came to the aid of the off-duty officer and an arrest was made.  Thanx to conscientious citizens who help out our APD officers in time of need.

At the Edgewood Retail District – the Target store caught 9 shoplifters and an unwatched wallet in a shopping cart at that Kroger store was stolen.

Pedestrian Robbery  -  On 11/28 at about 9:30 p.m. at the corner of Maryland and Virginia Avenues. the victim had parked his car on Maryland and was walking to his home when approached by a male asking if he had seen a loose dog, who then produced a pistol.  The victim gave him the cash he had (less than $20) and the perp fled in his parked car on Maryland.

On 11/29 at 7 p.m. was the much publicized incident at the Old 4th Ward skate park.  The victim (who came in from the suburbs) was there to buy an I-phone from a Craig’slist ad seller.

The “seller” pulled a gun and demanded the victim’s wallet while he was being pushed into his car.  the victim grabbed his pistol, fired two shots, chased the perp and held him til police arrived.

I apologize for this report being so late, but I had a computer crash and my Mozy backup system saved most everything except my address file, which I have been working to fill back up. I fully realize that some folks who have been receiving these reports are not getting this one. If you have friends (mostly VaHi businesses I think) who did not receive this report – please ask them to e-mail me with their contact info, so I can get them back on my distribution list.

Keep reminding your visitors to clean out their cars before parking here.

Virginia-Highland Safety Team Report: December 10, 2012

By: John Wolfinger

The Continuing Fulton County Jail Dilemma

December 5th saw yet another Fulton County Commissioner’s meeting where the funding for new Fulton County Jail cell locks went down the drain, and in the meantime the safety of both jail staff and inmates is in danger, due to old and shoddy cell locks now in use. This time the vote was 3 – 3 about funding the new lock system – voting against the funding proposal (about $5 million) was Emma Darnell, Rob Pitts and Bill Edwards. The person that could purportedly have passed the bill was Tom Lowe who was over 3 hours late for the meeting and did not vote. To her credit, our district 6 commissioner, Joan Garner, voted for the proposal. Commission Chair John Eaves was quoted in the AJC – stating “Even if it’s not a prerogative to get off the consent decree, it is a safety issue that’s important to protecting the lives of people. To me, when you know there’s a problem and you don’t do anything to correct the problem, we become the problem.” Fixing the lock problem is one of the main issues left that still leaves our county jail under a federal court consent decree, which has been on-going for years.  Unfortunately, this entire article does not have a link to it, so I can’t share it with you if you missed it.  http://www.ajc.com/photo/news/local-govt-politics/fulton-proposal-to-fix-jail-locks-fails/pmMK9/  E-mail addresses for all commissioners are at  http://www.fultoncountyga.gov/commissioners  by clicking on their pictures, if you would like to express your concern about coming to a solution on this jail consent decree problem and letting Sheriff Ted Jackson run the jail without a federal judge looking over his shoulder.

The Charles Echols Sentencing Hearing

This serial burglar that had VaHi, Morningside and Midtown on edge in August til his capture on 8/22 was sentenced to 15 years in prison last week. The story that has the narrative meticulously prepared by our own VaHi CourtWatcher David Berl is at  http://vahi.patch.com/articles/serial-criminal-put-away-for-15-years-462f2b1d   CourtWatch played an important part in this sentence with statements from many of the victims.

Piedmont Park Safety Alert!

The latest issue of the Midtown Ponce Security Alliance has a story about a serious sexual incident in Piedmont Park.  Read it at http://www.midtownponce.org/p3848.html

Zone 6 Santa Claus Plans

Major Meadows and the men and women of APD Zone 6 would like to spread some holiday cheer to Zone 6 boys and girls in need. Bring new unwrapped toys to Zone 6 headquarters at 2025 Hosea Williams Drive, SE, ATL 30317 in Kirkwood before 12/18 between the weekday hours of 9 a.m. and 7 p.m., or contact me and I’ll be glad to take them to Zone 6 for you.

A Couple of Interesting Videos

A MARTA safety video at  http://clatl.com/freshloaf/archives/2012/11/20/marta-safety-video-is-arguably-the-most-realistic-depiction-of-riding-transit-ever-made.

And, a good seasonal video from Watershed Management http://youtu.be/5mKtjdAxG7M.  Love the truckfull of happy sewer guys at the end.

Our Safe Address Delivery Program

Once again, I will repeat that we have had for several years now a free safe address program for your intended UPS and FedEx packages. Just stop by Highland Wine and Crystal, Intown Hardware, CityStorage or Urban Body (PDL Place location) and sign up for this free program – then you can use their address to insure your package will be held for you until you pick it up. It is so easy to eliminate front porch package thefts.

The following reports have been gleaned from our APD Zone 6 (http://www.atlantapd.org/Zone6.aspx) crime stats for the 2012 weeks of 45, 46, and 47 (11/4 to 11/24) with emphasis on our VaHi Beat 601, but with news from around the whole Zone as it applies to us.  Again, I state these reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to make you aware of what happens around us everyday.

Aggravated Assault  -  There was quite a ruckus in the 800 block of Adair Avenue on 11/21 at 3 a.m. involving several folks who evidently all knew each other, with alcohol usage playing a major part in this scenario. One victim was sent to Atlanta Medical Center and at least 3 arrests were made for disorderly conduct, obstruction of EMT personnel and battery.

Nearby in Candler Park on Iverson Street at 1:45 p.m. a bicyclist was hit by a passing car whose driver was upset at not being able to pass the two-wheeler – the bicyclist refused medical attention.The law states a motorized must leave three feet between the cyclist and the vehicle.

Auto Theft  -  No reported incidents in Beat 601. This is the first time in a LONG time that I have not reported auto thefts. This is good!

Auto Theft Recovery  -  No such reports from Beat 601.

Commercial Burglary  -  The China Dragon restaurant on PDL Avenue was entered via a broken front window.

Residential Burglary  -  No reported incidents in Beat 601

Commercial Robbery  -  No reported incidents in Beat 60. However, nearby at the Pizza Hut on North Avenue @ Boulevard at 9:10 a.m. an employee was counting out cash for a bank deposit when he was robbed at gunpoint.  The robber entered and left via a secured door with a pass code entry system.  An inside job??  Time for a new staff?

Residential Robbery  -  No reported incidents in Beat 601.

Larceny From Vehicle  -  Vehicles were violated on PDL Avenue (5), PDL Place (3), Rupley Drive, Briarcliff Road (2), North Highland Avenue (3), Amsterdam Avenue, Greenwood Avenue, and St. Charles Avenue.  Of these 17 incidents – two involved license plates being taken.

Larceny Other  -  A front porch package theft was reported from Drewry Street, a purse was stolen from a person serving food at Druid Hills Presbyterian Church,  Chow Baby! restaurant on PDL Avenue had a walk-out without payment and an unwatched cell phone was taken at a PDL Avenue bar.

Around the Zone – cell phone snatches abound – enough said???  And another craigslist story – the victimized buyer met a cell phone “seller” in the Edgewood Retail District parking lot at 8:30 p.m. and as soon as he showed his cash – it was grabbed and the perp ran.  A Glenwood Avenue gas station reported a loss of 5841 gallons of gas over a weekend as per inventory measurements.  It is suspected that gas was siphoned out of the underground tanks via the main entry point to these tanks, and no employees reported seeing anything!!  Then the next day this same gas station lost 195 gallons of gas that was stolen by prying open the cover of the pump and by- passing the monitoring valve.  Time for a whole new, more observant staff at this station??  Tis the season for shoplifting – our PDL Avenue Kroger and Publix stores caught 5, the Edgewood Target caught 7 and the Publix and Walgreens at Piedmont @ North Avenues caught 7 also.

Homicide  -  No reported incidents in Beat 601.

But across the street, the much publicized killing at Ford Factory Lofts on 11/12 at 5:07 p.m. This is still an active investigation.

Pedestrian Robbery  -  A lone female was robbed at gunpoint on Greenwood Avenue near the BeltLine of her cell phone at 6:10 p.m.  Two victims were robbed in a North Highland Avenue parking lot near Amsterdam Avenue just after midnite of the contents of their pockets.  The lone perp fled on foot after staring at them for a brief moment.

Nearby a lone pedestrian was attacked and robbed of his cellphone at gunpoint as he was entering a taxi at 2:26 a.m. in the Ford Factory parking lot.  Two pedestrians were robbed at gunpoint on Flat Shoals Avenue in East Atlanta Village at 4 a.m.  Two pedestrians were robbed at gunpoint in the Edgewood Kroger parking lot at 2:26 a.m.  There were two separate such incidents within a short period of time at around 11:30 p.m. in the parking lot of a Piedmont Avenue apartment complex.

This past weekend I really enjoyed taking tickets at house # 6 on the VaHi Tour of Homes, and meeting many of you folks I have only met via e-mail before. I have not yet heard of any safety incidents this past weekend to tour-goers, which is good. The worst problem I know of was at the # 6 house on Kentucky Avenue where two pairs of similar women’s brown shoes got mixed up. If anyone got a pair of these shoes that are not the right size, I can connect you with the other shoe owner via her phone number. Both of these ladies had to walk the rest of the tour in shoes that did not fit. I also got a lot of good words about Street Captains and how well they kept their streets connected and informed.

Stay alert and aware all during this busy holiday season. Use common sense and keep ALL parked cars cleaned out at ALL times even when shopping. If you are going to more than one store from the same parking lot and want to stash bags from one store before going to another – leave the lot away from prying eyes, put packages in your trunk and then go back to resume shopping. Yeah – a little inconvenient – but so is a smashed window and no packages at all.

VaHi Safety Team Report: November 21, 2012

BeltLine Caution

The new eastside BeltLine trail that is attracting hundreds of joggers/walkers/bicyclists as a wonderful, scenic place to get out for exercise is also attracting those who prey on unsuspecting and unalert folks. There have been 3 recent incidents I need to make you aware of – on 11/19 there were two separate reports of joggers robbed in the area of the Highland Avenue bridge (no mention of weapons being used) and last week a jogger was robbed at gunpoint at the end of Greenwood Avenue at the BeltLine. These folks all lost their cellphones – so there was a delay in contacting 911. As you use the BeltLine, please keep electronics hidden under your clothing, and stay aware of your surroundings, just as you would on our city streets. As you traverse the BeltLine, keep note of where you are by noting landmarks and the dead-ends of city streets. Until such time when location signs are placed along the trail – assume responsibility for keeping track of your location, and your own safety. I hope that a decision-maker is reading this report and will act soon on BeltLine location ID signs and/or callboxes.

The Upcoming VaHi Tour of Homes

The annual VaHi Tour of Homes (an important community bonding project) is just around the corner on 12/8 and 12/9. The tour is a great way to explore the architecture and design of our neighborhood, as well as to meet your neighbors. The tour is also an important neighborhood fund-raiser.

There are still some volunteer opportunities – especially for the Sunday shifts. Each volunteer gets 2 complimentary tour tickets as a bonus. Details of the tour are at www.vahitourofhomes.org including how to sign up for volunteering. Those of us who are going to be house captains need to have enough staff volunteers to watch the houses.

The Jack Boys Sentencings

As another sentence was being handed down in this case – http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/3rd-man-gang-spree-gets-7-life-sentences/nS9mQ/ I got a nice note from Lisa McGraw, the courageous lady who was with Charles Boyer at the time of his killing. She stated – “Thank you VaHi for your support. I truly hope you never have to deal with another incident like this. I, and Charles’ family are happy that justice has been served. We are hoping to move on with our lives now. It’s been a long haul for all of us, but I can say, for all of us, the Fulton County DA’s office and their victim assistance program were absolutely amazing. Thank you all! Happy holidays and peace to you all.”

We all owe a vote of thanx to Assistant District Attorney Lance Cross for his skillful handling of this entire case.

Other Court and Investigation News

I have been informed from Zone 6 that the homicide division investigators have strong leads in the recent Ford Factory Lofts slaying and in the Barnett Street murder last August. We wish them well in solving these two senseless killings.

Tiffany Harlow, the Zone 2 Community Prosecutor, announced Monday evening at our NPU “F” meeting that Charles Echols, the serial house burglar who was captured 8/22, is scheduled for a hearing 11/28 at 9 a.m. in courtroom 7F before Judge Doris Downs. I will be leaving VaHi at 8:30 a.m. that day and will be glad to have company for CourtWatching that day. Let me know if you can attend – there are lots of VaHi and Morningside victims who should want to be there.

New COPS Newsletter

Our APD COPS (Community Oriented Policing Section) has a great newsletter with lots of important holiday safety tips as well as news as to how they are working on the crime prevention front. http://www.atlantapd.org/files/cops/Nov-Dec-2012.pdf

Our former evening watch patrolman, Officer Ralph Woolfolk, is now part of COPS.

The following reports have been gleaned from the APD Zone6 (http://www.atlantapd.org/Zone6.aspx) crime stats for the 2012 weeks of 43 and 44 (10/21-11/3) with emphasis on our VaHi Beat 601, but with news from around the Zone as it applies to us. Again, I state these reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to alert you to what happens around us everyday and to raise your awareness.

Aggravated Assault – There was a domestic altercation at a Briarcliff Road apartment.

Auto Theft – Vehicles were stolen from PDL Avenue and Rosedale Road.

Auto Theft Recovery – No reported recoveries in Beat 601

Commercial Burglary – Entry to the China Dragon restaurant on PDL Avenue was gained by damaging a deadbolt lock and 2 padlocks. A small amount of cash was taken.

Residential Burglary – A Briarcliff Summit resident fell asleep with the apartment door unlocked and awoke to find 2 tv sets missing.

Commercial Robbery – No reported incidents in Beat 601

Residential Robbery – No reported incidents in Beat 601

Larceny from Vehicle – Vehicles were entered on Amsterdam Walk, Maiden Lane, North Highland Avenue (3) and PDL Place. In this two week time period there were 96 of these reports from all over Zone 6. Near the Peachtree-Pine shelter on Pine Street a bus from the suburban Woodstock Baptist Church was broken into and a lot of purses were taken. I would assume that these unaware suburbanites were at this location to bring food to the shelter. A good example of biting the hand that is feeding you. As we enter the holiday season – remember the Clean Car Campaign – and make sure ALL parked cars are cleaned out at ALL times. And – don’t wait til you get to a busy parking lot to stash stealables in your trunk – think ahead.

Larceny Other – A locked bicycle was taken from a Greenwood Avenue apartment building stairwell. Take those bicycles inside when not in use! Also on Greenwood Avenue, a front doorstep package theft was reported from someone who did not know to use Intown Hardware, CityStorage or Highland Wine and Crystal as a safe delivery address. Check with these friendly merchants to sign up for this free program and help to stamp out front porch package thefts.

Around the Zone elsewhere cellphone snatch and grabs still persist from unalert and unaware victims. Also – is it wise to use a cellphone case as a holding place for debit and credit cards? An incident at the shopping area at Piedmont Avenue @ North Avenue, an attempted snatch grab resulted in the victim’s debit card falling out of the case which was taken by the thief.

Electronics were taken from the sanctuary (a misnomer in this case) of the Druid Hills Baptist Church on PDL Avenue. A chained to a tree piece of Art on the BeltLine was stolen.

Pedestrian Robbery – No reported incidents in Beat 601 but a warning about meeting people on social media sites. On Boulevard at 5:30 p.m. the male victim was at the location to meet a female he “met” on facebook. He was jumped by 2 males who put him in a choke hold, punched, kicked and bit him and then took his property. They fled along with his intended “date”.

Stay alert and aware out there during this holiday season.

Safety Team Report: November 12, 2012

By: John Wolfinger

APD In Mourning

The tragic helicopter crash on November 3 that took the lives of two APD air patrolmen, Richard Halford and Shawn Smiley, has left their surviving fellow officers realizing how fragile human life is and of the dangers they face every time they report for duty in service to us – the citizens of Atlanta. On behalf of the VaHi Safety Team neighborhood watch participants, I extend sincere condolences to these officers’ families and all of APD.  As Major Robert Browning stated “When a police officer dies in the line of duty, a piece of all officers goes with them.”

http://www.facebook.com/AtlantaPolice/posts/510631515614382

http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/hundreds-bid-farewell-fallen-apd-officer/nS3qB/

http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/family-friends-prepare-honor-fallen-apd-officers/nS2xs/

Thought Provoking AJC Op-Ed Article

The interesting and insightful article about crime stats that features my Inman Park partner-in-crime Greg Scott is at http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-forward/2012/11/08/going-beyond-crime-stats/

Safe Delivery Addresses for Package Delivery

For those of you who are new to VaHi and nearby neighborhoods – we have a terrific free service from local businesses to insure that packages sent to you actually reach you.  You can have deliveries sent to Intown Ace Hardware, Morningside Wine and Crystal, CityStorage or Urban Body, so they will not sit unattended on your front porch – visit any of these friendly community-minded merchants to sign up for this program. Most of them also call you when you have a package to be picked up. Then, just remember to alert the folks who will be sending you holiday gifts that you have a safe address for them to send packages to. We have virtually eliminated front doorstep thefts in VaHi thanx to this program. Don’t risk losing the fruitcake from Aunt Ruth by not using this safe address program.

Fall Leaf Removal Practices

Good article about fall leaf removal at http://vahi.org/reminder-to-bag-fall-leaves-for-removal/. If you spot neighbors or lawn service guys bagging leaves in black plastic trash bags – please remind them to use paper bags instead – using a plastic bag defeats the whole purpose of composting the leaves. Also remind thoughtless folks you see blowing leaves and grass clippings into the street that we are spending 3 billion dollars to update our storm sewer system and those leaves will eventually end up clogging a storm drain.

BeltLine Pedestrian Crossing at Monroe Drive/Virginia Avenue

Long-awaited pedestrian crossing improvements are being made at this dangerous intersection. http://vahi.patch.com/articles/eastside-trail

The following reports have been gleaned from the APD Zone 6 (http://www.atlantapd.org/Zone6.aspx)  crime stats for the 2012 weeks of 41 and 42 (10-7 to 10-20) with emphasis on our VaHi Beat 601, but with news from around the Zone as it applies to us.  Again, I state that these reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to make you aware of what happens around us everyday, and to raise your level of alertness.

Aggravated Assault  -  No reported incidents in Beat 601

But across PDL Avenue at the Clermont Lounge at 1:45 a.m., when a female patron knocked drinks from a pregnant waitresses’ hands, the victim told patron she would have to pay for the drinks – the patron became irate and attacked, punching and kicking the waitress.  She was taken to Emory Midtown Hospital.  No word as to her injuries.

Auto Theft  -  A vehicle was stolen from the parking lot of a Virginia apartment building.

Auto Theft Recovery  -  No reported recoveries in Beat 601

Commercial Burglary  -  Ten Thousand Villages store on St. Charles Avenue was entered via a pried-open front door – $100 in cash was stolen from under a counter.

Residential Burglary  -  A Greenwood Avenue apartment was entered via forced entry of the front door.  A PDL Place apartment was entered via a pried-open front door.

Commercial Robbery  -  No reported incidents in Beat 601

Residential Robbery  -  No reported incidents in Beat 601

Larceny From Vehicle  -  Vehicles were entered on Greenwood Avenue, North Highland Avenue (3), PDL Avenue (3), PDL Place, and Hudson Drive (2).

All around Zone 6 in this time period there were 78 such incidents reported.  Imagine how much more time our officers could have spent patrolling if they had not been tied up writing reports with these easily preventable incidents.  Remind your friends and neighbors of the Clean Car Campaign!!

Larceny Other  -  A victim stated he loaned a cell phone to a fellow patron at a PDL Avenue club and it was never returned.  A bicycle was taken from a Brookridge Drive back porch.  The CVS store on North Highland Avenue caught a shoplifter in the act.

Nearby at Smith’s Olde Bar on Piedmont Avenue in Zone 2 an I-phone was stolen and the responding officer used a search app and kept tracking the phone thru VaHi and Midtown streets – finally turning the chase over to GA State Patrol who eventually caught the perp on I-85 @ Beaver Ruin Road!!!  At the Walgreen’s store on Piedmont Avenue @ North Avenue a “customer” entered not wearing sunglasses, but attempted to leave wearing a pair with the price tag still hanging from them and was caught – duh!  An entire PARKatlanta parking meter was dug up behind the Plaza shopping center in Poncey Highland.  A shoplifter was caught at Green’s Liquors on PDL Avenue.  A South Carolina Craigslist camera seller drove down to the Grant Park CVS parking lot on Boulevard to meet a prospective “buyer” at 2:30 p.m.  The “buyer” snatched the camera and fled on foot.  A good warning about the folks you may encounter on Craigslist. Do not meet them alone in an unprotected venue.   At the Abbadabba’s shoe store in L5P, a group knocked on the locked door at closing time and were let in to shop – when they left, empty shoe boxes were found by employees instead of a purchase.  Consider this as a warning to our local merchants about accommodating after-hours “customers”.

Pedestrian Robbery  -  No reported incidents in Beat 601.

But nearby, cell phones were snatched from pedestrians on North Avenue at 11:30 p.m. and on Ralph McGill Boulevard at 3:50 p.m.

Please remember the “See Something – Say Something” campaign.  If you witness something or someone that gives you the gut feeling that all is not right – make a 911 call report and possibly save someone else (or you) from becoming a victim.  Don’t just assume that someone else will make a report to 911.

Stay Alert and enjoy Fall!!

Virginia-Highland Safety Team Report: November 1, 2012

By: John Wolfinger

Roy Latimore Found Guilty!!

Thanks to David Berl for taking the time to spend several days sitting on the hard benches of Fulton County courthouse courtroom 4-B to watch as the trial of Roy Latimore took place. Latimore is the one who was plaguing this part of the city a year ago with a series of armed pedestrian robberies. Thanx also to Paul Arena-Camarillo, our Zone 6 Community Prosecutor, for his meticulous research into these incidents, so he could present a good case to the jury.

The City Crime Rate is Down

Amazingly enough, our crime rate in the city still continues to abate.  The story at: http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local/crimes-still-falling-in-metro-atlanta-us/nSr4j/  Another way to check our VaHi crime rate is to simply go to vahi.org and read the Safety Team Reports in the safety section from 2 or 3 years ago. Thanx to Brian Gross for making these reports easily available for comparison.

The following reports have been gleaned from the APD Zone 6 (http://www.atlantapd.org/Zone6.aspx) crime stats for the 2012 weeks of 39 and 40 (9/23-10/6) with emphasis on our VaHi Beat 601, but with news from around the Zone as it applies to us.  Again, I state these reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to make you aware of what happens around us everyday, and to raise your level of alertness and awareness.

Aggravated Assault  -  No reported incidents in Beat 601

Auto Theft  -  Vehicles were stolen from Virginia Avenue, North Highland Avenue (this vehicle found abandoned in SW Atlanta) and a botched attempt on North Highland Avenue resulting in the ignition assembly being removed.

Auto Theft Recovery  -  No such finds reported here in Beat 601

Commercial Burglary  -  No reported incidents in Beat 601.

Nearby on Elizabeth Street in Inman Park, the King of Pops office was entered with the cash box and safe taken – this is a cash business and a substantial amount of cash was lost.

Residential Burglary  -  An Elmwood Drive residence was entered with no signs of forced entry.

Commercial Robbery  -  No reported incidents in Beat 601

Residential Robbery  -  No reported incidents in Beat 601

Larceny From Vehicle  -  Vehicles were entered on PDL Avenue, Monroe Drive, and on Park Drive, a landscaper’s pickup truck had equipment stolen from the open truck bed.  Please warn your lawn guys of the dangers of not having all of their equipment not locked down in the truck or trailer.

Larceny Other  -  A bicycle and lawnmower chained together were both taken from a St. Charles Avenue backyard.  Locked bicycles were taken from North Highland and Virginia Avenues in separate incidents.  I know that it is a pain – but consider taking the seat or a wheel off the bike when it has to be left and locked in a public space.  Then when not in use at home – hide the bike and just don’t assume that a front porch or apartment balcony is a safe parking space.

Elsewhere in the Zone – yet another iPhone was snatched from a sidewalk restaurant table, this time at Pure Tacqueria on Elizabeth Street in Inman Park.  These thefts have decreased lately – but don’t assume that you can now leave your electronics laying on a table and not risk losing them.  A whole ATM machine was taken from Angier Avenue at 5 a.m. in the Old 4th Ward.  And, on Ralph McGill Boulevard at 2:20 p.m. a buyer was waiting on a vehicle seller to arrive when she was approached by 2 males who snatched her purse with $4500 in cash within, and fled on foot.  Now – the victim still does not have a car or cash to buy another one probably.

Pedestrian Robbery  -  On 9/25 at 6:50 a.m. a Drewry Street morning walker was approached by 3 males (one with a handgun) who demanded his house keys – the victim threw the keys over their heads and into the grass with the perps grabbing the keys and fleeing.  No injuries reported.

The previously reported armed robbery of 9/23 on PDL Terrace where the victim lost her cell phone – she has reported to me that the perps in this incident were the same ones arrested for Midtown incidents per her Zone 6 investigator.  http://midtown.patch.com/articles/phone-tracking-device-aids-in-arrests-of-midtown-armed-robbery-suspects

On 10/5 at 12:50 a.m. on North Highland Avenue near the YWCA, the victim advised that she and her roommate were walking home when she was grabbed from behind by 2 females who physically assaulted her and took her purse with the contents.  No serious injuries reported.

Residential Robbery News from Morningside  -  There were two messages on 10/30 on the vhmpa message board about Morningside incidents.

The first message stated – ” Yesterday (10/29) at 10:18 a.m., our home in Johnson Estates was broken into.  We were not home.  Our surveillance cameras showed that one man approached the house on foot from the sidewalk.  He knocked on the front door several times the proceeded to look in all of the front windows.  He walked back down the front steps and moments later a car backed into the driveway.  Three men got out ( a fourth stayed in the car) and they went to the back of the house.  They were all wearing green hoodie sweatshirts and green sweat pants – we assume to try to look like a landscaping crew.  They kicked in the back door (despite signs stating the house was under surveillance).  They went through the house looking for small items they could grab and sell.  They got away with lap tops, an IPad, a tv, credit cards and all my jewelry.

The police were able to locate the laptop with an app that is on my iPhone and use the video surveillance to apprehend the men.”

The other message stated – “Someone attempted to enter our house on Cumberland Road at 4 am this morning through a basement door.  Alarm went off and police were called.”  Evidently these guys escaped before the police arrived.

Please stay alert, enjoy this wonderful fall weather and remember “See Something – Say Something” – meaning that if you see something where your gut feeling tells you something is wrong – call 911 immediately with a report!  Don’t just assume someone else will call the police.

Virginia-Highland Safety Team Report: October 16, 2012

Jack Boys Guilty!!!!

Just in case there is someone who does not yet know that this loose-knit gang that terrorized the east side of Atlanta in the fall of 2010, culminating in the murder of Charles Boyer on Virginia Avenue on 11/22/2010, has gone through a trial and was found guilty of many, many charges – this will serve as notice. Thanx to Fulton County ADA Lance Cross for presenting an excellent case to the jurors – all of Atlanta owes him a resounding round of applause. The final story at http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/trio-convicted-gang-crime-spree/nSbGD/. A nice positive tv report on Fox5 followed the guilty verdict at http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/story/19800704/jack-boys-conviction-brings-relief-to-neighborhood.  The sentencing hearing will be within the next 30 days and I will announce this as soon as I am told of the date and time on the neighborhood message boards.

A Neighborhood Cleanup on Saturday 10/20

Keep Virginia Highland Beautiful has announced a cleanup session for the St. Charles/North Highland Avenues business node for this day. Meet at the parking lot at this corner at 8 a.m. for a four hour session and then be treated to a Surin lunch at noon.  We could still use some more adults to supervise the teenaged volunteers. Sign up at  www.facebook.com/KeepVirginiaHighlandBeautiful. This is an excellent example of the “broken window” theory of crime prevention – a clean, neat and orderly neighborhood signifies that folks who live and work there do care.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broken_windows_theory

Two Nice Neighborhood Stories

A nice AJC Real Estate section story about new home-owner residents on Glen Arden Way, who mention the neighborly feel of this street. This is due in part to the leadership of Glen Arden Street Captain Laurie Harris.  http://www.ajc.com/news/classifieds/real-estate/the-search-charmed-by-virginia-highland/nSRb7/

The second tale is about Clemont Drive Street Captain Lisa Keyes finding a pile of papers along her street and instead of just ignoring them – Lisa took the time to do an internet search for the owner. The owner stated to Lisa that her car had been stolen in Decatur and evidently the thieves had dumped the glove box contents on Clemont.

The following reports have been gleaned from the APD Zone 6 (http://www.atlantapd.org/Zone6.aspx)  crime stats for the 2012 weeks of 37 and 38 (9/9 – 9/22) with emphasis on our VaHi Beat 601, but with news from around the Zone as it applies to us.  Again, I state these reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to make you aware of what happens around us everyday and to raise your level of alertness and awareness.

Aggravate Assault  -  No reported incidents in Beat 601

Auto Theft  -  A motorcycle was stolen from Barnett Street.  Cars were stolen from Monroe Drive and Virginia Avenue, and a botched attempt was reported from PDL Avenue.

Auto Theft Recovery  -  No such reported findings in Beat 601

Commercial Burglary  -  No reported incidents in Beat 601

Residential Burglary  A Virginia Avenue apartment was entered via a 2nd floor porch and prescription medications were taken.

Commercial Robbery  -  No reported incidents in Beat 601

Residential Robbery  -  A female Greenwood Avenue apartment resident reported that 3 males with a handgun pushed their way in demanding money – but she had none.  No physical injuries reported.

Larceny From Vehicle  -  Vehicles were entered on Greenwood Avenue, North Highland Avenue, PDL Avenue, St. Charles Avenue, and Virginia Avenue (2).

Larceny Other  -  The tip jar was taken from Yogli Mogli on North Highland Avenue.  A laptop left at a Virginia Avenue neighbor’s house was taken after the neighbor left home.  (OK – I did not understand this narrative report either).

Elsewhere in the Zone – at the El Azteca restaurant on PDL Avenue a patron paid a $145 bill with a stolen credit card and fled.  Our PDL Avenue Kroger and Publix stores caught 4 shoplifters.  The Edgewood Retail District Target store caught 3 non-payers.  An unwatched cell phone was taken from a Masquerade concert goer, an unwatched purse was taken at a Carroll Street restaurant in Cabbagetown, and a cell phone was snatched from a victim at a Kirkwood park.

And yet another story of this oft-used ruse – at an unnamed Edgewood Avenue store 2 young b/m came in posing as Grady High School students asking for a donation for school uniforms and while the unsuspecting victim was in the process of getting some money for them the “students” fled with his I-phone.  Do not fall for this story – Grady does not send out kids asking for “donations” so I have been told.

Pedestrian Robbery  -  On 9/19 at about 7:30 p.m. a PDL Terrace resident was standing in her driveway when she noticed a white sedan with 3 b/m inside driving back and forth on the street, then the car stopped and one male exited and asked to use her phone.  The victim stated “no” and he pointed a handgun at her, grabbed the phone and they all fled in the car.  Major Meadows told me that as of 10/16 this investigation is still ongoing.

Nearby, at the Ford Factory Square parking lot on PDL Avenue on 9/22 at 7:30 a.m. a female pedestrian passed two males who then turned behind her striking her to the ground – they kicked her, grabbed her purse and fled on foot.  The victim was taken to ATL Medical Center – no report as to her injuries.

Stay alert. keep your parked cars cleaned out of all items and enjoy this fabulous fall weather while it is here.

Virginia-Highland Safety Team Report: October 2, 2012

By: John Wolfinger

A busy couple of weeks ahead with special events, so make your driving plans accordingly.  First of all is the Breast Cancer Walk with 800 walking ladies in pink costumes on 10/ 6 and 7.  They have a good time walking for a serious cause, and would like to have cheering throngs along the walk route, which John Becker of the VOICE has meticulously detailed at http://vahi.org/10th-anniversary-breast-cancer-walk-coming-to-vahi-seeks-supporters  Thank you John for having more patience than I do for listing all the streets involved.  This does not involve any street closings.

Then also on 10/7 is a repeat of last spring’s very successful Streets Alive here in VaHi and other neighborhoods along North Highland south of us.  Details at http://www.atlantastreetsalive.com/   This does involve the closing of North Highland and Virginia Avenues for this day only.

The Atlanta Pride festival will be 10/13 and 10/14 in Piedmont Park.  Their website at www.atlantapride.org/ does little if anything to address traffic/parking for this event – other than to warn participants not to drive to the festival, and we all know how little this means.  Tenth Street will have one lane closing next to the park for Friday, Saturday and Sunday – but this street will still have other lanes for traffic except on Sunday when the parade arrives at the park.  The festival organizers have told me to advise using 911 to report traffic/parking problems as usual, and these reports will be forwarded to the off-duty police working the area on motorcycles.  They will be posting the usual cardboard “No Parking ” signs on the usual streets for this time period.

I don’t think that most of the neighborhood, except for the areas abutting Piedmont Park, realize what folks near the park have to endure with the continual schedule of special events/festivals in Piedmont Park.  I went to the open house event at Fort Mac a couple of Saturdays ago hoping to learn more about the proposed dedicated festival grounds at this massive facility, but this project still seems to be years away from becoming reality.  In the meantime Piedmont Park will be over-used and abused.

Also on 10/14 is the Morningside Mile Run http://www.morningsidemile.com/ , but this is early in the morning and only affects North Highland Avenue, so should not be a big traffic problem.  This also is for a very good cause – our AFR Station # 19 renovation.

Officer Woolfolk on the News

I’m sure many of you remember Officer Ralph Woolfolk who succeded Officer Joe Cooper on the evening watch  (3 to 11 p.m.) here.  After he left us he was assigned to the Boulevard Strike Force, but has now moved on to the COPS division (http://www.atlantapd.org/c.o.p.s.aspx ).  Thanx to Kay Stephenson for alerting me to a channel 11 news clip – http://www.11alive.com/video/default.aspx?bctid=1865452639001 featuring Woolfolk at Turner Field last week – he’s a natural on TV, and represented APD well.

October St. Charles/Highland Business Area Cleanup

Go to https://www.facebook.com/KeepVirginiaHighlandBeautiful  for details on this newly formed group dedicated to making our business districts cleaner and more inviting both to residents and to our many, many visitors.  Sign up on this Facebook page to help with this ambitious project on 10/20 - especially erasing the rest of the graffiti vandalism on the back sides of the old Hilan Theater.  This would be a good way for high school kids to get some of their community service hours.  Jimmy Lee and I would welcome some younger and more agile help with the graffiti

Fulton County Court improvements

A court improvement task force has been meeting and working on suggested court improvements for a year and their results were released just last week. Their report is at http://www.georgiacourts.gov/index.php/?option=com_content&view=article&id=159.  A recap is at http://www.ajc.com/news/news/crime-law/task-force-issues-recommandation-for-improvments-o/nSQMF/. Keeping our court system functioning smoothly is as vital to our total safety program as having a safe jail, and good law enforcement agencies in the county.

The following reports are taken from our APD Zone 6 (http://www.atlantapd.org/zone6.aspx) crime stats for the 2012 weeks of 35 and 36 (8/26 to 9/8) and are not meant to scare anyone, but to make you aware of what happens around us everyday and to raise your level of alertness.  The emphasis is on our VaHi Beat 601, but with news from around the Zone as it applies to us.

Aggravated Assault  -  No reported incidents from Beat 601

Auto Theft  -  One vehicle taken from a parking lot on North Highland Avenue.

Auto Theft Recovery  -  No reported recoveries from Beat 601

Commercial Burglary  -  No reported incidents from Beat 601

Residential Burglary  -  A condo was entered at the Carlton on Highland Lane via a damaged front door.  A residential room at the Open Door on PDL Avenue was entered via an unlocked door (residents are not allowed to lock these doors).

Commercial Robbery  -  No reported incidents from Beat 601

Residential Robbery  -  No reported incidents from Beat 601

Larceny From Vehicle  -  Vehicles were entered on Adair Avenue, Rosedale Drive, Barnett Street, Briarcliff Road, Kanuga Street (2), North Highland Avenue and Virginia Avenue.  This category of crime continues to be a black eye on the neighborhood – if we could only get all of our neighbors and visitors to be aware of the Clean Car Campaign and clean out ALL parked cars at ALL times – this crime could be erased from our neighborhood stats.  This is such an easy crime to prevent – yet every week we have such incidents.

Larceny Other  -  Tools and building supplies were taken from a Greenwood Avenue carport.  The seat and rear wheel of a chained bicycle were taken from in front of a North Highland Avenue building.  Another chained bicycle was stolen by cutting the chain on a St. Charles Avenue apartment deck.  Hide those bicycles when not in use.

Unwatched cell phones and purses continue to be stolen around the Zone.  An unwatched wallet was taken from an under-the-chair purse at Pure restaurant on North Highland Avenue in Inman Park.  A cell phone was snatched from the table of an unnamed North Highland Avenue restaurant in Inman Park – the perp was caught but without the phone. At 10:40 a.m. at the traffic lite at Parkway and North Avenue – a thief reached into a car and stole a cell phone.

A concertgoer at the Masquerade on North Avenue had his I-pad stolen – the victim traced it via a cell phone and the perp was arrested by MARTA police.

Pedestrian Robbery  -  At 1:40 a.m. on PDL Avenue near PDL Place a lone male was approached by 2 males – one put a gun to his head and the other went thru his pockets taking the usual wallet, cell phone, etc.  The perps fled on foot northward on PDL Place.

Yes – since the time period of this report we have had 3 other pedestrian robberies on residential streets (Drewry Street, Greenwood Avenue and PDL Terrace), but I do not have the reports on two of the incidents yet, so will wait til I can report them all in detail at once.  In the meantime, be alert, aware, and report to 911 any and all suspicious persons or vehicles (See Something – Say Something) .  Keep cell phones hidden from view and especially do NOT walk and talk or text at the same time – this activity is just asking for trouble (unfortunately).

Enjoy all of the upcoming festivals and special events in this wonderful fall weather, by staying alert.

Crime Reports

APD’s August Report

APD has a good recap of some good things that have happened at http://www.atlantapd.org/files/GreatestHitsAugust.pdf Especially note our own Deputy Chief Propes’ report about our Smart 911 System. Please sign up if you have not yet done so. VaHi was mentioned in this report with the Creative Loafing story about the capture of residential burglar Charles Echols here. Again – thanx to everyone who helped with this community project.

The following reports are taken from our APD Zone 6 (http://www.atlantapd.org/zone6.aspx) crime stats for the 2012 weeks of 32,33, and 34 (8/5 to 8/25). Note that this is a compilation of 3 weeks, instead of the usual 2 weeks. Again, I state that these reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to make you aware of what happens around us everyday and to raise your alertness and awareness. The emphasis is on our VaHi Beat 601, but with news from around the Zone as it applies to us.

Aggravated Assault – A male reported being shot outside of a Bonaventure Avenue apartment, but waited some time before calling in a 911 report. No physical evidence was found outside of a shooting, but such evidence was spotted inside the apartment – indicating to responding officers that it may have been a self-inflicted accidental shooting – the victim was taken to Grady with non-life-threatening wounds.
On 8/21 at 8 p.m. at the Open Door Community on PDL Avenue a combative arrestee under the influence of either drugs or alcohol attacked 3 different victims – one being struck with a board with a protruding nail. No one was seriously hurt and the arrestee was taken to Grady.
Nearby at 4 a.m. on northbound Moreland Avenue a motorist and passenger was fired at from a vehicle beside them – they suffered only superficial wounds and refused treatment. Road rage??

Auto Theft – Vehicles were stolen from Bellevue Drive, Briarcliff Place, North Highland Avenue, Lanier Boulevard, Greenwood Avenue (2), St. Charles Avenue and two botched attempts were reported from Virginia Avenue.

Auto Theft Recovery – No such reports from Beat 601

Commercial Burglary – No reports from Beat 601

Residential Burglary – Residences were broken into on Monroe Drive via a broken door window, North Highland Avenue via an unlocked back door (their dog was locked in the bathroom), Briarcliff Road via a pried open front door – the victim found the perp inside when she came home, asked for her laptop back, he returned it and fled on a bicycle, Orme Circle entered via a broken back window and cut himself on the glass (tsk!), evidently the alarm scared him off as nothing was reported taken.

Hopefully now that Charles Echols is behind bars – this rash of residential burglaries is over. BUT – if you still do not have double locks on your doors, make this change quickly. Just because your door is locked with a single lock – all someone has to do is break the window glass and reach in for entry.

Commercial Robbery – No such reports from Beat 601

Residential Robbery – No such reports from Beat 601

Larceny From Vehicle – Vehicles were entered into on Bellevue Drive, Kentucky Avenue (2), North Highland Avenue (3), PDL Avenue (2), Amsterdam Walk, St. Charles Avenue, Greenwood Avenue, Drewry Street and hubcaps were taken off on PDL Place.

Homicide – On 8/16 at 10:15 p.m. a “person shot” call was made with the Barnett Street convenience store owner, “Mike” Moloo, being the victim, after an apparent robbery attempt. He was taken to Grady where he died. This investigation still continues. Please, if anyone happens to remember seeing or hearing anything that nite that could be of help in solving this case – e-mail Detective K. Otts at kotts@atlantaga.gov Homicide needs more help in solving this horrific murder.

A memorial facebook page is at htttp://www.facebook.com/RememberMikeMoloo

Larceny Other – Shoplifting was reported at Intown Hardware. An unwatched cellphone was taken from the DJ at the MJQ Club. A potential “customer” at ATL Motorcycles on PDL Avenue took a scooter for a test drive and never returned. An unwatched cellphone was taken from the front desk at Enyata Salon on North Highland Avenue – 2 teenage b/m had been in soliciting “funds for Grady High School football team” before the phone was discovered as missing. The CVS store caught a shoplifter. There were front porch package thefts on Virginia Avenue.

Nearby snatch and grabs continue to be a problem. A cellphone was snatched from a texting passenger of a car stopped at a traffic lite on North Avenue at 8 p.m. – a similar incident happened on this street at 3:15 a.m. A GBI employee had his phone snatched while he was pumping gas at 6:15 p.m. at a Boulevard gas station. At 1:15 p.m. a phone was snatched from a talking Merritts Avenue pedestrian and the same sort of thing happened to a PDL Avenue pedestrian near Parkway at 7:30 p.m. In EAV on Brownwood Avenue at 2 a.m. the victim stuck his phone out the door for a better signal and had it snatched. A group of teens asked an Eastlake pedestrian near Publix to borrow his phone and fled. An unwatched phone was taken from a table at Bessie Branham rec center in Kirkwood. I may have missed some of these reports – but hope you get the idea that cellphones need to be watched at all times, are not to be loaned to strangers wanting to borrow them and walking and texting/talking are verboten and keep your car windows rolled up while talking/texting at a traffic lite. “Used” cellphones can be easily sold for cash and quite obviously there is a good market for them. I would assume that those of you reading this report are taking steps to protect your cellphone – but PLEASE warn your friends and neighbors who are careless in protecting their cellphones.

Pedestrian Robbery – No reports from Beat 601

However, across the street at the PDL Avenue Publix store parking lot on 8/9 at 1:30 p.m. there was a purse snatching. The passing female who tried to intervene had a knife drawn on her and the perp fled on foot. He dumped the purse in a Cleburne Terrace backyard and kept running. He was spotted briefly on Linwood Avenue and led officers on a chase thru a section of Freedom Park and was finally captured in a Bonaventure Avenue backyard. The perp was on both Federal and Georgia parole. You can send a thank you to Officers Trombley, Larosa and Fisher for slogging thru the heavy rain that day on foot to make this capture at http://www.atlantapd.org/officercomment.aspx I’m sure they needed the rest of the day off to recover from all of that chasing!

Also nearby a Glen Iris apartment building resident was robbed of her car at gunpoint in the building’s parking garage at 1:30 p.m. – the perps were driving yet another stolen car to steal this one. A Ralph McGill Boulevard pedestrian was robbed of her purse by intimidation at 10:50 p.m. and also on this same street at 6:15 p.m. a pedestrian was robbed of her purse and cellphone at gunpoint.

Stay alert and keep ALL parked cars cleaned out at ALL times.

The Barnett Street Slaying

Thursday night, August 16th, saw a tragic snuffing out of a human life here in VaHi at the ATL FoodMart on Barnett Street. Rather than retyping the details – I’ll give links to the media stories about the senseless killing of Mushtaq “Mike” Moloo.

CBS AtlantaWSBAJCand this follow-up story from channel 46
Going along with this last story is a link I forgot to put into the last Safety Report about our additional police coverage

That same evening also saw another very similar tragedy in northwest Atlanta, when yet another well-liked businessperson’s, Vanessa Thrasher, life was ended.

There was a very well thought-out essay posted on the VaHi nextdoor message board, that I would like for the entire community to see and think about, written by Robert.

“Perhaps it’s time that we, as citizens, begin to accept our part of the blame for the surge of vagrants and thugs in the southern VaHi area. The police have noticeably increased marked patrols, but we are doing little to assist them in cleaning our own streets by believing we are helpless and too afraid to stop it ourselves. Our complete reliance on uniformed police and undercover patrols is proving to be destructive. Anyone that lives on St. Charles Avenue can sit outside for an hour and see the evidence.
There was an instance earlier this week of inappropriate, sexually-based activity in a supermarket where many of us go. A police officer, the store manager, and the entire neighborhood were all notified (via the vhlist), but nothing was ever said to the man causing the problem. I guarantee that loudly asking the man what he was doing, would have stopped him immediately, gotten more attention from the officer in the store, turned the heads of a few of the husbands and boyfriends whose partners were being openly disrespected. I don’t mean to bash the person involved in that instance, it’s just an example of what seems to be the overall neighborhood mentality of reliance on others to keep our lives orderly for us.
Two days ago a man that had no business in our neighborhood was rifling through a truck bed parked on St. Charles Avenue. Simply asking him what he was doing stopped him and sent him on his way. If he had a gun, would he have started shooting because someone noticed him? Possibly, but probably not. If no one had said anything would he have stolen something and continued coming to the neighborhood, escalating his activity with time? Almost certainly. Hopefully he will now know that the neighborhood is not an open field of frozen and frightened deer for the hunting, and he will take his activity elsewhere. The criminals interested in robberies and random violence are only here in the first place because we are perceived as easy targets.
Assuming that we’re helpless victims will be a self-fulfilling prophecy, but if we speak up as people that are responsible for what happens around us then we may start carrying our weight in our own lives.”

This neighborhood came together and was stronger than ever, after the December 2010 slaying on Virginia Avenue, and I expect the same outcome after this tragedy. Being more alert and aware is one way we can honor the life of Moloo.

Crime Reports

The following reports are gleaned from our APD Zone 6 (http://www.atlantapd.org/zone6.aspx ) crime stats for the 2012 weeks 30 and 31 (7/22 to 8/4). Again, I state that these reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to make you aware of what happens around us everyday, and to raise your level of awareness and alertness. The emphasis is on our Beat 601, but with news from around the Zone as it applies to us. Most of us are mobile and do not stay here in VaHi every day.

Aggravated Assault – There was a scary incident on 7/28 that I am surprised did not receive some attention, There were 3 pedestrians crossing North Highland Avenue @ Briarcliff Place at 9:40 p.m. when 2 were struck by a passenger car. After the collision, the passenger in the car got out and struck the male pedestrian victim in the face, the vehicle then drove on northward. The victims were not seriously hurt and refused treatment or a ride to Grady.

Auto Theft – No reported incidents from Beat 601

Auto Theft Recovery – No reported recoveries from Beat 601

Commercial Burglary – No reported incidents from Beat 601

Residential Burglary – A rental house on Elkmont Drive was entered via a rear sliding glass door that evidently had been left unlocked. No signs of forced entry. A Monroe Drive home was entered via a broken window next to a door, with APD response due to an alarm. A Park Drive home was entered via an unlocked front door – no signs of forced entry. A Virginia Avenue home was entered by using an axe taken from the backyard tool shed to break a side window. All of these break-ins reported only small items being taken (or nothing at all at Monroe Drive) – no electronics or flatscreen tv sets. A report about the Virginia Avenue break-in at http://www.cbsatlanta.com/story/19157160/atlanta-police-release-suspect-photo-in-virginia-ave-burglary
Morningside has also had several recent residential break-ins and a backyard security camera captured this pic of one of the intruders at -
http://xa.yimg/kq/groups/13292409/1724708672/name/BackYard_01.jpg Call 911 immediately if you see this guy wandering any of our neighborhoods with a physical description and which way he is traveling.

Commercial Robbery – No reported incidents from Beat 601

Residential Robbery – No reported incidents from Beat 601

Larceny From Vehicle – Vehicles were entered on Amsterdam Walk (2), Greenwood Avenue (3), North Highland Avenue (3), PDL Place, Virginia Avenue (this perp was caught via a 911 suspicious person call – thanx to this caller!), PDL Avenue (a license plate taken at the Open Door Community), and Maiden Lane (2) – one of these incidents was a bait operation in which officers placed a city-owned bicycle in the back of a city-owned pick-up truck. An arrest was made as the perp rode away on the bike – he also was on active probation.

Larceny Other – A chained bicycle was taken from a Drewry Street front porch. Small items (jewelry and collectables) were taken from homes on Virginia Circle and Rupley Drive, with workpersons suspected.
Elsewhere in the Zone – lots of activity. A male walked out of Green’s Liquor Store with 28 cartons of cigarettes (I can’t understand how that could have happened). A person was arrested at the check cashing store at PDL Avenue @ Boulevard for trying to cash a fraudulent check.

The following is a list of unwatched cell phones and wallets taken elsewhere in the Zone – a wallet and cell phone taken from the men’s room sink at Dad’s Garage on Elizabeth Street, a wallet from a JavaJive coffee shop table in L5P, a parking lot valet’s cellphone in L5P, a cell phone from a North Avenue laundromat, and a cell phone taken at a Boulevard Community Center.

Pedestrian Robbery – A female pedestrian on North Highland @ St. Charles Avenue had her purse snatched at 11:30 a.m. A witness alerted APD as the perp fled in his car. The car broke down on PDL Avenue @ Moreland Avenue and as he pushed it into the Exxon station – he was spotted by APD. The perp fled on foot, but was caught behind apartment buildings on Briarcliff Road with the stolen wallet on his person, which was returned to the victim. The victim was on her way to Van Michael Salon, so after this frightening incident, they did not charge her for her visit. We have kind and caring merchants in VaHi. There was another purse snatching on PDL Avenue at 12:30 a.m.

Elsewhere in the Zone – snatch and grabs of purses, wallets and cell phones continue. Stay alert when walking and no texting or talking on cell phones when walking. A Euclid Avenue pedestrian talking on her phone had it snatched by force at 9 a.m. A texting Poncey Highland pedestrian had his cell phone snatched on North Highland Avenue at 12:30 a.m. Another Poncey Highland pedestrian had her phone snatched at 6:30 p.m. A phone was snatched from the hand of a passenger in a Jeep Wrangler waiting for a traffic lite on Boulevard at 10 p.m. A baby sitter lost her phone in Coen Park at 4:30 p.m.
Do not loan your phone to someone who asks to make a call!!! This ruse was used to take phones on Edgewood Avenue at 3:20 p.m., inside Candler Park at 1:15 p.m., and on McLendon Avenue at 3:30 p.m. A cellphone was taken from a baby buggy in Candler Park – but these perps were caught. http://eastatlanta.patch.com/articles/police-arrest-youth-in-candler-park-mobile-phone-snatch-and-run
A pedestrian had her wallet snatched on Euclid Avenue as she was feeding a parking meter at 2 p.m.. Also on Euclid Avenue at 7:40 a.m. a purse was snatched and later found in Reynoldstown via a posting on their yahoo message board. A purse was taken by force on Flat Shoals Avenue in EAV at 11:30 p.m. Two females were robbed at gunpoint at 1:00 a.m. on North Highland Avenue in Inman Park and two females had their purses snatched on PDL Avenue in front of the Rite-Aid store at 12:30 a.m.

Slow down and stay alert while driving on our neighborhood streets now that school is back in session

The Briarcliff Summit Building Is Sold!!!

Finally – after 4 years of negotiating and arranging financing – this beleaguered building is in the hands of Evergreen Housing Associates of Scarborough, Maine – a national leader in senior citizen’s housing. The deal was just inked last week and it is still too soon for a lot of details about the changes, but this signals a lot of positive karma on their corner of PDL and North Highland Avenues. The current manager of the building will be retained to help with the transition from one owner to another.

The story with as many details that are available now is at – http://vahi.patch.com/articles/renovations-to-historic-ponce-apartments-set-for-september

Run – Hide – Fight

These are the main suggestions for you to follow if you are ever in active gunfire from a sniper in a public place. This short film from the City of Houston, Texas is a very informative and eye-opening watch. Thanx to Midtown’s MPSA for alerting me to this safety piece. Take a short time to watch -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VcSwejU2D0
Going along with this same subject – an interesting read in the op-ed page of the AJC on 8/3 about the pros and cons of gun ownership.
http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-forward/2012/08/03/firearms-evil-in-the-wrong-hands-good-in-others/

The Bamboo Grove Alongside The BeltLine

Sunday morning, August 5th, saw a small, but dedicated group tackle and begin to remove the bamboo grove north of Park Drive along the BeltLine. This has been a long-time hiding place and urban campground, and its removal has a positive public safety aspect. Most of the energetic volunteers were from Concentric Restaurants led by Shereen Herrington, general manager of Two Urban Licks. There will have to be several more such removal sessions to clean out this grove – look for the next one sometime in mid September. I’ll be letting you know and hope that we will have more community participation the next time (especially from the parkside section of VaHi).

Crime Report

The following reports are gleaned from our APD Zone 6 (http://www.atlantapd.org/zone6.aspx) crime stats for the 2012 weeks of 28 and 29 (7/8 thru 7/21). Again, I state that these reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to make you aware of what happens around us everyday and to raise your level of awareness and alertness. The emphasis is on our VaHi Beat 601, but with news from around the Zone as it applies to us.

Aggravated Assault – No reported incidents in Beat 601

Auto Theft – One vehicle stolen from Frederica Street

Auto Theft Recovery – No reported recoveries from Beat 601

Residential Burglary – No reported incidents in Beat 601
However there were at least 3 such incidents in the next week not on this report. These were daytime break-ins. Lock ALL doors and windows at your house before going to work in the daytime.

Commercial Burglary – No reported incidents in Beat 601

Residential Robbery – No reported incidents in Beat 601

Commercial Robbery – No reported incidents in Beat 601
However at the SunTrust Bank in East Atlanta on Flat Shoals Avenue a would-be robber gave the teller a note stating “Give me yo money $500″ – the teller requested he fill out a withdrawal slip for that amount from his account. The wannabe robber left the bank with a withdrawal slip in his hand. No weapon reportedly shown.

Larceny From Vehicle – OK – here is where we have a BIG problem, not only here but all over Zone 6. Vehicles here were entered on Frederica Street, PDL Avenue, PDL Place, North Highland Avenue (4) and Greenwood Avenue (3). When filing a report for a break-in at the North Highland Avenue parking lot behind the American Roadhouse, Officer Bowser noted that out-of-the-area license plates are being singled out as opposed to local license plates, as these are more likely to have things to steal.

To give you an idea as to how BIG this problem is – in the two weeks of this report Zone 6 investigated 125 such break-ins!!! I would venture to guess that 75% (and probably more) of these incidents could have been prevented if there were no visible items left for stealing from these vehicles. If anyone has a fantastic idea as to how to curb these thefts by making more drivers aware – let me know. Yeah, we could have big signs all over the neighborhood stating that you have to park at your own risk since you are in a high crime area – but there has to be a better way to reach careless and unthinking drivers. The break-in incidents seem to be fewer in the parking lot behind the Post Office since owner Scott Stern let me put up a Clean Car Campaign banner at the back of that lot. Don’t know whether it is just luck or if folks really are reading that banner. These banners are about $100 if anyone else wants one for their off-street parking area – let me know.

Larceny Other – Two bicycles were stolen from a common area at a Greenwood Avenue apartment complex. Bikes need to be HIDDEN when not in use – not just propped up alongside the house. Yeah – your backyard or common area at condo/apartment complexes should be off-limits to unwanted visitors, but that is not the case anymore.
An unwatched purse was taken at a North Highland Avenue bar by another patron – with an arrest made. Another unwatched open-top purse at Noche had the billfold taken out.

Pedestrian Robbery – Two male pedestrians were walking away from Piedmont Park on Park Drive (west of Monroe) at 3 p.m. when another male pedestrian tried to take the backpack from one. A scuffle ensued as the victim fought back and he was cut on the wrist with a broken beer bottle. The perp fled on foot and the victims sought aid from a Monroe Drive resident who administered first aid and then called 911. The victim was taken to Grady for treatment. Thanks to the Monroe Drive resident who took care of these victims.

Nearby in L5P a purse was snatched at 5:30 a.m. in front of the Moreland Avenue Starbucks – the perp escaped in the darkness. An iPad was stolen from a bench-sitter at the Carter Center, and another purse was snatched from a Glen Iris Drive resident as she was walking to her apartment at 6:30 p.m. Two Masquerade patrons were robbed at gunpoint at 11:30 p.m. behind the PDL Avenue Kroger store.

Street Captains Get Together

The Safety Team Street Captains will get together Wednesday, July 25, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Aurora Coffee on North Highland Avenue to network and get to know each other. Zone 6 and FBAC personnel have been invited to meet and greet also. Also invited are our VaHi businesses, and neighboring public safety folks who would like to see how our VaHi neighborhood watch system works. We also welcome folks who would like to become more involved and assist their Street Captain to attend, or if you live on one of the few VaHi streets that do not have a Captain – come and see how you can become a Street Captain. Our diligent Street Captains are the folks who really make this neighborhood watch system be a model for the city and I am thankful for each and every one of you.

Residential Break-ins

We have had relatively few of these break-ins lately, but please do not let down your guard in keeping your home secure this summer. The Morningside Patrol reported 3 such break-ins earlier this month on Cumberland Circle, North Highland Avenue, Helen Drive and Piedmont Heights reported a break-in on Rock Springs Road. Keep up the good work at reporting to 911 suspicious persons and activity – we are the extra eyes and ears of APD and you never know when the unusual thing you observe and report may save you or your neighbor from becoming a victim.

Keep ALL doors and windows locked at ALL times and keep your security system activated. If you are going to be away on vacation – let your trusted neighbors know of your plans, and stop the mail and newspaper deliveries.

Note the two residential burglaries in this report. The Greenwood Avenue incident implies to me that the rear window was not locked, since the screen was removed to reach the window. The Park Drive incident says to me that since the back door window was broken – the thief just reached in to open the door and then the front door was found unlocked and ajar. This tells me that this homeowner did not have double locks on these doors. I learned the hard way many years ago to have door locks that require a key on both sides of the door. My thief just broke the back door window and reached in to open my door.

Renaissance Park

If you have not been by this beautiful wooded parkland at Piedmont Avenue @ Pine Street lately to see how this has become an urban campground – take a look the next time you are in this area. The neighbors in this area have set up a on-line petition to ask for the Mayor’s help in controlling the safety and public health problems here. Thanx to my friend Catherine Chase for alerting me to this petition. Go to
http://www.change.org/petitions/mayor-kasim-reed-city-of-atlanta-resolve-the-homeless-issue-in-and-around-renaissance-park and lend some support to our Central Atlanta Neighbors folks in the Old 4th Ward area.

Crime Report

The following reports are gleaned from our APD Zone 6 (http://www.atlantapd.org/zone6.aspx ) crime stats for the 2012 weeks of 26 and 27. Again, I state that these reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to make you aware of what happens around us everyday, and to raise your level of alertness and awareness. The emphasis is on our VaHi Beat 601, but with news from around the Zone as it applies to us.

Aggravated Assault – No reported incidents in Beat 601

Auto Theft – Vehicles were stolen on North Highland Avenue and a botched attempt on Barnett Street. The attempt though, left the car owners with a damaged ignition switch assembly.

Auto Theft Recovery – No reported recoveries in Beat 601

Residential Burglary – Incidents were reported on St. Louis Place with an ex-boyfriend suspected – Greenwood Avenue with entry via a rear window, with the screen removed and on Park Drive with entry via broken back door window.

Commercial Burglary – No reported incidents in Beat 601

Residential Robbery – No reported incidents in Beat 601. However there was a vicious home robbery on Estoria Street in Cabbagetown on 7/3 http://eastatlanta.patch.com/articles/parents-turn-in-alleged-cabbagetown-gunman

Commercial Robbery – No reported incidents in Beat 601. However, nearby the North Highland Pub was robbed along with the patrons on 6/25 at 11:30 p.m. http://eastatlanta.patch.com/articles/atlanta-police-release-photo-of-one-north-highland-pub-robbery-suspect

Larceny From Vehicle – Vehicles were entered on PDL Place (2), St. Louis Place, and on Maryland Avenue where the license plate was stolen and replaced with another plate. Keep walking behind your vehicle every day or so to make sure you still have a license plate (or the right one). Remember the Clean Car Campaign and keep ALL parked cars cleaned out at ALL times and remind your careless friends and neighbors. We all pay for all of these incidents through our vehicle insurance premiums.

Larceny Other – A cell phone was taken from an unwatched purse at Atkins Park restaurant. A backpack and clothing were stolen from an unlocked storage area under the Druid Hills Presbyterian Church with the victim fingering a suspect who had been arrested on another charge earlier that same day. I am assuming this is some sort of service for homeless folks – am I right?

Around the Zone there were reports of more snatched cell phones – several at the Starbux on Moreland Avenue in L5P and at the San Francisco Coffee on DeKalb Avenue – with an arrest made. An unwatched cell phone was taken from the bar at The Albert on Austin Avenue in Inman Park. A phone was snatched from a texting driver who was waiting for a lite on Boulevard – the window was open quite obviously.

The PDL Avenue Kroger evidently has a couple of job openings now. One employee took $1143 in cash from a register and left before his shift ended. Another employee cashed out $1000 of gift cards and also took $100 from a register – then he had the nerve to come back in a few days to pick up his paycheck. When he was confronted he fled in a waiting car. The Wendy’s on Boulevard is missing $551 in cash taken by an employee who disappeared.

Pedestrian Robbery – No reported incidents in Beat 601.
However there was a nearby recent incident early on 7/22 – the story at http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/women-shot-robbed-near-inman-park-restaurant/nP2DJ/

Almost forgot to mention the forum at Inman School Tuesday evening 7/24 at 6:30 p.m. for candidates for our statehouse reps. Remember we now have two different house districts in VaHi. http://vahi.patch.com/articles/candidate-forum-set-for-tuesday-44e25533

Graffiti News

At the urging of our NPU “F” assistant chair, Gerry Neumark, I applied for and received a graffiti eradication grant. I have now ordered and we will soon have a LOT of supplies for this process. I will now be contacting all of our sister NPU neighborhoods, as well as close-by communities, asking for a point person to head up a graffiti team for that neighborhood. Thanks to the diligence of our VaHi graffiti czar, Laura Voisinet, we are pretty clear, and on top of this vandalism, and I hope that we can help our close-by areas rid themselves of this blight also. Now – I need to find a location to store these supplies that can be available for neighborhood folks as they need them for eradication. Is there a business, church or non-profit in our general area that has a closet-sized area that can be used as a storage site? Please let me know, as these supplies will be coming here in the next week.

The city-wide anti-graffiti effort that was started with Officer Ari Bleifeld at the helm made huge steps in curbing this vandalism will have a new man in charge now as Bleifeld has gotten a promotion and is moving on. We welcome Officer Brad Etterle into this position and wish him luck in continuing Bleifeld’s successful work. The story at http://eastatlanta.patch.com/articles/apd-names-new-graffiti-abatement-officer

Benefit Event on 7/10 for Zone 6 Officers Bandy and Toomer

This event at the Euclid Avenue Yacht Club in L5P on 7/10 from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. will be in honor of Officer Bandy who tackled a mean drunk on North Highland Avenue and Officer Toomer who was ambushed outside the L5P Zesto’s. They both have a lot of healing ahead, but I hope to see both of them in attendance. More details at http://www.facebook.com/patrick.apoian#1/events/246844668751991/ I’m sure that the Yacht Club will be the safest place in Zone 6 that evening, what with all of the fire-power there, so should be a fun event.

Safety Team Street Captain Get Together Planned

Due to the success of last year’s informal social gathering of Street Captains, Eleanor Barrineau and Kay Stephenson are planning a repeat gathering this year on 7/25 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Aurora Coffee on North Highland Avenue. I’ll be inviting some Zone 6 (http://www.atlantapd.org/zone6.aspx ) and FBAC (http://www.fbacvahi.com/) folks. Don’t feel that this is just limited to just our diligent Street Captains as anyone in the community is welcome. In fact, we would also welcome folks from other neighborhoods to meet our Street Captains – the folks who really make our neighborhood watch system work.

Crime Report

The following reports are gleaned from our Zone 6 crime stats for the 2012 weeks of 22, 23, 24 and 25, Note that this is a month’s worth of crime, instead of the usual 2 weeks of reports. Again, I state these reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to make you aware of what happens around us everyday and to raise your level of alertness. The emphasis is on our VaHi Beat 601, but with reports from around the Zone as they affect us.

Aggravated Assault – There was a domestic incident at a North Highland Avenue apartment.

Auto Theft – Vehicles were stolen from Amsterdam Avenue, Greenwood Avenue (2), Barnett Street, and PDL Avenue

Auto Theft Recovery – No reported recoveries in Beat 601

Residential Burglary – A Rosedale Road residence was broken into via a brick thrown thru the living room window at 2:25 a.m. – the thief reached in and grabbed a laptop from a desktop and fled.

Commercial Burglary – No reported incidents in Beat 601

Residential Robbery – No reported incidents in Beat 601

Commercial Robbery – No reported incidents in Beat 601. Closeby, though, the Burger King on North Avenue was robbed at gunpoint and the perp fled on foot.

Larceny From Vehicle – Vehicles were entered on Greenwood Avenue (3), North Highland Avenue (2), Maiden Lane (3 and all at the same time period), PDL Avenue (2) and catalytic converters were sawed off on Maryland Avenue and Highland View (2).
Yet another unwatched landscaper’s truck had tools taken on Springdale Road in Druid Hills. Please warn your lawncare guys of this danger.

Larceny Other – A cell phone was taken from a Hand in Hand employee while she was at work. A flat screen tv was stolen from a Briarcliff Summit apartment after the door was left open by exterminators, and the Rosemont 310 store on North Highland Avenue reported a shoplifting incident.
Nearby, $15,000 worth of checks and money orders were stolen from the rent drop box at CityScape apartments on North Avenue.

Now – the big problem all over Zone 6 (and elsewhere too), snatch and grabs from unsuspecting and unalert victims. Amazingly enough, there were only two such reported VaHi incidents in this 4 week period where one MJQ Club patron lost an unwatched purse off the bar and another lost a phone. But elsewhere in the Zone in this 4 week time period these thefts were rampant. At a North Highland Avenue Inman Park coffee shop a laptop, iPad and iPhone were snatched from a table. A Righteous Room patron lost an iPhone from a table. In the Old 4th Ward Park a Macbook, iPhone and purse were snatched. A cell phone was snatched from a Boulevard BP station gas pumper (http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/story/18700025/police-say-phone-thefts-on-the-rise ) A Ralph McGill pedestrian lost a phone. A phone was stolen from an outside table at El Azteca on PDL Avenue. Perps asked to use a phone at Moreland and Austin Avenues and fled on foot. A phone was stolen from a table at Fritti on North Highland Avenue. A phone was taken from a table at Willie’s Mexican Grill at the Edgewood Retail District. A Colquitt Avenue pedestrian in Inman Park lost a cell phone. A purse was stolen from the bar at the Yacht Club in L5P. Laptops were snatched from the Moreland Avenue Starbucks in two different incidents. A laptop was snatched from a table at the Poncey Highland San Francisco Coffee shop. A phone was snatched from a pedestrian at a bus stop at Boulevard and Ralph McGill. A phone was snatched from a table at Fox Brothers BBQ on DeKalb Avenue. A phone was snatched from a table at the Flat Iron restaurant in East Atlanta Village – the phone was in a case that also had the victim’s debit card and driver’s license. I urge all servers and employees at our many, many VaHi bars and restaurants to watch for patrons leaving their phones, laptops, purses, etc on their table or on the bar to kindly ask them to put those items out of sight in a pocket or sit on them. Cell phones and laptops are NOT status items anymore and do not have to be left out to impress other folks.

Pedestrian Robbery – There were two of these frightening incidents here in Beat 601 in this time period. On 5/30 at 2 a.m. a lone male pedestrian was robbed at gunpoint by two males on North Highland Avenue north of Virginia Avenue. No injuries reported. Then on 6/3 another lone male pedestrian was robbed at gunpoint near Glen Arden at 11:30 p.m. with no injuries reported. Please, please, if you have been having a few drinks at one of our many bars/restaurants and decide to walk home solo – DO NOT!!! Any of our responsible hospitality establishments will gladly see that you get some safe way home – this is why cabs are stationed here every nite.

Elsewhere and nearby in the Zone – there were several other such incidents. On 6/4 at 12:30 a.m. a lone male pedestrian was robbed at gunpoint on North Highland Avenue south of PDL Avenue. On 6/6 at 6:30 p.m. two joggers were robbed at gunpoint on a Freedom Park path. On 6/7 on Highland Avenue at Jackson Street a lone female was robbed at gunpoint. In Glenwood Park on Garrett Street a lone female pedestrian was robbed at gunpoint at 2:15 p.m.

Some of the lessons to take away from these reports – stay alert and be aware of your surroundings at ALL times. If your cell phone rings while you are walking – let it go and wait til you are in a place where you can talk and not risk having your phone snatched. We cannot talk on the phone and walk at the same time and stay alert – it just does not work. If you have had a few drinks and are tempted to walk home solo – please call a cab instead. Just look at that cab fare as an insurance policy, and don’t become a target.

Remember the Clean Car Campaign and keep your parked car cleaned out at ALL times.

Our “Car Repair” Scammer

This guy with the Jamaican accent keeps on appearing and running his scam. If you are new to this area, and are not familiar with this long-running story – he picks a parked vehicle in a parking lot and disables something under the front that is accessible from outside the vehicle. Then he waits for the victim to come back and watch them try to start their vehicle. Then he will suddenly appear, stating he is a mechanic and will be glad to fix the vehicle. Of course, he can fix the “problem” in a flash and then asks for cash. He quite obviously picks up a lot of cash as he has been doing this for years. Recently, he tried this scheme on a lady parked at the Pizza Hut at North Avenue and Boulevard whose son works at Midtown Tire on PDL Avenue. Her son and the store manager, Seth Jones, responded to her call for help and got pix of the scammer that are attached to this report. If this happens to you – Jones asks you to call Midtown Tire at 404-874-1112 and he will send someone gratis to make the needed repairs – they are open til 7 p.m.

Crime reports

A falling tree recently tore up a section of heavily used sidewalk on Virginia Avenue just west of PDL Place next to the Inman School playground. Alert resident Julie Knapp started to work on getting this repaired and was joined by David Berl – thanx to their persistent efforts, Public Works got this repaired before Summerfest.

Also, I got a report about from Uwe Nischan about the traffic-obscuring tall grass at Kanuga Street and Monroe Drive. I called Public Works and was told it could not be cut til sometime in June. Then I decided maybe I could cut it myself, but when I went to this location – the grass was already cut. Since it evidently was not Public Works that cut the grass – was there a good neighbor who took on this project?

The following reports are from our Zone 6 crime stats for the 2012 weeks of 17, 18 and 19. Again I state these reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to make you aware of what happens around us everyday and to raise your level of alertness. Please note there are 3 weeks of reports instead of the usual 2 weeks.

Aggravated Assault – At 5 p.m. on the eastbound lanes of PDL Avenue, an officer was flagged down by a motorist who stated he was being followed by another motorist, who also stopped. Turns out the motorist who flagged down the officer was armed and had pointed his handgun at the other motorist after he had cut off the other in traffic. The armed motorist was arrested.

Auto Theft – Vehicles were stolen from St. Charles Place, Drewry Street and Adair Avenue.

Auto Theft Recovery – No reports from Beat 601

Residential Burglary – A Drewry Street residence was entered with no forced entry – possible via a key. The husband had keys taken from a gym locker, had his car unlocked and lost his wallet. There was nothing reported stolen – only that the intruder had defecated in a bathroom wastebasket.

Commercial Burglary – The Suntrust Bank branch inside the PDL Avenue Publix store was robbed at gunpoint at 2:30 p.m. with the perp fleeing on foot.

Residential Robbery – No reported incidents from Beat 601

Commercial Robbery – No reported incidents from Beat 601

Larceny From Vehicle – Vehicles were entered on Cooledge Avenue, Greenwood Avenue, Maiden Lane, North Highland Avenue (2), Rosedale Road, PDL Avenue and Amsterdam Avenue. An unsuccessful attempt was made on Highland Green Way in the parking garage. The Amsterdam Avenue report was yet another theft from an unlocked lawn care truck. Please warn your landscaper and lawn care folks to keep all of their equipment locked at all times while they are working.

Larceny Other – The North Highland Avenue CVS store had a shoplifter and Real Chow Baby restaurant on PDL Avenue had two female patrons skip out on their check.
Our PDL Avenue Kroger and Publix stores caught 6 shoplifters, and the Target store at Edgewood Retail District caught 5 non-payers.

Pedestrian Robbery – No reported incidents from Beat 601

June Traffic Advisories – The Red Bull Soapbox Race will close down 10th Street between Myrtle Street and Monroe Drive from 9:30 a.m. on 6/8 til noon on 6/10.
Also PDL Avenue closings detailed at http://vahi.patch.com/articles/beltline-project-will-close-part-of-ponce-d4543c7c

SPARK Elementary School Student Safety

Thanks to Stephany Heller, Virginia Avenue Street Captain and SPARK mother, for getting the ball rolling for a 911 training session for these students. I attended one of the student sessions led by 911 call center staffers and was amazed at how well-trained the 1st graders were about stranger danger and how to call 911 for help. Thanks also to SPARK principal, Ms. Yolanda Brown, and 911 call center director, Lieutenant Brenda Ross, for their help in setting this up. Thanks also to the alert and aware parents we have for training their kids about urban safety.

Then shortly later, SPARK students got to meet APD Officer McGruff, for more safety training. This story at -
http://vahi.patch.com/articles/police-top-dog-visits-springdale-park#photo-9833977

Speaking of Lieutenant Ross – congrats to her for achieving a 90% answer rate in 10 seconds for 911 assistance calls. This achievement rate did not happen without a lot of hard work on her part. The story at -
http://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta/atlantas-budget-hearings-go-1433777.html

Let me know if there is interest in presenting these same programs at Morningside School and I’ll get busy.

Changes at Zone 6 Command Level

Congrats to former Captain Van Hobbs for his promotion to the rank of Major and subsequent assignment to the Commander of APD Zone 2 – north of Amsterdam Avenue http://www.atlantapd.org/zone2.aspx. Filling his shoes at the number two slot at Zone 6 is Captain Michael Giugliano. We welcome the Captain to our Zone 6 family. http://www.atlantapd.org/zone6.aspx And to the west of us across the BeltLine trax – Zone 5 has a new Commander – Major Wayne Whitmire. http://www.atlantapd.org/zone5.aspx

North Highland Avenue Trash Walk May 19th

Laura Voisinet, our VaHi graffiti task force leader, has announced a session to get our main street ready to welcome thousands of VaHi visitors to both Streets Alive! on May 20th http://www.atlantastreetsalive.com/ and Summerfest on June 2nd and 3rd. Meet at the Intown Hardware parking lot at 9 a.m. on the 19th with your gloves ready to do some serious cleaning. Good opportunity for high school students needing community service hours and also a good family activity for all ages. This is all part of the “broken window” theory of crime prevention for our community. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broken_windows_theory

Amsterdam Walk/Loca Luna Problems

For those of you who are not residents of the Amsterdam/Monroe area or Amsterdam Walk business owners and are not aware of what these folks have to endure as a result of the huge crowds attracted by the Loca Luna establishment – read the story at -
http://vahi.patch.com/articles/midtown-residents-blast-amsterdam-ave-clamor.  As a matter of clarification – the off-duty officers employed to handle the crowd situation are Fulton County deputies, not off-duty APD officers. As a result of the 5/8 meeting – hopefully the Amsterdam Walk landlord, Halpern, will change this arrangement. Thanx to APD Zones 2 and 6 Majors Hobbs and Meadows for attending this meeting along with Captain Gardner from AFR.

Court Watching

The city court hearings for both of the graffiti vandals using the tag names BEAV and VOMIT are now set for June 6th. When I learn of the court times I will make a vhlist posting if you would like to go with me to see these hearings and sentencings. These were two very active and prolific vandals all over this part of the city.

DeKalb County now has started a Court Watch program for their state criminal court system. This will now complement our Fulton County CourtWatch program and includes all of the Zone 6 city neighborhoods that are in DeKalb County. Send an e-mail to Ms. Sonja Brown for more info as to how you can be involved at snbrown@dekalbcountyga.gov – she is the organizer of this program and I got to know her when she was in our Fulton County D.A.’s office. Court Watch is the public’s eyes and ears in the courtroom.

Crime Report

The following reports are from our Zone 6 crime stats for the 2012 weeks 15 and 16, with emphasis on our VaHi Beat 601, but with news from around Zone 6 as it applies to us. Again, I state, these reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to make you aware of what happens around us everyday and to raise your level of alertness.

Aggravated Assault – No reported incidents in Beat 601

Auto Theft – Vehicles were stolen from Arlington Place, Barnett Street, Briarcliff Place, and a scooter from Virginia Avenue. A vehicle was stolen from Cresthill Avenue and later found on Pine Street, N.E. More about auto thefts at -
http://eastatlanta.patch.com/articles/crime-report-in-zone-6-vehicle-larcenies-auto-thefts-are-up-year-to-date

Auto Theft Recovery – None reported in Beat 601

Residential Burglary – On Bellevue Drive at 11:00 p.m. the female resident was upstairs coming out of her child’s room when she spied an intruder on the first floor – he left when discovered taking 2 laptops, a purse and a cell phone. Entry was via a pried open front window.

Commercial Burglary – No reported incidents in Beat 601

Residential Robbery – No reported incidents in Beat 601

Commercial Robbery – No reported incidents in Beat 601. But in nearby Old 4th Ward at 2:30 p.m. at the Texaco at Boulevard @ Irwin Street, N.E. – the manager was ambushed beside the store on his way to the bank. He was shot twice in the leg and the bank bag containing $13,000 to $14,000 was taken. Let this be another warning to our area merchants to be very cautious making trips to the bank. There is a strong possibility that the manager had been watched before as he left for bank trips. Vary your bank trip times and routes and ALWAYS hide the bank bag in your clothing.

Larceny From Vehicle – Vehicles were entered on Bonaventure Avenue, Greenwood Avenue, Maiden Lane, PDL Place, North Highland Avenue, Park Drive and “several” (probably seven) times on Cresthill Avenue (all on the nite of 4/10). The report was written in such a way that I do not know the exact number of Cresthill vehicles violated. The new way our Zone 6 crime stats are now written, I cannot tell you how many types of items were stolen all over the Zone.

Larceny Other – As an apparent act of malicious vandalism a North Highland Avenue front yard wood fence was damaged and partly stolen. In nearby Grant Park a resident discovered when preparing to file his income tax report, that his name and Social security number had been used to file a report and the refund check had already been issued to the fake filer. What a shock to find this out.

Pedestrian Robbery – At 2:35 a.m. on 4/21 a female Highland View resident was robbed at gunpoint on North Highland Avenue as she walked home solo. She was approached from behind – the perp grabbed her waist and took her wallet and cell phone. She was not physically harmed. If you are faced with a solo walk home after an evening at one of our many hospitality establishments – PLEASE ask an employee to get a cab for you.

Stay alert and keep ALL parked cars cleaned out at ALL times – if you don’t, chances are good that someone else will clean out your car for you and leave with you a broken window to fix!!

Enjoy Streets Alive! and Summerfest and all that our city has to offer – but if you See Something – Say Something and call 911 right away

Vehicle Break-ins

As most of you know by now, I have been stressing the importance of the Clean Car Campaign for years now, and, granted, we have made great strides here in VaHi as to reducing the number of such incidents every week – but they still continue to be a major crime factor here as well as all over Zone 6 (http://www.atlantapd.org/zone6.aspx) and city-wide. Also, granted, a majority (as a rule) of these victims are visitors to our neighborhood as opposed to residents, and this emphasizes the responsibility that we all have to warn our guests to clean out their cars before enjoying time here. Our vibrant hospitality and retail business has a large responsibility here in warning visitors – either verbally or by signs on front doors. The customer that goes back to their car to find a broken window and a loss of personal property may never return – as well as going back to Doraville, Dunwoody or Douglasville and telling all of their friends and neighbors what a dangerous neighborhood VaHi is. It’s that simple. APD has a warning poster (about 18″x24″) and if you are interested in placing such a sign at your business – let me know and I will order enough to be placed all over the neighborhood.

APD statistics

To give you an idea as to the size of this crime problem – these are APD stats from just week #14 (4/1 to 4/7) of this year. In this week alone there were 181 such incidents city-wide, with 52 of these break-ins reported just here in Zone 6. Year-to-date, Zone 6 has had 448 reports of car break-ins versus 406 last year – a 10% increase. Year-to-date city-wide there have been 2158 reports versus 2210 last year – a paltry 2% decrease. Another way to look at this total city-wide year-to-date figure is to assume that it will take at least 15 minutes ( a bare minimum) for the responding officer to handle an investigation and write up a report – this translates to about 540 hours devoted so far this year to this crime – 540 hours that could have been spent patrolling. Yeah, I know that there are those cars that are broken into with nothing taken and without anything showing to tempt the thief – but these are the exception, not the rule. To see for yourself these figures as well as all of the rest of the city stats – go to http://www.atlantapd.org/crimedatadownloads.aspx

I feel sure that the folks who are reading this report are not the ones who are leaving their laptop on the front seat – but PLEASE, pass this on to your friends and neighbors who are guilty of not cleaning out their cars. We are the ones who can control and lower the stats on this crime category.

Vacant Property Registration

To get a handle on how much residential property is vacant in the city and to have a better idea as to how many houses need to be watched for criminal activity – the city has launched a registration process. This applies to all residential property that has been vacant for 30 days or more (including that which is for sale). The details for registering are at http://www.atlantaga.gov/index.aspx?page=754.  Real estate agents take note of this.

Graffiti News

From Laura Voisinet, our VaHi graffiti task force leader – ” Spring brings with it an uptake in stickers and tags on traffic signs, utility boxes, benches and poles. Let’s all pitch in to clean up as they arise.
Remove Stickers: Lift off new stickers using a utility scraper. Scrub old stickers off with scrapers and kitchen scouring pads.
Remove Tags: This is the “trickiest” – chemicals that remove painted tags can also remove paint on signs. Proceed gingerly dabbing with Motsenbacker’s 4 or using Safety Wipes available from the VaHi Graffiti Taskforce. E-mail Laura for your kit, instruction included.
Report: E-mail reports of new vandalism as well as supply requests to graffiti@vahi.org

Traffic Speeding

Just a word to the wise that both Zones 2 and 6 Commanders have vowed to be on the watch for speeders on our major north-south commuter routes on Briarcliff Road, Lanier Boulevard, Monroe Drive, North Highland Avenue and Barnett Street. Both of these commanders also ask you to note if speeding is abated on these routes – they need to know if their efforts are successful – so let me know, and I’ll pass reports on to Majors Browning and Meadows.

The Year of Boulevard

The massive undertaking of changing the current conditions along this major street is well under way, thanx to the cooperation of many public and private entities. http://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta/apd-opens-new-boulevard-1424322.html I attended this event along with many, many other private citizens from the Old 4th Ward and beyond. I was also glad I was there as I had the pleasure of meeting Major Meadows’ charming wife – the lady who has to share her husband with all of Zone 6. I got a chance to chat with Sergeant Sokloski – our former sector supervisor who is now with the Boulevard strike force – who told me he is really enjoying this new assignment, along with Officer Woolfolk.

Thanks to those who are keeping Maiden Lane clean

After the cleanup we had on Maiden Lane two years ago now – this street has stayed remarkably clean thanx to Rad Slough of Urban Body, Doug Mongee of Squeegee Sharks T-shirt Printing, Carlton Condos, and St. Charles Avenue Street Captain Mike Boyle. If there are others who are also working to keep this street clean – let me know so thanx can be made publicly. This street does not stay clean without some help.

Crime Reports

The following reports are from our Zone 6 crime stats for the 2012 weeks of 13 and 14, with emphasis on our Beat 601, but with news from around the zone as it applies to us. Again, I state, these reports are not meant to scare anyone – but to make you aware of what happens around us everyday.

Aggravated Assault – No reported incidents in Beat 601

Auto Theft – Vehicles were stolen from PDL Place and North Highland Avenue

Auto Theft Recovery – No such findings from Beat 601

Residential Burglary – A residence was entered on PDL Place via a kicked-in door

Commercial Burglary – No reported incidents in Beat 601

Residential Robbery – No reported incidents in Beat 601

Commercial Robbery – No reported incidents in Beat 601

Larceny From Vehicle – Vehicles were entered on Maiden Lane, Monroe Drive, North Highland Avenue (2), Briarcliff Place, Briarcliff Road, Park Drive and Amsterdam Walk. Of these 8 reported incidents, only three were VaHi residents – leaving 5 victims to tell their friends what a crime-ridden neighborhood this is. In this two-week time period all over Zone 6 there were – 16 laptops/notebooks swiped, 17 GPS systems taken, 6 I-pods taken, 4 more hand-guns added to the arsenal on the streets, 3 license plates unbolted (keep checking yours), 14 wallets and purses stolen (which represents a lot of credit/debit cards to be canceled and driver’s licenses to be replaced, etc.) 3 cameras taken, and, as usual, two reports of “nothing taken”. Of the 4 handguns taken – one ( a 40 caliber) from Euclid Avenue was used later in a shooting incident on Moreland Avenue and was subsequently recovered. Why legally buy a gun for robbery purposes when you can steal one?

My next report will have a much higher number of vehicle break-ins due to the spree someone had on Cooledge Avenue in week 15.

Larceny Other – No reported incidents in Beat 601 (this is amazing to me)

Pedestrian Robbery – No reported incidents in Beat 601

I am thrilled at how many folks are telling me about plans being made for street or block parties this spring. This is Crime Prevention 101 – by just getting neighbors together to know each other in a social setting. To help and assist others who are planning such get togethers – if you have tips and ideas as to how to organize such events from your previous experience – send these to Eleanor Barrineau (ebarrineau@aol.com) so we can have a how-to list for those of you who are still in the thinking stage. We can learn from each other.

New Safety Legislation

from John Wolfinger
As the last General Assembly closed down, we were left with a long-awaited court and prison reform measure. Time will tell as to how successful this court reform will be and as I assume it will mean new Fulton County court measures, how much it will cost us at the county level before we start seeing the cost savings at the state prison level. The story at AJC. Just as the adult court reform measures passed – the also long-awaited important juvenile court changes were left in the dust. That story at AJC. There is a quote in this article that states the importance of juvenile justice – “According to the department of juvenile justice, 60% of the teenagers released from one of their facilities return or go into the adult prison system”.

Two Upcoming Citizen Police Academies

APD has announced a spring Citizen’s Police Academy starting April 18 and continuing for 7 weeks. I am a graduate of this program and highly recommend it. I have applications I can pass on to you or you can contact Sergeant Scott Hannula at channula@atlantaga.gov or 404-546-7511 for info.

The Fulton County Sheriff’s department also has a similar educational program beginning April 25 and continuing for 6 weeks. This session will include a tour of the Fulton County Jail, and will be a good compliment to your understanding of policing if you have already been through the APD Academy. Apply to Brenda Clemons at brenda.clemons@fultoncountyga.gov or at 404-612-3562.

Either of these free to us sessions will help you, as a citizen, to better understand how these police agencies operate.

A New Way (at least to me) To Get Robbed

Thanx to Ron Rooks, Park Drive Street Captain, for passing on this alert from Georgia Tech. The following incident occurred at 10:40 p.m. just off Centennial Olympic Park Drive. “A non-student male stated that he was walking through Centennial Apartments near the leasing office when he heard a male voice screaming for help. He approached a male who was lying on the ground and bent down towards him. The male struck the victim’s back with a knife and removed cash from the victim’s pocket. The male was last seen running south through the apartment complex. The victim was transported to a hospital with minor injuries.” Park Drive resident Dan Smith suggests we should approach supposedly injured persons with extreme caution, telling them forcefully to show their hands before you get close to them. Or better yet – a 911 call for help would be prudent in this sort of situation. If there is a legitimate need for help – you will have summoned trained personnel for assistance and if it is a scam – the perp will “get well” and flee.

Crime Reports

The following reports are from our Zone 6 crime stats for the weeks of 10, 11, and 12 of 2012, with emphasis on our VaHi beat 601, but with news from around the Zone as it applies to us. Note that this current report includes 3 weeks of stats instead of the usual 2 weeks. Again, I state, these reports are not meant to scare anyone – but to make you aware of what happens around us everyday and to make plans to avoid situations whenever you can.

Aggravated Assault – No reported incidents in Beat 601.

But just south of here in Beat 602 on 3/19 @ 8:30 p.m. Officer Rebecca Bandy spied a male urinating in public on North Highland Avenue and stopped to make a public indecency arrest. Just as she got one cuff on the suspect he started to struggle, pulling down Officer Bandy and a good citizen intervened and helped to subdue the suspect til Officer Priest arrived to help. In the struggle Officer Bandy suffered a fractured tibia, which required surgery. She is now resting at home You can send get-well cards to Officer Rebecca Bandy at Zone 6, 2025 Hosea Williams Drive, S.E., ATL 30317. Just an example of what our officers have to put up with in the line of duty to protect us.

Auto Theft – No reported incidents in Beat 601.
What APD is doing to reduce these thefts at – http://www.facebook.com/AtlantaPolice/posts/393889853955216

Auto Theft Recovery – No recoveries reported in Beat 601

Residential Burglary – No reported incidents in Beat 601
There was yet another incident on Faith Avenue, S.E. where a doggie door was used for entry. Is it worth compromising your home’s security for the convenience of your pet?

Commercial Burglary – No reported incidents in Beat 601

Residential Robbery – No reported incidents in Beat 601

Commercial Robbery – No reported incidents in Beat 601

Larceny From Vehicle – Vehicles were entered on Park Drive (this victim was a GBI employee – wouldn’t you think they would know better than to leave their GPS in view?), North Highland Avenue (3), St. Charles Avenue (3), PDL Place (2), Maiden Lane, Virginia Avenue, PDL Avenue (2), Orme Circle, and Elmwood Drive. One of the North Highland incidents involved the loss of a laptop that was hidden (?) under the front seat – but the power cords were in plain sight.

This category of crime is way up here in Zone 6 and sadly, is a crime that can be prevented (for the most part), by simply remembering the Clean Car Campaign. Our officers spend a huge amount of time investigating and writing up these incidents – time that could be spent patrolling. Remind all visitors to clean out their parked car before enjoying time here in VaHi. We all have a responsibility to curb this crime category.

Landscaper trucks continue to be victims – with reports from Briarcliff Road and Lullwater Road (this victim even had his tools locked down with a bar and the bar was pried up for this theft). There was also a similar Morningside incident.
To see how serious this crime category is – all around the Zone in this 3 week time period there were 26 GPS systems taken, 34 laptops/tablets stolen, 3 more pistols added to the arsenal on the street as well as a hunting knife, 20 purses/wallets taken along with the contents, which represents a lot of ATM and credit/debit cards to be canceled, 10 I-Pods stolen, 12 cellphones gone, 11 backpacks with their contents swiped,and 6 cameras taken. There were also reports of one vehicle losing all 4 tires/wheels and another losing two tires/wheels – with the vehicles left propped up on bricks/cement blocks. Not much can be done about this sort of theft though unfortunately.

Larceny Other – A locked and chained bike was taken from Barnett Street. At the Briarcliff Summit building a resident lost a debit card to a visiting “friend”. I have been told this building’s sale to Evergreen is still on target for a May or June closing.
All around the Zone in this time period cell phones continue to be snatched from unaware owners – from restaurant tables, the sushi bar at the Edgewood Kroger and distracted pedestrians (including a skateboarder at Coan Park). Keep those phones in your pocket when not in use. I continually see pedestrians talking on their phones as they walk and are oblivious as to what is going on around them and I am sure you see the same thing.

Copper thieves continue on their rampage stealing A/C units, copper piping, electrical wires – mostly out of empty residences. No reports here in 601 yet.

Nearby in Zone 2 at the HobNob restaurant on Piedmont Avenue a “patron” took a laptop from behind the bar and at Ru San restaurant also on Piedmont – 5 males ran up a $121 tab and then left without paying.

Pedestrian Robbery – At the ATM at PDL Avenue at PDL Place at 9:30 p.m. the victim was approached by the perp who demanded money (no weapon shown) – the victim withdrew $300 and gave it up to the thief who fled on foot towards Maiden Lane.
South of here at 8:30 p.m. a victim was robbed at knife point behind the Edgewood Lowe’s store – the perp was caught using the stolen credit card at the nearby Target store right after the robbery.

Our Car Repair Scammer

Thanx to an alert and aware neighbor who sent the dialogue about this scammer in the attachment to this report. This is info to pass on to your neighbors and friends. If anyone suspects they have become a victim of this parking lot scam – DO NOT pay the guy who just happens to show up volunteering to make repairs – call 911 and then call Midtown Tire at 404-874-1112 who will come to your rescue at no charge, thanx to store manager Seth Jones.


John,

Wanted to make you aware of an incident at the El Azteca on Ponce De Leon. Have heard you describe this scam before on your emails, and it looks like the guy is back in the neighborhood. My office window next door faces their parking lot. I watched a couple pull up in a jeep Cherokee who went inside to eat. Not long afterwards I saw an older (60ish? grey whiskers) black male, thick glasses, walking up between the cars, acting as though he was talking on a cell phone, but he did not look quite right. He was wearing a bright green and yellow JAMAICA athletic jersey. I was on a lengthy phone call at the time. He disappeared for a moment, seemed to be sitting on the curb or squatting down right next to the front left wheel of the Cherokee. He then walked off to the south of the building out of site. A few minutes later, the couple came out, and the car would not start. they raised the hood, about the time I saw the guy returning to the lot with a new dark blue T shirt on in place of the brightly colored one. He walked into the restaurant area, grabbed a newspaper off the table and was hanging out outside next to a truck. I thought I recognized him as the same guy. He stood by the truck for a while. I was really suspicious at this point. After he watched for a minute or so, he not surprisingly offered help, and started talking with the jeep owner. At this point I got off the line and called 911 and told them I thought a scam was going on, gave them location, descriptions and the tag number of the car. he messed around under the hood for a while, then walked over to the truck as though he was going to retrieve some tools. When the car owners were not looking I watched him pull a pair of pliers out of his pants and then walked back over to the couple. After playing around with the battery for a while, he finally went back under the car in the location that he had initially ducked down before. Not surprisingly, the car then started. More pleasantries were exchanged and money changed hands. I went outside and to watch more closely and see if I could get a photo. Once the job was done, the perp walked back over the far side of the truck and acted as though he was putting his tools in the bed, then stood beside it, hiding behind the cab until the victims left the property. I managed to get a couple of photos of him while he was in this posture. They are attached. He became uneasy and stopped me and tried to strike up a conversation, telling me he was from CUBA and speaking with a really bad fake accent. He got spooked and made an exit , unfortunately before the police arrived. I got a few more photos as he walked away, also attached.

Unfortunately it looks like he got away, but thought it might be worth posting the photos so people could keep a lookout. He is pretty slick and cagey, the accents, the clothes changes, glasses on, glasses off, hat on, hat off, these were all pretty smart moves, he seems to be pretty well seasoned at this. Thought you would like to be aware.

ATAG II (review process for issuance/enforcement of alcohol permits)

from John Wolfinger
ATAG II (Alcohol Technical Advisory Group) meeting at the Inman School on 3/22/2012 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. This group has been set up by City Council to review our existing city alcohol permit issuance and enforcement system. This investigation is long over-due – and though we, for the most part, have responsible license holders here in VaHi – the rest of our NPU is fraught with problems along the Cheshire Bridge Road corridor for example. This meeting gives you a chance to learn more about these problems and to offer your suggestions for change. I attended the first of these meetings at City Hall and got to hear our NPU Chair, Jane Rawlings, render a passionate plea for changes in the Cheshire Bridge/Piedmont Road area.

Publix Georgia Marathon 3/18 (street closures)

The Publix Georgia Marathon, which will run through our neighborhood on 3/18/2012. Check on routes, times, etc at www.georgiamarathon.com then click on “community” for info.

The marathon will affect streets in a wide swathe from Downtown to Decatur — here are the main streets in our immediate neighborhood that are affected, but see also full road closure info on Georgia Marathon site:

  • Ponce De Leon – There is always at least 1 eastbound and 1 westbound lane on Ponce De Leon between Peachtree St and N Highland Ave and between N Highland and Decatur Square. The intersection of Ponce De Leon at N Highland is closed during approximately 7:13 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. but reopens to traffic at approximately 9:30 a.m., after which Ponce is open to 2-way traffic from Peachtree St to Decatur Square.
  • North Ave – Until 11:00 a.m., eastbound traffic on North Ave is detoured off North Ave from Luckie St to Fowler St to North Ave. Including this detour, there is always at least 1 eastbound and 1 westbound traffic lane on North Ave between Northside Dr and Freedom Pkwy. The intersection of North Ave and N Highland is closed during approximately 7:09am-9:30am but reopens to traffic at approximately 9:30am.
  • Boulevard/Monroe Dr – During the race, Boulevard/Monroe Dr is open to traffic from Auburn Ave to Park Dr. After Auburn Ave reopens to traffic at approximately 8:30am, Boulevard/Monroe Dr is open to traffic from south of I-20 to Park Dr. Monroe & Park Dr are closed to traffic during approximately 8:35am-1:00pm.
  • N Highland Ave – N Highland Ave from North Ave to Virginia Ave is part of the course during approximately 7:13am-9:30am. After approximately 9:30am, N Highland Ave is open to traffic from Baker-Highland Connector to Los Angeles Ave. N Highland & Virginia is closed to traffic during approximately 7:13am-9:30am. N Highland & Los Angeles is closed to traffic during approximately 8:30am-12:45pm.
  • Briarcliff Rd – Briarcliff Rd from Stillwood Dr to The By Way is part of the course during approximately 8:25am-12:30pm. During the race, Briarcliff Rd is open to 2-way traffic south of Stillwood Dr and north of The By Way.

Fulton Co. Sheriff Citizens’ Academy

The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office Citizen’s Academy. Even though the intent of this educational program is somewhat akin to our APD Citizen’s Academy – it is really enough different for even those of us who have done the Atlanta program to consider enrolling in this program also. This program begins 4/25/2012 and continues for 6 successive Wednesdays from 6 to 9 p.m. Just as I was typing I suddenly realized that the attachment flyer does not list how to enroll or the location of the Fulton County Training Center. But, since you will need time to clear your calendar for these 6 Wednesdays – I will check on enrollment info and post it on my next report in two weeks. I’d like to have a group of NPU “F” folks enrolled for car pooling.

Register for Smart 911

To aid you when you have to make a 911 emergency call for help – sign up for the APD Smart 911 system to have your household vitals already registered. It’s so much easier to remember facts in this enrollment process at your keyboard than when you are frantically calling for help in an emergency. To learn more about this helpful APD and AFR aid – read the article at East Atlanta Patch. This enrollment does not ask for social security or driver’s license numbers. The city hopes to have at least 20,000 folks signed up by year’s end.

State Legislature

According to the AJC on 3/11/2012 the following bills that affect our safety in one way or another are still alive.

HB 1176 – Would change the state’s approach to criminal sentencing in an attempt to control the prison population by sentencing non-violent offenders to alternative programs (such as drug courts).

SB 316 – Would extend the statute of limitations related to sex crimes against children.

SB 321 – Would make it harder to sell stolen metal – this is opposed by metal recyclers. The House has similar bills to consider.

Crime reports

The following reports are gleaned from our Zone 6 crime stats for the weeks 8 and 9 of 2012, with emphasis on our VaHi beat 601 – but with news from around the Zone as it affects us in some way. Again, I state these reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to raise your level of awareness as to what happens around us everyday.

Aggravated Assault – No reported incidents in Beat 601

Auto Theft – One vehicle was stolen from Greenwood Avenue.

Nearby in Inman Park on Alta Avenue a workman left his keys on the seat of his pickup at 2 p.m. – only to return 15 minutes later to find an empty parking space.

Auto Theft Recovery – No such reports from Beat 601

Residential Burglary – No reported incidents in Beat 601

Commercial Burglary – No reported incidents in Beat 601

Residential Robbery – No reported incidents in Beat 601

Commercial Robbery – No reported incidents in Beat 601

However, nearby in the 4th Ward, there was the high profile robbery of the Sugar Coated Radical candy shop on Howell Street along with the grocery store owner murder. http://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta/video-released-of-suspect-1359798.html

Larceny From Vehicle – Vehicles were entered on PDL Avenue, Frederica Street, and St. Charles Avenue (2 – one of which was a catalytic converter theft).

All around the Zone in this time period, there were 11 GPS systems stolen, 8 laptops gone, as well as a paper drive-away license tag, 2 more hand guns added to the arsenal on the streets, 3 I-Pods taken, 5 cell phones lifted, 5 purses/wallets taken along with the contents, and a Sawz-All taken – which seems to be the tool of choice to cut off catalytic converters – of which there were 3 stolen. Learn more about catalytic converter thefts at http://www.nationwide.com/catalytic-converter-theft.jsp

At the Cactus Car Wash on PDL Avenue – the victim left a credit card in his car’s console and yeah – you guessed it. This car wash does have security cameras though and the perp was caught later.

At 3 p.m. in the Edgewood Retail District parking lot a just-purchased tv set from Best Buy was stolen from the purchaser’s car. Need I say anything about going right home after making such a purchase and not making more shopping stops? Most any shopping center parking lot has folks just watching for opportunities

Larceny Other – The CVS on North Highland Avenue had 4 bottles of perfume stolen, but the guy got away in a car.

Around the Zone in this time period there were 4 more reports of a/c units stolen from vacant houses/apartments. There were 5 reports of stolen bicycles left unlocked on front porches, back yards, and patios. Keep those bikes hidden behind doors or at least locked at all times – they are a magnet for thievery. One bike though was taken from a locked rack on Highland Avenue in the 4th Ward. There were also 2 reports of unchained motorized scooters taken from front porches.

This report takes the cake! The PDL Avenue Publix manager stated to the responding officer there was an unresponsive male locked in a men’s room stall. The officer located the arrestee passed out on the toilet with his pants down to his knees, with an empty bottle of cooking sherry next to him. Of course, Grady had to be summoned to take him to their detention facility to sober up.

Pedestrian Robbery – No reported incidents in Beat 601.

Nearby though at 5:30 a.m. on Blue Ridge Avenue in Poncey-Highland a motorist stopped to look under the hood of his car after the “check engine” lite came on. He was robbed by physical force by 3 males who fled in a car. A bicycle riding teenager alongside Central Park was robbed at gunpoint at 10:30 p.m. – his cellphone, pocket cash and empty wallet was taken. The thief gave back his wallet after finding it to be empty. An incident at the Boulevard BP is explained at http://www.wsbtv.com/news/local/video-shows-men-watching-waiting-rob-store-custome/nLNfm/

Zone 6 Welcomes A New Commander

When APD Deputy Chief Calvin Moss announced his retirement – his leaving the ranks created a series of command changes and promotions. On 2/16 our Zone 6  Commander Major John Dalton became Deputy Chief to head up all of the criminal investigation division, and our 2nd in charge Captain Vincent Moore became a Major as Chief of Staff (a tribute to his management skills). We have our two former Zone 6 Commanders as Deputy Chiefs now – Dalton and Propes. Zone 6 is the only APD Zone that encompasses two counties, which means two separate county jail and court systems to deal with – not an easy job.

We now welcome Major Keith Meadows as our new Commander and Captain Van Hobbs as 2nd in charge. Read more at Patch. Welcome aboard Meadows and Hobbs.

Neighborhood Races and Festivals

  • The Intown10 Race on 3/4/2012 news at – http://intownten.com/news/pics/map/ for times of street closings.
  • The Publix Georgia Marathon on 3/18/2012 news at – http://georgiamarathon.com/road_closure.htm for times of street closings.
  • The proposed Streets Alive festival plans slated for 5/20/2012 will be presented and discussed at the next VaHi Civic Association meeting on 3/12/2012 at 7 at the PDL Avenue library.