Crime reports

The following crime reports are taken from the Zone 6 crime stats for weeks 49 and 50 of 2009, with emphasis on our Beat # 603, but with news from all over the Zone as it applies to us. Again, I stress these reports are not meant to scare anyone – but to give you a chance to alter your everyday activities to possibly becoming a victim. We have to realize we live in the middle of a big city – not everything can be avoided – but a lot can be. Learn from other person’s mistakes.

Auto Theft – A vehicle was stolen from Virginia Avenue and a broken-down vehicle on Virginia Circle that was supposed to have been towed by an insurance company was not taken to the designated location. Now that it is cold again – five vehicles in the Zone were stolen while left warming up in driveways. A cold car seat is better than no car seat!

Auto Theft Recovery – A vehicle reported stolen on Bellevue Drive was found by the owner after they realized where they had parked it. If you are driving a stolen vehicle – NEVER cut in front of a police car!! Two juveniles ( 15 and 16 y/o) were arrested on Hosea Williams Drive, S.E. after they made this driving blunder!

Commercial Burglary – 5 units were entered at the Public Storage facility on Monroe Drive in Piedmont Heights with a suspect identified. Prim Printing on Dutch Valley Place was entered via a smashed glass door. Nite drop rent boxes were entered at Monroe Place Apartments on Monroe Drive and Broadstone Apartments on Piedmont Road.

Residential Burglary – A home on Amsterdam Avenue was entered via an unsecured rear window. All around the Zone in this time period 17 homes were entered via kicked-in doors!

Larceny From Auto – Vehicles were broken into on Arlington Place, Brookridge Drive, Drewry Street, Hudson Drive, Los Angeles Avenue (2), Virginia Avenue (2), Amsterdam Walk, Barnett Street, Briarcliff Place, Lanier Boulevard (2), North Highland Avenue, North Virginia Avenue, PDL Place, and Rupley Drive. Of these 17 incidents – 15 of the owners were visitors to our neighborhood and undoubtedly, folks who do not have a very good opinion of VaHi now – especially if they were here to go to restaurants and bars.
All around the Zone in this time period – there were SEVENTEEN GPS systems taken, 3 license plates taken off (keep checking to make sure you still have a plate), 4 hand guns added to the arsenal already on the streets, 3 in-dash radios ripped out, tires taken off two vehicles, and six catalytic converters sawed off AT&T trucks in their parking lot on Chester Avenue, S.E. Three entered vehicles had nothing taken – including the incident on Rupley Drive (go figure why?). The most unusual thing taken was a pit bull dog from a vehicle on Cheshire Bridge Road.

Larceny Other – Unwatched purses were taken at Noche and at the MJQ Club. At the Briarcliff Summit Building a camera was missing from an apartment after cleaners had left and in this same building a blind resident’s guitar was taken while he talked to a stranger in his doorway. At the Edgewood Target store an employee stole $4982 worth of gift cards – I assume there is a job opening there now. The PDL Avenue Publix store caught 2 shoplifters. All around the Zone, a/c units continue to be stolen for scrap metal, I presume, and mostly from unoccupied residences.

Commercial Robbery – The much publicized Zesto’s robbery in L5P on 12/2 took place at 8 p.m. during regular business hours. The Subway restaurant in Edgewood Retail district was robbed at gunpoint at 11 p.m. – their closing time. At the SunTrust Bank in East Atlanta on Flat Shoals Avenue, S.E. at 2 p.m. a teller was approached by the suspect with a robbery note. The teller began to comply and then put the money back into the drawer as no gun was shown. The suspect fled on foot but was arrested.

Pedestrian Robbery – On St. Charles Avenue at 1 a.m. three young people in their twenties were robbed at gunpoint. At the Ansley Wachovia ATM at 7 p.m. – the victim had her withdrawal forcibly taken from her pocket – no gun reported in this case. And at the ATM in the Edgewood Retail District at 3 a.m. the victim was robbed of their withdrawal at gunpoint.

Be alert and enjoy this wonderful holiday season. Be sure to let your trusted neighbors know of your travel plans and how to reach you in your absence.

BOLO

BOLO for a green Chevy Lumina with license plate BGU-7453 – this car has been seen in Morningside following delivery trucks, sending a young black male up to porches to take packages and replace them with other already looted boxes. Call 911 immediately if this vehicle is spotted in action. Yes – we have safe delivery addresses at Intown Hardware, Urban Body, City Storage in VaHi, Richard’s Grocery in Midtown, Highland Wine & Crystal in Morningside, and Candler Park Market in Candler Park – but if you have not alerted out-of-town friends and relatives of a new address for packages – this will be for naught. This is bound to be a problem that will continue after the holidays.

Front Porch Package Thefts

This continues to be a huge problem, with reports reaching me almost every day. Does anyone reading this report work for either UPS or FedEx? I’ve yet to figure out how to contact someone at these organizations to ask what they are doing on their part to stem this crime. Their web sites offer a place to report thefts – but no place to ask questions. Also continue to call 911 when a theft is discovered – I have a feeling that APD does not fully realize how big this problem is – and 911 reports are our only way to keep them apprised.

VaHi Clean Car Campaign

In an attempt to help stem the continuing flood of car break-ins that plagues our neighborhood, I have arranged with Rapid Sign Systems at Ford Factory Square to print up banners as a reminder to both local and visiting vehicle drivers to clean out their cars before parking in our local lots and streets. The attachment is the basic design for the banner, the first of which will soon be going up at the California Auto Buff location at Virginia and North Highland Avenues. I now challenge the rest of our local businesses to order and install these in their parking lots -mindful that the customer who leaves their restaurant/bar/or retail store to find their car broken into may just very well be a customer who never returns. The price for the 3X8 size is $100 and the 3X6 size is $80.

The lead line could be changed to use your business name if you prefer. This could be a very worthwhile investment in the continuing success of your business. These will also be very useful in residential parking lots of apartment and condo buildings. These banners need to be seen all along PDL Avenue, North Highland Avenue, Virginia Avenue, PDL Place, and Monroe Drive in our many commercial area parking areas. The banners are printed on heavy vinyl complete with grommet holes for hanging. I searched our Atlanta sign ordinances and these seem to be permitted as long as they are on private property and are not obstructing anything. Rapid Sign’s phone number is 404-874-0010 if you have questions about ordering.

One of our Street Captains has also suggested yard signs with the same sort of message to place along residential streets where our visitors park. This is a terrific idea, and may well be the second prong of this campaign – we will need to find a method of funding though.

Crime reports

The following crime stats are gleaned from the Zone 6 reports for the weeks 47 and 48 of 2009. with emphasis on our local Beat # 603, but with news from around the Zone as it applies to us. These reports are not meant to scare anyone – but to alert you as to what happens around us everyday, allow you to learn from the mistakes of others, and to give you a chance to alter your everyday activities to avoid becoming a victim.

Aggravated Assault – At the Room Service Lounge on Piedmont Circle, an argument between two patrons resulted in one throwing a glass at the other. This is the establishment that told us at NPU when they were applying for their liquor license they were going to be a “family restaurant”. At the Wendy’s restaurant on Piedmont Road a patron was stabbed with a screwdriver due to a bad domestic situation.

Auto Theft – Vehicles were stolen from North Highland Avenue, Highland View and Elmwood Drive. The Elmwood vehicle was found by the victims at a drive-in restaurant on PDL Avenue in Zone 5.

Residential Burglary – At a Briarcliff Road apartment, the intended victim found the perp trying to pull the screen away from her window – she scared him away and he fled. A laptop was stolen from an apartment in the Briarcliff Summit building – the resident saw the perp leaving, but he escaped.

Commercial Burglary – 5 units at the storage facility on Monroe Drive were entered, and 3 units at the same type of business on Cheshire Bridge Road were entered. The self-storage facility on Kanuga Street also had an unlawful entry into a unit. The North Highland Pub was entered via a smashed front window. The Carter Center lost landscaping equipment from a broken into storage shed. The BlaBla clothing store on Virginia Avenue was entered through a damaged front door.

Commercial Robbery – At the Ben & Jerry’s store on North Highland Avenue at 10:30 p.m. on 11/18, the manager was approached on the sidewalk by 2 armed b/m as he was closing – they forced him back into the store, and forced him to open the safe. I hate to hear of this happening to such a nice neighbor and am glad he was not hurt. Business owners take heed – opening and closing times are when you are very vulnerable.

Larceny From Auto – Vehicles were broken into on Amsterdam Avenue, Arlington Place, Briarcliff Place (4), Lanier Boulevard, North Highland Avenue (2), Virginia Avenue (3), Barnett Street (3), Greenwood Avenue, Park Drive (2), PDL Avenue (2), Los Angeles Avenue (2) One Los Angeles Avenue case was cleared up when the perp was stopped for walking in the street – upon questioning the officer found out the perp had hidden the stolen goods at a house on Virginia Avenue where he had been earlier raking leaves. Out of these 22 incidents in just 2 weeks, 16 of the vehicle owners were from outside the neighborhood. Not exactly good P.R. for VaHi. Please continue to warn visitors their vehicles are at high risk if they leave visible items in their cars!!!
All around Zone 6 in this time period, there were THIRTEEN GPS systems stolen, 4 license plates taken off, and 4 in-dash radios ripped out. One of the Briarcliff Place thefts involved taking the hubcaps. There was also a driveshaft taken off a vehicle south of here. The most unusual theft was a dozen eggs. There were also 4 break-ins reported where nothing was taken – go figure.

Larceny Other – A weedeater was taken from a landscaper’s truck in Morningside. Bar patrons on North Highland Avenue and PDL Avenue lost unwatched purses. Front porch package thefts were reported from Highland View and Virginia Circle – I wonder how many more of these thefts occurred and were never reported??? Green’s Liquor Store caught a shoplifter. An unwatched purse was taken from a shopping cart at the Edgewood Target. At a Highland View party – a guest lost his coat and its contents. A North Morningside Drive resident gave her key to a neighbor so he could do some repair work at her house while she was away. She came home to find items missing and the neighbor had moved away. At the CVS on North Highland Avenue at 8 a.m on 11/26. a w/m took a 15″ tv set, then at 7:15 p.m. the same day, the CVS at Ansley lost 2 15″ tv sets also to a w/m whose description and get-away vehicle was similar to the first perp. I guess there were at least 3 tv sets for sale on Boulevard that day.

Pedestrian Robbery – A female resident of the Briarcliff Summit building was robbed of a grocery item from her cart in the lobby area. And here is yet another bank parking lot incident. At 9 p.m. at the Wachovia ATM on Glenwood Avenue in East Atlanta – the victim was robbed of his withdrawal at gunpoint.

Be alert, be aware and have a safe holiday season!!

Crime reports

A Conviction of Interest – Do you remember in my last report there was an item about a suspect caught riding a bike out of the closed Cactus Car Wash on PDL Avenue? He was stopped by Zone 5 Officer Jorge Santa, and after questioning, the suspect (Lessie Bennett) took Officer Santa to St. Charles Avenue where an SUV had been broken into. The victim identified the bike he was riding, then they went on to Arlington Place where yet another car had been broken into and 2 GPS systems had been stolen. Bennett has 14 felony convictions and numerous sentences involving drug treatment. In court, our new Community Prosecutor, Joshua Geller, reports Bennett pled guilty to theft by taking and entering auto. He asked for drug treatment again, but the Judge refused and sentenced him 10 years, 4 years balance probated and no parole. He is also required to pay $125 in restitution (wonder if he has any money though).

The following crime stats are gleaned from Zone 6 reports for the weeks 45 and 46 of 2009, with emphasis on our Beat # 603, but with news from around the Zone as it applies to us.

Aggravated Assault – On 11/4 a w/m St. Charles Avenue resident was threatened at knifepoint by a w/m Monroe Drive resident over a fight about a debt payment.

Auto Theft – Vehicles were stolen from Maiden Lane, Rosewood Drive, Virginia Avenue (2). Whoops!! – a valet parking attendant at Sotto Sotto restaurant in Inman Park gave a car to the wrong person who drove it away.

Residential Burglary – On Highland Lane at the Carlton condo building – 3 separate units were broken into and were discovered within a 3 day time frame. I think folks in this building need to get to know their neighbors for some mutual protection. All around the Zone, a/c units are still being stolen (for scrap metal I assume) and entry was made into 6 homes via a kicked-in door.

Commercial Burglary – The Publix store on Cheshire Bridge Road was entered via a pried open front door and 140 cartons of cigarettes were taken. The ATL Food Market on Barnett Street was entered via a smashed glass front door. At the Public Storage on Monroe Drive, no signs of forced entry into a unit that had goods missing.

Commercial Robbery – The China Garden restaurant on Monroe Drive had an attempted robbery at 3:25 p.m. by a w/m perp who stated “I have a gun – give me all the money” The victim hit the panic alarm and then called 911 – the perp fled on foot with no money. The Chase Bank on Cheshire Bridge Road was robbed at gunpoint at 2:20 p.m.

Larceny from Auto – Vehicles were broken into on Amsterdam Walk (2), Adair Avenue, Greenwood Avenue (2), Highland Terrace, Highland View, Los Angeles Avenue, North Highland Avenue (2) , PDL Avenue (2), Kentucky Avenue, Lanier Boulevard, and PDL Place. On Greenwood Avenue 3 hubcaps were stolen, a PDL Place car had the wheel center caps taken off, and on Piedmont Road a car was put up on concrete blocks and the wheels stolen.
Around all of the Zone in this time period TWENTY GPS systems were stolen, two license plates were taken off, one catalytic convertor sawed off, 2 in-dash stereos ripped out, and one hand gun stolen.

Larceny Other – A Virginia Circle resident lost a cell phone at a North Highland restaurant. At the Georgia Power facility on PDL Place a perp had cut a hole in the fence to gain entry and was stealing burglary tools from a work truck (bolt cutters, a screwdriver), was noticed, but fled on foot. Also at Georgia Power a perp was caught attempting to steal a bale of copper wire at 1 p.m. – but fled on foot. At Midtown Kitchen on Dutch Valley Road – two guys walked out of the back delivery door with two cases of vodka and escaped in a vehicle. At the PDL Avenue Chipotle a homeless b/m was caught helping himself to a fountain drink – when confronted he started throwing things. Two females lost their unwatched purses on 11/1 at two different PDL Avenue nitespots. The Edgewood Target caught a female juvenile taking out a whole cartful of goods. A UPS package was stolen on PDL Place – how many more of these front porch thefts were never discovered or reported??

Pedestrian Robbery – Yet another bank safety story. At the SunTrust on Moreland Avenue at 5:35 p.m. the victim had just withdrawn cash from the ATM and was walking back to his car when he was approached and asked if he wanted to buy some laptops by suspect # 1 – they walked to a car where suspect # 2 stated “give it up” – the victim gave up his $450 and both suspects fled in their car. Life Lesson # 673 – do not be tempted to buy laptops in a bank parking lot where you have been seen withdrawing cash from an ATM!!!!

Be Alert and Have a Safe Thanksgiving Holiday!

FBAC (Fight Back Against Crime) South

If you live south of the established service area for this subscription safety patrol group and have been wishing for extra security for your home, family or business – now is the time to send an e-mail to Beth Marks, the co-ordinator, at bethmarks@bellsouth.net to sign up or get more details. This basically is the area south of Highland View and/or Rosedale Drive.

“Our Scammer”

The nicely dressed b/m that has appeared off and on again for a couple of years now at least – was on Maryland Avenue at 5:50 a.m. on 11/23 claiming his car was broken down on PDL Avenue and he had a daughter in Emory Hospital. This tale is very similar to his basic story line he has been using for years now. He is evidently not dangerous – but it always seems to cost kind-hearted souls a few bucks to get rid of him. Just beware!

Holiday Planning

If you have travel plans during this upcoming holiday period – be sure to let your neighbors know when you are leaving, the date you will be back home, your cell phone number, and where you are going. If you live on a well-organized VaHi street, you will already have the e-mail contacts for your neighbors and this will be an easy task. This is just a common-sense practice in the world we live in now. Also remember to stop your mail delivery by going to http://www.usps.com , and put a hold on any newspaper deliveries. Nothing says “come and steal” more than an overflowing mailbox and papers on your front walk.

Also – go by Intown Hardware, City Storage or Urban Body Fitness to sign up for their free safe delivery address service for FedEx and UPS packages. Now is also the time to let your out-of-town friends and relatives know that you have a different address as they are sending you holiday gift packages. Save yourself the sickening feeling of finding an empty box addressed to you from Aunt Bertha along the street.

Our Neighborhood Middle and High School Students

I just recently have had some e-mails and phone conversations with some folks concerned about activities in the Cunard playground area of John Howell Park and under the bridge at Orme Park. A couple of other neighborhood folks and myself will be having a brain-storming session with Dr. Bockman at Inman School soon – so if you have stories or suggested solutions – let me know at safety@vahi.org Graffiti is only part of the problem here.

Bogus Census Takers

I was sent a notice from friends in East Atlanta about a recent home invasion there. “On October 19th at 2:00 p.m., two black males knocked on a door at 752 Moreland Avenue and asked the resident to sign a census form. When the victim stated he was about to leave and didn’t have time, the suspects produced a gun and forced their way into the apartment. Both victims were forced to lie on the floor and had their property taken. One of the suspects fired one round at the victims, which struck the floor. Both suspects then left the area in a white, newer model Chevy Malibu, which was driven by an older black female. The suspects were described as two black males, one about 5’11″, 170 pounds, wearing a hat, blue jeans and a blue coat. The other was about 5’10″, wearing a white dress shirt and khaki pants.”

An interesting read on this situation is at No Victims http://novictims.wordpress.com/ This is timely given that we already have legitimate census takers on the street.

Trick or Treaters and Pride Festival

I was a little concerned about this mixture until Kathryn King-Metters, Jane Rawlings and myself had a face to face meeting with Lt. Dancy, who is heading up the off-duty patrol security for the Pride festival. Lt. Dancy was very receptive to listening to our neighbor’s concerns and is passing on these concerns to the 40 some off-duty APD folks who will be on our streets and in the park this weekend. Lt. Dancy will be using the same basic traffic/parking format that has been in place now for some time regulating Class A Piedmont Park events, and we know now that this plan works for our neighborhood safety. The usual water-filled barricades will be posted on Monroe at Cresthill, Elmwood, Park and Orme. You should be able to find an officer posted at these barricades for questions, concerns or for serious problems, a 911 call will notify the off-duty and on-duty police during this event. The 911 operators are to have been notified this festival is in progress in our area.

I would think that using good parental supervision of your trick or treaters anywhere in the neighborhood is necessary for this Saturday evening. The trick or treaters I have seen on my street in previous years have always been well controlled and this year should be no different. We have the advantage of one more day of DST which will really help also.

City-Wide Citizen Public Safety Training

I have attended these yearly sessions for the past couple of years and they are very enlightening – especially hearing from and meeting citizens from all over the city. Topics to be covered include – CourtWatch, the 911 Call Center system, identity theft, seizure of drug houses. This year’s session is on Saturday, 10/10 from 8:30 a.m. til 1:30 p.m. at the new Public Safety building downtown at 226 Peachtree Street, S.W. Send an e-mail to Inspector Debbie Jackson to reserve a seat and a lunch ticket at dljackson@atlantaga.gov

Kozak Sentenced!

Timothy Kozak, the remaining co-defendant in the burglary ring that plundered through VaHi, Fourth Ward, Poncey Highland and Midtown, pled guilty to all charges and was sentenced to serve 20 years – 10 in prison. Kozak admitted to burglaries at Camden Midtown Apartments, the VaHi Church and adjoining pre-school, and various residential burglaries.

Kozak was sentenced as a recidivist, meaning, he will serve every day of the ten years in prison due to his prior record. The balance of his sentence is to be served on probation with conditions – he be banned from this area and that he undergo drug treatment.

The excellent investigation and cooperation by Zone 5 and Zone 6 burglary squads made this conviction possible. Sgt. Cooper of the MPSA assisted Zone 5 Lt. McGee in the apprehension in Midtown. Sgt. D. Schierbaum, Officer C. Gurley, and Sgt. Cooper pursued this case with significant personal sacrifices, as they appeared in court numerous times, spending hours, often on their off-days to see that Kozak was convicted. Our community is so fortunate to have such dedicated law enforcement officers serving us.
Thanks to the many members of Citizen’s CourtWatch, who have patiently followed this case for the past year. In spite of the many court appearances, which took place on short notice, they were unwavering in their support. Their persistence in seeing justice served certainly paid off.

The above report was from Sharla Jackson, our community prosecutor. You can thank her at sharla.jackson@fultoncountyga.gov You can commend Sgt. Schierbaum to Zone 5 Major Williams at kwilliams@atlantaga.gov and Officer Gurley to Zone 6 Major Propes at epropes@atlantaga.gov These are folks who deserve a pat on the back from us!

Lamb Sentenced!

Kenneth Lamb appeared before Judge Jackson Bedford on 9/21 for a probation revocation hearing – stemming from a probated 2006 sentence for cocaine possession. The warrant for arrest was issued by his probation officer for not completing his required drug treatment program. Lamb was sentenced to two years prison time – the maximum allowed for this violation. He is then banned from Fulton County for the remaining five years of his sentence. Lamb still faces 3 more hearings for other probation violations and a terrorist threat charge. This process will go on for a long time yet. But he is safely behind bars on Rice Street in the meantime.

Crime reports

The following crime stat reports are gleaned from our APD Zone 6 reports for weeks 36 and 37 of 2009, with emphasis on our Beat # 603, but with news from all around the Zone as it applies to us. As always, these reports are not meant to scare anyone, but simply to make you aware of what all happens around us everyday – so hopefully you can alter your activities to avoid some of these situations.

Aggravated Assault – At 7:40 p.m. at Euclid and Moreland Avenues in L5P, the male victim states the perp struck him with a bottle when he couldn’t pay back money he owed him. The victim didn’t know the perp’s name – but stated he does sell cocaine. Not that I know from experience – but always thought drug sales were C.O.D., guess the “victim” won’t be getting credit anymore. At a road block at I-85 and Cheshire Bridge Road, 3 officers were almost hit by a driver changing lanes – he sped off, but later bailed out and was captured. Yes – there is a moral to this story.

Auto Theft – Three unsuccessful attempts were made at auto thefts on Drewry Street, PDL Avenue, and St. Charles Avenue. Two vehicles were stolen from Rosedale Road – one of which was inoperable which probably means it was towed. Two vehicles were stolen from Moreland Avenue parking lots with the keys in the ignition while the owners were in businesses. No – I’m not going to add any editorial comment!

Commercial Burglary – Storage bins were entered at facilities on Cheshire Bridge Road (2) and on Monroe Drive (5). The Unique Pizza store on PDL Avenue was entered via a smashed front glass door. The Paidea School on PDL Avenue lost 5 more computers when a glass door was smashed for entry.

Commercial Robbery – The Wendy’s on Piedmont Road was held up at gunpoint at 10 p.m. (closing time?)

Residential Burglary – No incidents in Beat # 603 – but around Zone 6 in this time period, entry was gained via kicked-in doors 15 times, once via a doggie door, and three times by removing a window a/c unit, as well as the usual smashed windows, etc.

Larceny From Auto – Vehicles were broken into on Lanier Boulevard, North Highland Avenue (4), Amsterdam Walk, Arlington Place, Barnett Street, Bellevue Drive, Frederica Street, Los Angeles Avenue (2), Virginia Avenue and a license plate sticker stolen on Elkmont Drive. Of these 13 incidents (excluding Elkmont) – 11 of these vehicles belonged to outside of the neighborhood owners. Yet another beer truck was looted while making a delivery on McDonough Boulevard. All around Zone 6 in this time period seventeen GPS systems were stolen, 4 license plate/stickers were taken off, two more hand guns added to the arsenal on the streets, 5 in-dash stereos/radios were ripped out, and sadly, two Bibles were listed as stolen. Then, what always amazes me – 7 vehicles were broken into and nothing was reported as being stolen – yet the owners had a broken window to fix.

Larceny Other – A Hudson Drive dog walker lost his billfold – maybe after being bumped on North Highland Avenue by another pedestrian. At the J. Christopher restaurant on PDL Avenue a patron lost his cell phone left unattended on a table. Blueberry bushes were stolen from a Briarcliff Road front yard. Our PDL Avenue Kroger and Publix stores caught 5 shoplifters – including one guy who drank a bottle of mouthwash at Publix. (Guess he went to jail happy!) A package was stolen from a Monroe Drive front porch. A Greenwood Avenue victim left a wallet on the counter at the PDL Avenue Bank of America and it was stolen. Green’s Liquors and Urban Outfitters both caught a shoplifter each. Around Zone 6 lots of home a/c units continue to be stolen.

Pedestrian Robbery – Two h/m were robbed at gunpoint outside an apartment on beleaguered Woodland Avenue. At the Bank of America on Glenwood Avenue in East Atlanta, a female depositor was robbed of her deposit bag at the front door by someone she thought was holding open the door for her (wrong!!). This also means to me that her deposit bag was not hidden on her person – or the perp would not have been so kind as to hold the door for her!! Hide those darn deposit bags!!

Another Kenneth Lamb Court Hearing – According to Sharla Jackson, our community prosecutor, he is due for his probation revocation hearing Monday, the 21st at 9:30 a.m. in Courtroom 4F in the downtown Fulton County Courthouse. I’ll be going, if you want to ride with me – let me know. Good chance to see how our court system lumbers along.

There will be a benefit for the Atlanta Fire Foundation at the Engine 11 restaurant at # 30 North Avenue, across from the Bank of America Tower on 9/24 from 6 p.m. til closing.

Be alert and be safe

VaHi Annual Board Election Meeting

Please make plans to attend this meeting Tuesday, the 22nd at 7 at Inman School. There will be some exciting news about the financial outcome of this year’s Summerfest. Pat Gardner has been invited to make a report about Oxendine’s new eastside highway plans he is making part of his governorship campaign. Unfortunately, I will have to miss this meeting due to Citizen’s Police Academy class that evening – we will be at the new 911 downtown call center and I don’t want to miss the opportunity to see this new facility. Can only be at one place at a time.

Be On The Lookout!!

Thanx to the alertness of several folks here in VaHi and most recently, Kris White, the b/m driver of an older Buick with GA license plate BJV541, has been stopped and interviewed by Zone 6. He was not caught doing anything illegal this past Wednesday evening, so he could not be held – but this vehicle has been seen so many times now, especially on our prime auto larceny street locations, that the sighting of this vehicle will warrant a suspicious vehicle 911 call.

Crime Reports

Now – on to the crime stat reports from our Zone 6, with emphasis on our Beat # 603, but with news from all over the Zone as it applies to us. As always, these reports are not meant to scare anyone – but to raise your alertness level as to what happens around us everyday so you can alter your activities to avoid being a victim. These reports are for weeks # 34 and 35 of 2009.

Aggravated Assault – On 8/22 at 10:15 p.m. 3 diners left El Azteca on PDL Avenue without paying – an employee chased after them as they got into their car, and the employee victim was bumped by their moving car and suffered arm abrasions. The non-payers escaped. There was a tremendous amount of e-mail alerts concerning the 8/23 Greenwood Avenue assault involving a female victim who had fallen asleep on her open front porch and the subsequent attack by an unidentified b/m. The victims took her to Emory Hospital the next day for treatment of facial bruises and that was when APD was notified of the incident. Since there was such a delay in reporting I doubt if the attacker will be caught. On 8/24 on North Avenue at 5 p.m. a dog walker was stopped by a b/m in a vehicle to ask a question – the pedestrian victim walked to the car at which time the driver hit him with the car, the victim held on to the car door handle and was dragged along the street. The perp escaped.

Auto Theft – Vehicles were stolen from PDL Terrace and from St. Charles Avenue.

Commercial Burglary – Three units were entered at the storage facility on Monroe Drive in Piedmont Heights, and one unit was entered at the storage facility on Kanuga Street with no signs of forced entry.

Residential Burglary – A condo unit on Rosedale Drive was entered with no signs of forced entry – but the spare key kept under the front door mat was missing. Please warn your neighbors that we don’t live in Mayberry, and of all places to hide a spare key – under the door mat is not the right place!! All around Zone 6 in this time period – entry was made to 8 residences via a kicked-in door. And another entry was made through a doggie door!! Is the convenience of a pet door really worth the risk??

Larceny from Vehicle – This is the crime category that keeps our beat officers overburdened with service calls. Vehicles were broken into on Barnett Street, Briarcliff Road, Drewry Street (2), Frederica Street, Lanier Boulevard, Los Angeles Avenue (3), North Highland Avenue (3), St. Charles Avenue (4), Vance Avenue, Virginia Avenue (2), PDL Avenue (2), Park Drive, PDL Place, Maiden Lane and Rosedale Drive. One of the St. Charles Avenue perps was caught by a suspicious person 911 call! Of these 25 incidents – 16 of the owner victims were from outside our neighborhood.

Keep warning your visitors of the dangers of leaving visible items in their cars!! And, yes, mundane items will be stolen also – the Briarcliff Road incident listed toilet paper as one of the stolen items. The most blatant Zone 6 incident was the theft of a radio phone from a fire truck parked in front of AFR Station # 29 on Monroe Drive!! Two more liquor trucks were robbed of goods on Monroe Drive and Krog Street. Bar and restaurant owners warn your delivery folks to keep their trucks locked while making delivery stops. All around Zone 6 in this time period 5 license plates were taken off, twenty-one GPS systems were taken, 5 in-dash stereo/radio systems were ripped out and another hand-gun was added to the arsenal on the streets.

Larceny Other – UPS delivery packages were stolen from Virginia and Seminole Avenues. Remember to have your intended UPS and FedEx deliveries made to the safe address of Intown Hardware on North Highland Avenue. Stop by the store for details. At Urban Outfitters on PDL Avenue – 3 males entered the store – two wearing female clothing, one left and the other two grabbed merchandise and fled in the waiting vehicle. A PDL Kroger shopper was pickpocketed and lost his billfold. Green’s Liquors caught a shoplifter with beer under his shirt. At the Edgewood Retail District Office Depot – a bolt cutter was used to free three laptops from a counter display. Our PDL Avenue Kroger and Publix stores caught 4 shoplifters and the Edgewood Target caught 2 non-paying customers.

Pedestrian Robbery – On 8/17 two neighborhood males were held up at gunpoint at 10:25 p.m. – they had no money so the perp hit one victim on the head, then dropped his gun which discharged, and escaped in his vehicle. On 8/20 an out-of-towner flagged down a cab at the Marriot Marquis downtown to take him to the Westin Hotel – when he finally figured out the cabbie was not taking him to the Westin, he asked why – at that time the cabbie turned around with a drawn handgun and demanded his money. The victim complied and jumped out on Briarcliff Place at 11:30 p.m. losing $700 in cash. That’s a Brownsville, Texas, resident that will never return to Atlanta! On 8/29 at 7:30 p.m. yet another Woodland Avenue resident was robbed at gunpoint while exiting his car.

This next incident report is another which possibly could have been prevented by simply hiding deposit bags on your person when going to the bank. On 8/28 at 10:50 a.m. there were two separate incidents in the parking lot of the Wachovia Bank on Virginia Avenue. A female victim had her deposit bag taken, but a male victim held on to his bag, reaching into his pocket as if pulling out a weapon and the perp fled to a get-away vehicle. The vehicle quite obviously had a stolen tag as the tag did not match to the vehicle description.

Hide your deposit bag under your clothing before leaving your business – don’t let the world know you have ready cash all neatly bundled up in an identifiable bank bag. Our beat # 603 officers report that a large percentage of business depositors are sitting ducks with deposit bags openly visible as they walk to the bank door!!

Be alert and be safe
John

Save These Dates

A mayoral candidate forum is scheduled for 9/17 at 7:30 at the Inman School sponsored by the Alliance for Intown Neighbors. Then on 10/1 a forum sponsored by our NPU “F” will be held for all of the 6 announced candidates for our Council District 6 seat, also at Inman at 7. This convenient location presents an excellent chance to help make up your mind as to whom to vote for in November in this crucial city election. The annual VaHi election meeting will also be at Inman at 7 on 9/22. There will be board vacancies and we need concerned and caring candidates – contact Pam Papner at president@vahi.org to sign up to run.

CourtWatch Report

Monday morning’s scheduled hearing for Timothy Kozak was a disappointment for we CourtWatchers, as his hearing was yet again postponed til a later date to September 28th. Remember, he was one of the robbing crew that looted and desecrated the Virginia Highland Church and the adjoining pre-school facility several months ago. Since I realize that is hard for working church members and pre-school parents to attend these daytime hearings, I am asking that these folks send me a short, concise statement expressing your disgust and how this invasion affected you – I will then take these statements with me to court on 9/28 in the hopes that I will be able to read them aloud when community input is asked for. I am hopeful that the next hearing will be in Judge Glanville’s courtroom again,as he is supportive of getting citizen’s comments before sentencing. Send your comments to me at safety@vahi.org

Voice – Fall 2009

Download PDF (2.8 MB)

- Summerfest success
- Safety: our neighborhood connection VHList with 331 members
- President’s corner: past year’s achievements
- Streetscape Phase II (Triangle area) update
- Neighborhood arboretum coming to VaHi
- History part IV
- School news: MES, Inman
- New Highland Park fundraising update
- Join the New Highland Park Conservancy
- Neighborhood feels impact of Callanwolde construction
- New afterschool program (Garrison)
- City Storage
- Col. Mustard reviews D.B.A. Barbeque

Crime Reports

The following crime reports are for weeks 32 and 33 of 2009, and are gleaned from our total APD Zone 6 reports, with emphasis on our Beat # 603, but with news from all over the Zone as it applies to us. These reports are not meant to scare anyone, but simply to make you aware of what happens around us everyday and to heighten your sense of alertness and help you avoid becoming another crime victim.

Aggravated Assault – This is an incident I am going to repeat the entire officer’s report. At 12:30 p.m. in the parking lot at PDL Avenue and PDL Place, the victim observed the suspect who appeared to be hiding under a delivery truck at Green’s Liquors. The victim tried to get the attention of the truck driver, but the suspect saw this gesture, came across the street and yelled “I am going to pop you”. The suspect ran at the victim with a brick, the victim ran across PDL to Greens and the suspect fled on foot on Maiden Lane.

Auto Theft – Vehicles were stolen from Amsterdam Avenue, Adair Avenue, Rosedale Road, with an unsuccessful attempt on Virginia Avenue. At both the PDL Avenue Kroger and Publix parking lots – 2 car owners left the keys in the ignition and yes, they were stolen. Elsewhere in Zone 6 scooters were stolen from a front porch and a front yard walkway.

Auto Theft Recovery – A stolen vehicle was found on Rosedale Drive.

Commercial Robbery – At 11 p.m. at the McDonald’s on Cheshire Bridge Road, the perp pointed a gun in the drive-in window and demanded money – the clerk ran (good for her!) and the perp unsuccessfully tried to open the register and fled in his car. At 8:30 a.m. on 8/6 in the parking lot of the Virginia Avenue Wachovia Bank, a Cactus Car Wash employee was tackled from behind grabbing his deposit bag – the victim fought back, but the perp escaped with $2800 in a gray Ford F150 pickup southbound on Todd Road. Wachovia Bank tells me they now have a security guard in their parking lot. Once again, I caution business folks making bank deposits to hide the bag, and vary your bank trip routines. You don’t know who is watching you!!

Commercial Burglary – A storage unit at the facility on Kanuga Street was missing contents – but no signs of forced entry.

Larceny From Auto – Vehicles were broken into on Adair Avenue, Amsterdam Avenue, Arlington Place (2), Barnett Street, Briarcliff Place (3), Frederica Street, Greenwood Avenue, Hudson Drive, Lanier Boulevard, Los Angeles Avenue (5), Maiden Lane, North Highland Avenue (4), Rosedale Drive, St. Charles Avenue, Virginia Avenue (8) and a license plate stolen from Highland Terrace. Of these 33 incidents – that’s 2.5 incidents per day! – 23 of the vehicle owners were visitors to the neighborhood, with 10 being residents. Of course, the Highland Terrace license plate theft could not have been prevented – but am pretty sure most of the others could have been avoided by simply taking out or hiding possessions.

All around Zone 6 in this two-week time period there were TWENTY GPS systems stolen, 7 license plates/stickers taken off, 6 in-dash radios ripped out, and three more hand guns added to the arsenal already on the streets!! Keep walking behind your car periodically to make sure you still have a license plate with the current sticker, and if you don’t, call 911 immediately to place a report.

Larceny Other – A patron’s camera was taken from the bar at the Dark Horse Tavern. In the PDL Avenue Kroger parking lot, the female victim was approached by the perp selling pot – she declined to purchase and he grabbed $20 from her hand and fled on foot. The PDL Avenue Blockbuster had an uncaught shoplifter. The PDL Avenue Kroger and Publix stores caught 5 shoplifters, and Green’s Liquors caught 2 nonpaying customers. The Target at Edgewood reported 4 shoplifting cases. At 9:15 a.m. a Fairview Road female pedestrian had her purse snatched while walking on PDL Avenue – the perp fled on foot. Around all of Zone 6 six more a/c units were stolen, which means there are still places to sell stolen copper parts.

Pedestrian Robbery – On St. Charles Avenue at 11:50 p.m. three young females and one male were robbed at gunpoint. The perp who only got $7 from them fled in a car, and was later arrested in Zone 3. A landscaper on Springdale Road fought with a perp stealing equipment from his truck – the perp escaped and fled in a car.

Residential Burglary – An Amsterdam Avenue tool shed was broken into. All around Zone 6 in this time period 9 residences were entered via kicked-in doors!

Now that area colleges are back in session, Officer Joe Head, of our VaHi security patrol, warns of increased pedestrian revelers in the bar districts, and to be VERY aware of your surroundings as you take an evening walk with or without a dog, and to not have an music device in your ear to block out noises around you, or be wrapped up in a cell phone conversation.

There are three of us VaHi residents enrolled in Citizen’s Police Academy – I hope to learn more about the workings of APD to further enhance my duties as public safety chair. We’ll be in these classes every Tuesday evening for the next 11 weeks.

Be alert and stay safe!!

Red Bull Soapbox Race

Keep in mind that 10th Street will be closed August 28, 29 and 30 for this race. This event is being planned under Piedmont Park Class B rules – which will involve the usual VaHi streets being closed off to non-residents for Saturday, the 29th. Plan that weekend accordingly. There will be a command post phone number to call for traffic/parking problems, but have not received it yet – so will have to let you know later.

Grady High School Stadium

I am sure most of you have noticed that this stadium is undergoing renovations and the entire stadium area is closed off. Please observe and respect the “No Trespassing” signs, as there are safety risks involved, so this is not an open exercise area now. APS has given warning that APD will be called for violations.

Monroe Drive Pedestrian Perils

This is an extremely dangerous street for pedestrian crossing – so please use extreme caution here. The following is a report from Major Calvin Moss of APD Special Operations – “On Wednesday, August 12, Zone 6 responded to an adult male pedestrian struck by a vehicle at Monroe and Dutch Valley Road shortly after 1:00 p.m.. According to witnesses, the pedestrian was crossing Monroe with the signal when a silver Nissan traveling south glanced off another vehicle, struck the pedestrian in the crosswalk and continued through the intersection against the red light. The driver was on the scene and cited for the accident. The pedestrian was transported to Grady Hospital with a badly broken arm and other contusions and abrasions, but his injuries are not believed to be life threatening.” Thanx to Cary Aiken for alerting me to this tragedy and to Major Moss for doing the research to find out the details.

VaHi Makes The Crime List

According to AJC research of APD statistics – we are number 15 on the list of the top 20 City of Atlanta neighborhoods with the most reported crime incidents so far in 2009.

We are on this list almost solely due to the large number of “larceny from vehicle” reports. Though many of the victims are neighborhood residents, the majority are visitors drawn here by our large variety of restaurants and watering holes, and I continue to urge our hospitality businesses to warn their patrons to clean out their vehicles before enjoying an evening here. The solution seems so simple on the surface, yet remains so elusive. Collectively, if we eliminate the bait – the rats will go elsewhere. We all have the responsibility of warning our neighbors and visitors to keep their cars clean.

Read the city-wide neighborhood crime reports at http://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta-crime-107392.html. This service has been set up by Matt Dempsey at the AJC. He urges feedback to him at mdempsey@ajc.com. It has been suggested on the vhlist we organize some porch parties or neighborhood walking times to increase our citizen exposure on the streets. Any suggestions or further ideas along these lines? Let me know.

National Night Out Recap and Thank You

As your neighborhood public safety chair, I wish to extend a huge and heartfelt thank you to all the folks who gave us yet another successful community get-together. Yeah, I know it was hot and humid – it’s August in Atlanta – but at least we did not have a pop-up rainstorm. Thank goodness, because we did not have a rain plan!

Thanx to all the volunteers who came forward with their time and sweat, our two event chairs – Michelle Reid and Eleanor Barrineau – for their meticulous planning, and our sponsors. Whole Foods donated a wonderful dinner, CVS Pharmacy donated supplies, Virginia Highland Church loaned their tables and chairs, Eclectic Music provided musical entertainment, and the Garrison After-school Program arranged kids’ activities.

Too bad the Station # 19 firemen could not have stayed longer – but duty called. APD Zone 6 was well represented with visitors including Major Propes and Lt. Shaw. The one sad note was the retirement announcement from Inspector Ruby Naylor – our Zone 6 crime prevention officer. Her smiling face and dedication to her job will be sorely missed here in Zone 6, but we wish her well in her life after retirement.

The end result of this August 4th event was that a lot of neighbors got to meet each other, reinforcing my basic theory of crime prevention which is that folks who know each other tend to look out for each other. We are our own first-line defense against crime and that was very evident on Arcadia Street Tuesday evening.

Pictorial recaps are at http://projects.ajc.com/gallery/view/metro/atlanta/atlanta-nightout-crime-photos/ and from our own John Becker at http://virginiahighlandnationalnightout.shutterfly.com

Safety in Our Public Schools

For those of you who wonder about the safety in our area’s public schools, Abby Martin has a well-written first-hand testimonial on the Virginia Highland Morningside Parents Association message board. Read it at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/vhmpa_eblast/message/37725 Our public schools, along with our total community, are successful only through citizen involvement.

Red Bull Soapbox Car Race

Details are still being worked out for this major event that will close off Tenth Street between Piedmont and Monroe for three days on August 28, 29 and 30. This event is expected to draw 49,000 spectators, and is being planned under Piedmont Park’s Class B regulations. There is to be a presentation of all plans at the next NPU “F” meeting at 7 at the Hillside School on Monroe Drive on August 17th. I would strongly urge you to be in attendance to hear how these plans are going to affect you for these 3 days.

Campaign for Atlanta Mayoral Forums

The tapes of the first session of this informative mayoral forum are now available for your viewing at this website – www.campaignforatlanta.com click on Forum Videos, then click on the youtube logo on each box for viewing. These sessions are serious in-depth interviews with the 4 major mayoral candidates and should be studied with how you want to vote in this crucial upcoming city election. The 2nd set of this forum will be held on August 15 and 16 and instructions are on this website for attendance at the Carter Center.

Crime reports

The following section of crime reports is gleaned from our Zone 6 crime stats with emphasis on our Beat # 603, but with reports from all around our Zone as they apply to us. These are not meant to scare anyone, but to let you know what happens around us everyday, and to let you alter your daily activities to avoid becoming a victim. We have to remember that we live in the middle of a big city and awareness and alertness should be on everyone’s mind. This report covers weeks # 30 and 31 of 2009.

  • Aggravated Assault – At 2:50 a.m. on Elizabeth Street in Inman Park, the female victim ran out to the street to confront a perp that had just punched a lock on her car. The perp jumped into an SUV with 2 other males, as the victim approached the vehicle to get a license number, one of the guys pointed a gun at her as they sped off. No injuries reported.
  • Auto Theft – A car stolen from Drewry Street was chased by Zone 3 into Cabbagetown where it crashed on Wylie Street, S.E. The driver ran and escaped capture. Four cars were stolen from parking areas at the Edgewood Retail District. Locally, vehicles were stolen from Amsterdam Avenue, Barnett Street, Park Drive and Virginia Avenue. The following report is unusual to say the least – on Monroe Drive, a driver had taken medication and was feeling dizzy, so he flagged down two people and asked them to drive his car to a gas station so he could call a friend for help. At the gas station he went to the restroom and when he came out – you guessed it! – his car was gone.
  • Commercial Burglary- The storage facility on Monroe Drive in Piedmont Heights reported 4 different units being entered and the same type of facility on Cheshire Bridge Road reported one unit being entered.
  • Commercial Robbery – At the PDL Avenue Kroger, staff members attempted to detain a shoplifter when he pulled a knife on them. He fled on foot and no injuries reported.
  • Larceny From Auto – Vehicles were entered on Barnett Street, Drewry Street, Highland View, Lanier Boulevard (2), North Virginia Avenue, PDL Avenue (3), St. Charles Avenue, Virginia Avenue (2), Virginia Circle, Greenwood Avenue, Los Angeles Avenue, North Highland Avenue (2), and Vance Avenue. Of these 18 incidents, 8 owners were neighborhood residents and 10 were visitors. Each one of these incidents represents tying up the reporting officer for nearly an hour each time – time they could have spent patrolling. Yes, I know sometimes empty cars are entered, but the thefts are crimes of opportunity and most are the direct result of thoughtless behavior on the part of the car owner. We have to be alert even while doing the simple things of life – a PDL Place resident was unloading groceries from her car, left her purse in the car and it was taken. Around the Zone, a case of tequila was taken from a delivery truck on Seminole Avenue, N.E., and in an East Atlanta restaurant parking lot 29 pounds of seafood were taken from another delivery vehicle. All around Zone 6 in this time period 4 more handguns were added to the arsenal on the streets, 4 license plates were taken off, 5 in-dash radios were ripped out and twenty-two GPS systems were taken, along with scores of Ipods, cameras, cell phones, briefcases, laptops, etc.
  • Larceny Other – At 10:40 a.m. at the tennis store at Ansley – two males grabbed handfuls of clothing and escaped. A locked bike was taken from the rack in front of the Ansley LA Fitness. On PDL Place at 11:30 p.m. property left on a car bumper was stolen. At Fellini’s Pizza on PDL Avenue an unwatched purse was taken from a chair. At a Citgo store on Cheshire Bridge Road, an h/m put a 12 pack of beer into a duffle bag and tried to leave without paying – the clerk locked the front door til the police arrived for an arrest. Wicker furniture was stolen from a Monroe Drive front porch. Urban Outfitters on PDL Avenue caught two shoplifters. At the PDL Avenue Kroger, an 80 year old female left her wallet on the checkout counter for just a minute and it was stolen. A UPS package was stolen from Cooledge Avenue – please use Intown Hardware for a safe delivery address. Tell your neighbors about this neighborly service and prevent these thefts. All around Zone 6, a/c units continue to be stolen. Business owners take note – at a Glenwood Avenue, S.E. Phillips 66 store at 2 p.m., the employee victim walked out with a bank deposit – it was grabbed and the thief fled in a car – $9874 was lost!!
  • Residential Burglary – At the Briarcliff Summit building on PDL Avenue – an apartment door had scratches but no physical evidence of damage, but entry was made somehow. There were two separate apartments entered at the Virginia Highland Apartments on Virginia Avenue. All around Zone 6 in this time period – entry was made via kicked-in doors eleven times and doggie doors were used for entry in two other burglaries. You may think your pet door is too small for a thief to enter – think again!!
  • Pedestrian Robbery – At 2 a.m. a lone male walking home on North Highland Avenue from a bar saw a b/m male walking ahead of him. The perp suddenly turned around, made a verbal threat and the victim threw his billfold on the sidewalk and continued walking northward to home. At 11:45 p.m. on PDL Avenue, an h/m was robbed at gunpoint by four h/m pedestrians who fled into the night. At 9 a.m. on Piedmont Circle, an Intown Suites resident was robbed at gunpoint while he was taking out his trash basket.

Stay alert and stay safe!!

National Night Out Event

Make plans to join your VaHi/Atkins Park neighbors on Tuesday evening, August 4th, from 6:30 to 8:30 on Arcadia Street on the west side of John Howell Park for this casual event to strengthen neighborhood spirit and overall police/fire/community partnerships. Whole Foods will be donating free dinner for the first 250 residents in line, along with neighborhood musicians, and children’s activities. New features this year will be $3 New Orleans sno-cones, and a chance to get a caricature portrait for $5 – bring along your wallet for these. Thanx to everyone who has volunteered so far to help stage this event – if you would also like to lend your hands, send an e-mail to chairperson, Michelle Reid at mareid01@gmail.com This is a great way to meet your neighbors and all the city office candidates who are bound to be attending. This will be a rain or shine event.

Streetscape Meeting

For the many of you who have voiced concerns about the changes at Virginia and North Highland and some of the unintended consequences of this project, VaHi president Pam Papner has scheduled a meeting to go over these concerns, and create a list of suggested solutions. Meet at the traffic island on Thursday, July 30th at 7 to collectively look at the corner and then walk to Church of Our Savior for a sit down session and, as a group, work on a list of realistic ideas to solve these problems. This confab is for residents and business owners alike.

CourtWatch Opportunity

A trial for defendant Timothy Kozak is scheduled for August 10th at 9:30 a.m. in CourtRoom 5F in the Fulton County Justice Center downtown. He is one of the group that burglarized and desecrated the Virginia Highland Church and the International Pre-School several months ago. If you are a member of this church, the pre-school or a disgusted neighbor, please consider joining we regular CourtWatchers to see that justice is served on this individual who wreaked havoc on this house of worship and children’s school.

Neighborhood Trash Walk

Our regular cleanup walk for August will be on Saturday morning the 1st. Meet at the Intown Hardware parking lot at 9 for a chance to help keep our streets clean, get some exercise and have fun also. E-mail chairperson Victoria Hathcox at vhathcox@hotmail.com for further details or to nominate an area that needs to be cleaned.

Kenneth Lamb Sightings

Yes, I know this individual is creating a lot of frustration among us all. Our Community Prosecutor, Sharla Jackson, is working on a warrant for him – but in the meantime please continue to e-mail the Midtown Ponce Security Alliance folks at info@midtownponce.org details of your sightings so they can keep tabs on him til such time when action can be instituted against him. Current pix of him are available at http://www.midtownponce.org/news/profile040.pdf

Neighborhood Business Security

This is not meant to be, in any way, a recommendation for specific businesses, but rather to let you know how our local business people are working to make their venues safe for your patronage. I’d like to make this a regular feature, so let me know about your business and your security procedures. City Storage, the new facility on PDL Place, tells me that they have 12 cameras, as well as motion detectors, a fire alarm and sprinklers, all monitored off-site. The loading dock is secured by 2 key-pad activated coiling gates for security, access is only by key-pad entry, and during regular business hours the office area can be locked-down in the event of an emergency or intrusion. Their exterior also is very well lit for your safe nite-time visits.

Crime reports

Crime reports from APD

The following report is gleaned from our APD Zone 6 crime stats – with emphasis on our VaHi Beat # 603, but with news from all around the whole zone as applicable to us. These stats are from weeks 28 and 29 of 2009, and are not meant to scare anyone, but rather to let you know what happens around us everyday and to allow you to adjust your daily lifestyle habits to avoid being victimized where possible.

  • Aggravated Assault – Two males got into a fight at the Open Door at 910 PDL Avenue over owed money, with the suspect threatening to stab the other with a butter knife and to break his neck – the suspect fled on foot before the officer’s arrival.
  • Auto Theft – Vehicles were stolen from Frederica Street, PDL Place, and an unsuccessful attempt in the parking lot of the Virginia Highland apartments on Virginia Avenue.
  • Commercial Burglary – On 7/4 the front glass door was broken and 3 racks of clothing were taken from the Meringue clothing store on North Highland Avenue. Storage units were broken into at such businesses on Cheshire Bridge Road, Kanuga Street, and Monroe Drive.
  • Residential Burglary – An apartment at the Virginia Highland complex on Virginia Avenue was entered via a damaged front door lock. All around Zone 6 in this time period 9 residences were entered thru kicked-in doors.
  • Larceny From Auto – Vehicles were entered on Bellevue Drive, Briarcliff Place (2), Greenwood Avenue (3), Los Angeles Avenue (2), North Highland Avenue (7), PDL Place, St. Augustine Place, St. Charles Avenue, Vance Avenue (2), Arlington Place, Glen Arden Way, PDL Avenue, Virginia Avenue (3) and Virginia Circle. Of these 27 separate incidents in just two weeks, 14 victims were from outside VaHi, and 13 were local residents. Please warn your neighbors and visitors alike about the dangers of leaving visible items in cars. Remember the Clean Car Campaign – your belongings are their loot!!! Yes, I know that sometimes clean cars are rifled through too, but most break-ins are in response to visible items left out for stealing. All around Zone 6 in this time period twenty-one GPS systems were taken, three more hand guns were added to the arsenal on the streets, two in-dash radios were ripped out, and three license plates/stickers were taken off. Keep looking behind your car to make sure you still have a plate, and if not, report it immediately – your stolen plate may be used on another car for other criminal activity.
  • Larceny Other – A purse was taken from the back of a chair at the MJQ Club on PDL Avenue, and of course. the credit cards were used quickly. Please warn ladies whom you spot in restaurants, clubs who hang their purse on the back of their chair. Our PDL Avenue Kroger and Publix stores caught 5 shoplifters, and I always wonder how many they do not catch, including the folks I see eating produce off the counter. I always secretly hope these folks will get sick from this unwashed merchandise.
  • Pedestrian Robbery – At 9 on a Sunday morning on PDL Avenue, a wheelchair bound male had a bag taken from the arm of his chair containing $28 in cash by two b/m who fled on foot. On Somerset Terrace at 12:15 a.m. a female resident, walking up her driveway, was approached by a homeless h/m whom she initially hit with her wine glass, but he knocked her down and took her cell phone. Yes, he did sustain injuries from the wine glass, and was taken to Grady where the victim identified him. Your guess is as good as mine as to whether the assailant had insurance to pay for his Grady treatment.

Stay alert and stay safe!!

National Night Out

Mark your calendar and save the date of Tuesday, August 4th for our VaHi/Atkins Park community dinner event. National Night Out is a nationwide event on this evening with the goal of strengthening neighborhood spirit and police/fire/community partnerships. http://www.natw.org/nno/ Our event will be held again on Arcadia Street on the west side of John Howell Park from 6:30 to 8:30 and Whole Foods will again be providing free dinner for the first 250 VaHi residents. Local entertainers and kid’s activities will be provided – and I am sure we will be inundated with mayoral and city council candidates also. Send an e-mail to Michelle Reid at mareid01@gmail.com to volunteer to help, and meet your neighbors (those folks that you may need in an emergency).

Intown Hardware/FedEx-UPS package delivery program

I continue to hear about package thefts from front porches/doorsteps in the neighborhood. Remember you can have your anticipated packages delivered to Intown Hardware’s safe address. All you have to do is stop by their store and sign a form letting them know your packages will be delivered to them for safekeeping til you can pick them up. The fewer available packages there are for theft – these thieves will not find it profitable to roam our streets looking for packages to steal.

Mayoral Candidate Forums

The first forum session sponsored by Campaign for Atlanta will be held this weekend (July 18 and 19) at the Carter Center from 3 to 6:15. The topics this weekend will be basic services and public safety, with the 4 major candidates being quizzed by experts in these fields. www.campaignforatlanta.org for more details as to how these forums will be held. Contact me at safety@vahi.org for tickets – the Cyprus Room only holds 250 seated people.

On Thursday, July 23 at 7 at the Georgia State University Auditorium, another forum featuring the 4 major candidates will be hosted by the International Brotherhood of Police Officers and the International Association of Fire Fighters. Jim Daws, local IAFF president states – “Voters need to hear first-hand that these candidates understand the challenges facing the men and women who protect Atlanta and that they have a plan to provide them with the resources necessary to effectively perform their duties.” Morse Diggs of Fox5 will be the moderator.

Kenneth Lamb sightings

I continue to hear these reports from Cheshire Bridge Road and the I-85 exit ramps. As long as there are unwitting folks who will take pity on him and give him money – he will be in our midst. Continue to let MPSA at info@midtownponce.org know of your sightings. He quite obviously has found a good place to stay – cash and drugs are both available to him in the same area.

Crime reports

The following listings are from our APD Zone 6 crime stat reports for the weeks of 26 and 27 of 2009, with emphasis on our beat # 603, but with news from around the Zone as it applies to us. These are not meant to scare anyone, but to alert you as to what happens around us every day so you can take steps to avoid as much criminal activity as possible.

  • Auto Thefts – A vehicle was stolen from Virginia Avenue with an attempt on Cresthill Avenue which resulted in much damage. This story is very interesting and is taken from the report. The victim changed his story several times, but stated on 6/27 he parked his car at North Highland at St. Louis Place and then walked to Taco Mac. When he returned he said he lost his keys so he got a ride home to get a spare and upon returning the car was gone. Victim did not file a report til 6/30. The officer checked and found the vehicle was impounded to Buckhead Towing with front end damage from a hit and run accident with a driver matching the “victims” description. No word as to whether he was arrested.
  • Commercial Burglary – The East Atlanta Hardware store lost plants from their garden center. I always wonder how many plants “disappear” from the Home Depot on PDL Avenue in the middle of the night – but they are in APD Zone 5 and I don’t get their reports.
  • Larceny From Auto – Cars were broken into on Barnett Street, Greenwood Avenue, Los Angeles Avenue, North Highland Avenue (2), PDL Avenue (3), St. Charles Avenue (2), Virginia Avenue (2), Amsterdam Avenue, Bonaventure Avenue, Briarcliff Place, Cooledge Avenue, and PDL Place. Of these 17 incidents, 9 of the vehicle owners were from outside our neighborhood – and again I plead to warn our neighborhood visitors of the dangers of leaving valuables in sight in their vehicles. I’m sure many of these folks are bar/restaurant patrons who will never return to our local venues. All around Zone 6 in this time span there were 4 license plates taken off, 8 GPS systems taken out, 4 in-dash radio/stereo systems ripped out, and 8 more hand guns added to the arsenal already on the streets. There are also lots of reports of tools being taken from trucks parked at residential workplaces – warn your lawnservice and repair people about this danger.
  • Larceny Other – A baby stroller was taken from a North Highland Avenue front yard. I continue to see lots of baby strollers on front porches ready for the taking. A bicycle was stolen from outside the Local Bar on PDL Avenue, as well as two chained bicycles from the Edgewood Retail District and in front of 1050 PDL Avenue. A landscaping light was taken from a PDL Avenue residence. Mitzi and Romano caught a shoplifter, but she escaped in her car. At the LA Fitness at Ansley, thieves removed the victim’s lock on his locker, took his wallet and put another lock on the locker. Green’s Liquor on PDL Avenue caught a shoplifter. Around Zone 6 a/c units continue to be stolen as scrap metal prices continue to rise..
  • Pedestrian Robbery – At Fellini’s on PDL Avenue – some employees were taking a smoke break at 10:30 p.m. behind the dumpster when they were robbed at gunpoint by 3 b/m who escaped in a car. On 7/3 on Maiden Lane at 2:45 a.m., two suburban females were waiting on a friend when they were robbed of their purses with physical force (no reported gun) by an h/m.
  • Residential Robbery – On 7/3 at 4:50 a.m. at a North Morningside Drive apartment, the female victim stated she awoke after hearing her name being called out – she went to the living room to find her husband on the floor with suspects standing over him. One suspect was pointing a gun to his head demanding “dough” or “dope”. Then the suspects demanded the same of her – she went to the bedroom, called 911 and got money. She threw the money at the suspects, slapped one of the suspects and they fled. The responding officers noticed a strong odor of marijuana in the apartment.
  • Residential Burglary – Two different apartments in the same building suffered kicked-in doors on 6/20 and 6/25. At a Briarcliff Road apartment building, the perp who was attempting to kick in a door was surprised by an alert neighbor and fled. At a Seminole Avenue apartment, entry was made via a window and the resident’s dog was found tied up in the bathroom.All around Zone 6 in this time period, entry was made to residences via kicked-in doors 12 times!!

Be alert and be safe!!

BOLO – Mark Harper

This mug shot is that of Mark Harper who is still to be arrested for his warrant in reference to burglaries he committed with his partner in crime, Frederick Charles Stranahan, in March and April here in this part of the city. Stranahan was arrested at the Intown Suites on Piedmont Circle in early April charged with several offenses – the last of which I remember was a home burglary on Morningside Place. If you happen to spot Harper roaming the streets – please call 911 and report his position along with clothing being worn. This info was furnished to me by our own VaHi resident, Officer Chad Gurley, who wants to get Harper behind bars.

Crime reports

The Urban Body Burglaries

As I reported in the last Report, Donald Rayfield was arrested on 6/17 for the many, many repeated break-ins at the Urban Body buildings on PDL Place. Since then, I have heard from Sharla Jackson, our Community Prosecutor, that his case was indicted on 6/23 with charges of criminal attempt burglary, loitering and prowling. No court date as of yet – but I will keep you apprised when there will be an opportunity for a Court Watch session.

Crime reports from APD

The following report is based on the crime stats from Zone 6 for our Beat # 603 for weeks 24 and 25 of 2009 along with news from around the Zone as it pertains to us. Once again, let me remind you that this is not meant to scare anyone – just to make you alert and aware of what happens around us every day.

  • Aggravated Assault – On 6/10 at 7:30 p.m. a St. Louis Place resident saw a w/m sleeping in the new parkland and asked him to leave. The napper walked off but returned with a brick and made threatening gestures. He was apprehended by police. On 6/14 at 6:30 p.m. on I-85 near Buford Highway in the northbound lanes, shots were fired from a passing vehicle into another vehicle and struck one of the out-of-town occupants in the upper body. The police report was filed at Piedmont Hospital and did not mention as to whether this was a road rage incident.
  • Auto Theft – Vehicles were stolen from Amsterdam Avenue, Arlington Place and St. Charles Avenue. The Arlington Place stolen vehicle was illegally parked in a resident only space, and no, it was not towed.
  • Commercial Burglary – The final two break-ins at Urban Body were reported on 6/16 and 6/17 leading to the arrest of the homeless w/m Donald Rayfield. Dugan’s Bar on PDL Avenue was broken into on 6/11 by breaking a hole in the rear wall of the building, and yes, a flat screen tv was taken.
  • Larceny from Auto – Vehicles were broken into on Virginia Avenue, Briarcliff Place and North Highland Avenue (2). Of these 4 reported incidents – all of the owners were from outside of the neighborhood. If you are in the hospitality business – please remind your patrons to clean out their cars before enjoying an evening in our neighborhood. Let’s continue to collectively eliminate the “bait for the rats”. Other Zone 6 communities were not as lucky as we were in that in this 2 week period there were eleven GPS systems taken out, 4 license plates taken off (including a state vehicle on Cheshire Bridge Road), 5 in-dash radios ripped out and one handgun added to the arsenal on the streets, as well as countless I-pods, cameras, cell phones, wallets, etc. In a restaurant parking lot in East Atlanta an unsecured delivery truck lost 3 cases of vodka. Another case of a cut-off catalytic converter was also reported.
  • Larceny Other – At the Chevron store at Virginia and North Highland a bottle of wine was taken by a bicycle riding thief – he was chased by a store staffer and was caught by an alert patrolling officer. (Rajesh – were you the chaser?) Another copper theft from a rooftop a/c unit on Moreland Avenue, as well as two separate residential a/c unit thefts elsewhere in the Zone. Scrap metal prices are rising again and so are the copper thefts. Yet another wallet stolen from an Edgewood Kroger shopper. No reports of FedEx/UPS deliveries being stolen – are you using Intown Hardware as your delivery address?
  • Residential Burglary – A North Highland Avenue apartment was entered via a kicked-in door, and a Virginia Avenue apartment was robbed with no signs of forced entry – though the sliding glass was open when the resident arrived home. All over Zone 6 in this 2 week period, entry was made via kicked-in doors twelve times and entry was made two times by removing window a/c units.
  • Pedestrian Robbery – In a Piedmont Avenue parking lot on 6/17 at 5 a.m. – three victims were robbed at gunpoint, with the initial victim locked in the trunk of his vehicle.

Be Alert and be Safe!!

Safety Team Report Special Report 6/20/09

Zone 6 Strikes Again!!

Just in case you are not aware of all the break-ins that happened to the beleagured Urban Body Fitness Studios on PDL Place the past couple of weeks – read the AJC story.

Now – just tonite I got the following narrative from our Major Propes as to the capture of the persistant thief, Donald Rayfield.

“Two outstanding members of our Zone 6 team conducted the undercover surveillance of the business. Officers Heckenkamp and Levine work the Morning Watch (11p.m. to 7 a.m.). They are our “go to it ” guys. They routinely are responsible for nabbing the bad guy! This time they concealed themselves at the location and watched as Mr. Rayfield attempted to kick in the door. They called in the uniform support and caught him in the act!

These two officers are also the ones that went in the burning house back in 2007 and rescued the two women from the burning house in the Inman Park area. The State Bar Association recognized them as Officers of the Year for that act of heroism. They were also the two officers that caught Andre Grier the last time he was arrested for breaking into a car in Inman Park. They are good! The furloughs haven’t stopped them!”

They also, I might add, were the ones that caught Roger Corley here in VaHi after he burglarized a residence on Orme Circle and left a stolen Jeep on Crestridge Drive. We are lucky to have these two gentlemen on duty here in the middle of the night. Thank you Major for this report.

Hopefully there will be a CourtWatch opportunity when Rayfield comes to court. We need to ask for him to be banned from the entire PDL Avenue corridor neighborhoods when he gets out of jail again, since this is where he seems to like to do his dirty work.

Traffic Alert!!

Tenth Street will be closed next Tuesday evening from 8 til 11 p.m. from Argonne Avenue to Monroe Drive for a trial run of a Soap Box Derby race to be actually held August 29th. If you will be traveling east on Tenth – you will be able to use Argonne Avenue to get to Monroe and then on to your destination. You might be better off that evening just using PDL Avenue and stay away from the congestion in the Tenth Street corridor.

Major Propes assures me there will be plenty of officers to handle the traffic diversion. Plan your Tuesday nite trips accordingly.

Job Opening

Our long-time and dedicated NPU “F” liquor license chair, Liz Coyle, has resigned to make her run for our City Council District 6 seat. This is a fascinating and vital job for our NPU and offers a chance for someone to really get involved in our local scene. I’m sure Liz will make herself available for assistance and giudance and I’ll be glad to assist also. Contact our NPU chair, Dianne Olansky at dianneolansky@gmail.com, if you would like to see how this whole process works and help your neighbors at the same time.

Speaking of liquor licenses

Club Eros on Monroe Drive has a new manager who was at our recent NPU meeting and offered his cell phone number for a contact – it is 404-840-4682. If you live in Piedmont Heights and are bothered by excessive noise from this club – don’t be shy about calling him to complain.

Stolen Driver’s Licenses

This tip about replacing a stolen driver’s license comes from Johanna Chapin who posted this info on the vhlist a while ago. She states – the DMV will only issue a replacement license with the same #, and not invalidate the old #, unless you have a police report that specifically says that your driver’s license was stolen. With another valid copy of your drivers license out there, someone could take that and cause a lot of identity theft damage. Bring the police report with you to the DMV and be prepared to rattle some cages (so she says) to get a license with a new # on it. Thanx Johanna, for posting this vital info. As an aside, the DMV office downtown in the stadium area is very easy to reach and is very well organized. I recently renwed my license there and was amazed at how smoothly and quickly their operation goes.

Two Interesting Websites

This web site – EveryBlock not only has houses for sale – but pin points crime locations. You can change zip codes for different info. And, if you are wondering about how many registered sex offenders are in our midst – go to http://services.georgia.gov/gbi/gbisor/SORSearch.jsp

Speaking of sex offenders

the Fulton County Jail web site says that Kenneth Lamb was released from Rice Street on 5/26. I haven’t heard of any sightings of him yet. Remember – he was the shoeless beggar who frequented shopping areas on PDL Avenue and Monroe Drive. Midtown’s MPSA chief investigator says he has a registered address in ATL 30318 – living with 4 other registered sex offenders.

Be alert and stay safe!!

John

The “Car Repair” Scammer

This clever scammer is still on the loose – with yet another report posted on the vhmpa message board this week about how he “helped” another victim at the CVS parking lot on North Highland Avenue. Zone 5 really wants to catch this guy – but needs a 911 call while he is in action to nail him. He is a 50ish, slim, black male with a Jamaican accent.

Crime reports

Business Owners Making Bank Deposits

I got an e-mail report this week from Rajesh Ramakrishnan from the Chevron store at Virginia and North Highland Avenues about how one of his tires was slashed just before he left to make a bank deposit in an attempt to rob him. No robbery – but a new tire purchase. A similar incident was reported from the Bank of America parking lot on Flat Shoals Avenue, S.E. in East Atlanta where the victim was looking at his slashed flat tire when the perp opened his passenger door and grabbed his bank bag. Don’t think you are not being observed when you are on bank deposit missions – be alert!!

School Break-ins

Grady High School was broken into this past week and lost a lot of computers. Paidea School on PDL Avenue also lost 15 more computers – in addition to those stolen earlier in multiple break-ins the past few months.

Thievery From Pickup Trucks

There are reports from all over Zone 6 about tool and equpment thefts from trucks parked in front of residences while work is being done. Warn your lawn service and maintenance guys while they are working at your house. I realize it is hard for them to chain down their tools while they are working – but these thefts are rampant.

Crime reports from APD

The following categorized reports are gleaned from our Zone 6 crime stats for weeks 22 and 23 of 2009 with emphasis on our VaHi beat 603, but with news from all over the Zone as it pertains to us. Read these reports and see how you can alter your daily routine to avoid some of these situations.

  • Aggravated Assault – At the Briarcliff Summit a resident was stabbed by a visitor. At the Platinum 21 on Piedmont Road, a bar fight resulted in the security guard getting hit on the head with a bottle.
  • Auto Thefts – Amazingly – no auto thefts for this two week time period in Beat # 603, but there were 9 stolen in week 23 in Beat # 604 just south of us. Scooter thievery continues at a rapid clip around the Zone – even when they are chained (guess you have to hide them now). There is a black motor scooter with a Georgia Tech decal on it parked at the northeast corner of Barnett and Drewry Streets that has been there for over a week now – I am amazed it has escaped being stolen so far. Is it abandoned or does anyone know who the owner is?
  • Auto Theft Recovery – An abandoned vehicle report on Arlington Place reunited a stolen car with it’s owner. A scooter stolen from Greenwood Avenue was taken to Atlanta Motorcycle and Scooter on Elizabeth Street, N.E. for repair where it was identified even though the VIN had been scratched off. The person who brought it in left a Roswell address – no word as to whether it was a legitimate address.
  • Commercial Burglary – Viagra pills were taken from a unit at a storage facility on Cheshire Bridge Road. The Teuscher Chocolate store on North Highland Avenue in Morningside was entered via a smashed glass front door. Ru Sans restaurant on Piedmont Avenue was entered through a smashed front glass front door also. The tennis store at Ansley was entered via a smashed rear door window. Urban Body on PDL Place was entered twice – on 6/5 and 6/6 with a flat screen tv and a computer monitor stolen. In yet another theft at this beleagured business, their a/c units were stolen. Atlanta Motorcycle and Scooters on Elizabeth Street was entered by pushing in their exhaust fan. Does your business have such a vulnerable spot and can it be welded into place to better secure it? The San Francisco coffee shop on North Highland Avenue just south of PDL Avenue was entered via a pried open front door. South of us – the North Highland Pub, The Albert, Brewhouse Cafe, Shaun’s and the 97 Estoria were all broken into. Java Jive on PDL Avenue had copper piping taken from their rooftop a/c unit. Not an easy time for small business owners on top of the lousy economy.
  • Larceny From Auto – Vehicles were broken into on Highland Lane, Los Angeles Avenue, North Highland Avenue (3), PDL Avenue (4), St. Charles Avenue (2), Barnett Street, Bonaventure Avenue, and Briarcliff Place. Of these 14 separate incidents – 11 of the vehicles were owned by folks out of VaHi. Please, please, please – warn your visitors to clean out their cars, especially if you are in the hospitality business. There were wheels stolen from cars on Hillpine Drive and Moreland Avenue. Also all around Zone 6 in this time period there were eleven GPS systems stolen, 7 in-dash stereo radios ripped out, 2 license plates taken off, one hand gun added to the arsenal on the streets, and (now that scrap metal prices are going up again) a catalytic convertor sawed off.
  • Larceny Other – Kid’s bicycles were stolen from Brookridge Drive, and another bicycle taken from a Monroe Drive front porch. All across Zone 6 lots of chained bicycle thefts also – guess you have to take them inside when not being ridden – chaining is not enough protection now. Two thefts reported from inside Zone 6 churches – the Inman Park Methodist Church on Edgewood Avenue had a laptop stolen, and a volunteer worker at St. John Lutheran church on PDL Avenue had a credit card stolen from her purse. At the Eastlake YMCA cash was stolen from an unsecured locker. The bread man had his p/c stolen while stocking his goods at the PDL Avenue Kroger store. The Edgewood Kroger store caught 4 shoplifters. At a Georgia Power substation on Moreland Avenue thieves cut fencing and took 4 ground wires (for scrap metal I presume) – too bad they weren’t zapped. An unwatched purse was taken from a shopping cart at the Edgewood Bed, Bath & Beyond store. This is a real sick report – 25 metal grave markers were stolen from South View Cemetery on Jonesboro Road (for scrap metal again I presume).
  • Pedestrian Robbery – On 6/3 at 1:40 a.m. a male and female were robbed at gunpoint by a lone b/m at North Highland Avenue and Highland View. On 5/27 at 11:30 p.m. a female waiting at a PDL Avenue bus stop was pushed to the ground and robbed of her cell phone.
  • Residential Burglary – A PDL Avenue apartment was entered via a kicked-in front door. On Los Angeles Avenue entry was made through an unsecured garage door. A Greenwood Avenue apartment resident had a bicycle stolen – not listed as to whether this was inside the apartment or on the porch. All around Zone 6 in this time period – entry was made to residences via kicked-in doors 14 times, and another incident involved a pushed-in window a/c unit. If you know folks who have window a/c units – make sure they have their units bolted into the window frame.

Be alert and stay safe!!

John

Voice – Summer 2009

Download PDF

- Summerfest
- Neighborhood preservation committee update
- Planning for 2009 Tour of Homes
- Historic Fourth Ward Park under construction
- President’s Corner: fundraising for new park
- News from MES and Inman
- SPARK gets name and principal
- Join New Highland Park Conservancy
- New businesses: Glamour Paws, D.B.A. Barbeque, Silverstein, Thomas & Carter
- VHCA wants you!
- Rufus Henry Stansell (1929-2009) neighborhood folk artist
- Col. Mustard reviews Belly General Store
- History of Virginia Highland Part III

Summerfest June 6th and 7th

This is our neighborhood’s chance to show off to the metro area – be sure you are part of this wonderful celebration of summer. Volunteers are still needed for a variety of activities – go to www.vahi.org and click on Summerfest to put down your name for the slot of your choice. This is the economic engine that will be used to make mortgage payments on the new parkland at North Highland and St. Charles Place. Don’t forget that Virginia Avenue will be closed as of Friday morning – so plan your trips accordingly.

That same weekend our Fire Station # 19 will be holding an open house – so make time during this busy weekend to meet the folks who are on duty to protect us. Hope they will have plenty of # 19 t-shirts to sell this weekend.

The Auto Repair Scammer & The Roadside Flagger

The Roadside Flagger

This is another guy who seems to have recently surfaced again – this time being sighted on Briarcliff and Lenox Roads. This is a neatly dressed b/m who attempts to try to flag down cars as if he is having some sort of an emergency – but as we know from a year or so ago, this is a scam. If he succeeds in getting someone to stop he will have some story about needing money for gas, etc. If you don’t stop he screams, yells and waves his arms.

The Auto Repair Scammer

Thanx again to Rob Glancy for uncovering a scam that has apparently been going on for some time. See the story at http://www.cbsatlanta.com/video/19512247/index.html If you think you have been victimized by this guy – please e-mail Peggy Denby, the executive director of MPSA (Midtown Ponce Security Alliance) at peggy.denby@gmail.com with a report – she will pass it on to APD Zone 5 who really wants to catch this scammer.

Crime reports

The following reports are gleaned from our APD Zone 6 crime stats for weeks 20 and 21 of 2009, with emphasis on our Beat # 603, but with news from around the Zone as it pertains to us. Please read these reports with an eye as to how you can alter your daily activities to avoid being in a situation for criminal activity.

  • Aggravated Assault – At Dugans Bar on PDL Avenue one patron struck another patron for seemingly no reason.
  • Auto Theft – At the Papa John’s pizza store on Piedmont Avenue, an employee left his keys in the ignition while he was preparing to make deliveries – and guess what? Week 20 had no auto thefts – but week 21 was a different story. Cars were stolen on Arlington Place, Greenwood Avenue (the victim saw his car being driven off), Rosedale Drive (this was found on Virginia Avenue), Virginia Avenue (2), PDL Place, and on Virginia Circle a red Jeep was stolen for the 2nd time in a couple of months. So much for my previous advice about chaining up small motor scooters – thieves just cut the chain used to secure one in a Ralph McGill parking garage!! But – at least the chain really made them work harder to get the scooter.
  • Commercial Burglary – At the new storage facility being built on PDL Place – tools were taken from the site and the perp tried to sell them to the owner at the PDL Avenue McDonalds – somehow he managed to take them from the perp and discovered the breakin when he got to PDL Place that morning. The public storage facility on Cheshire Bridge Road had a lock removed from a unit and items were stolen – the storage facility in Kanuga Street also had a unit robbed. At the Atlanta Vision optical store in Edgewood entry was made via a smashed glass front door with $14,400 worth of frames stolen.
  • Commercial Robbery – My Dry Cleaners on Moreland Avenue in L5P was robbed at gunpoint – the second time in just months.
  • Larceny From Auto – This is an area where we all can make a difference and free up officers from having to spend so much time writing up these reports. Keep your own car cleaned out of “stuff” and most importantly, warn your visitors to clean out their cars before enjoying an evening here in VaHi. If you are in the hospitality or retail business especially – warn your patrons and ask them to return to their cars if they think they might have items left in plain sight. You are doing them a favor!! Cars were broken into on Amsterdam Walk, Adair Avenue (this perp was caught by a patrolling officer!!), Arlington Place (2), Drewry Street, Kanuga Street, North Highland Avenue, PDL Avenue (2), PDL Place, Amsterdam Avenue, and Cooledge Avenue. On Todd Road, the victim, while waiting for a friend to come and help change a flat tire, talked to a guy with a “security” baseball cap on – he left the car for a short time and property was missing. Of these 13 incidents – 7 of the owners were from outside of VaHi. All around Zone 6 in this time period – 13 GPS systems were taken, 4 in-dash stereos ripped out, 5 license plates taken off, 3 handguns taken, as well as scores of laptops, cameras, cell phones, I-pods, etc.
  • Larceny Other – Diamond earrings were missing from a Virginia Circle residence after an exterminator’s visit. At the Edgewood Wachovia parking lot at 10:30 a.m. on a Monday – 3 deposit bags were taken from under the victim’s arms – the victim gave chase, but the perps escaped. If you are making business deposits – alter your timing and your route to the bank, and conceal the bank bags somehow. Otherwise you are a sitting duck as was this victim!! At the Starbucks inside the Ansley Kroger – a customer was having coffee when the suspect asked her to read the fine print on a package of sugar – she later noticed she was missing $750 from her purse. The PDL Avenue Blockbuster got shoplifted. Lawn equipment was stolen from a trailer parked in front of a Drewry Street residence – the owners had gone to the back yard for 5 minutes!! A bicycle was stolen from a storage area in a St. Charles Avenue apartment building. An unwatched purse was stolen from a St. Charles Avenue front porch. The Edgewood Target caught 3 shoplifters and the Krogers in that same center caught 6 shoplifters.
  • Pedestrian Robbery – Yet another h/m was robbed at gunpoint in a Woodland Avenue parking lot at 5:50 a.m. On 5/10 at 1:50 a.m. on Seminole Avenue two twenty-something males were robbed at gunpoint by 2 b/m – and on that same street on 5/14 at 3 a.m.two females were robbed at gunpoint by two b/m. At the Edgewood Kroger parking lot on 5/10 at 9:15 p.m. a lone female was robbed at gunpoint and also lost her car to a b/m and b/f.
  • Residential Burglary – On Lanier Boulevard entry was made via rear double doors being pushed in. A witness gave chase as the perp left on a bicycle – but lost him. All over Zone 6 in this time period 11 doors were kicked in to gain entry to residences.

Thanx to Joy Rousso of Atkins Park for passing this notice on to me from DeKalb Police – the same things apply here in the city also. You might want to print this out and keep it on the refrigerator door to remind yourself every once in a while. Suspicious persons and activities 911 calls do make a difference!!

Be alert and be safe!

John

Safety Team Report 5/16/09

Campaign For Atlanta

I have recently become involved in a group of folks who, like me – are proud of living in the city, but are extremely frustrated in the inefficiencies and shortfalls of our city government. This group, Campaign for Atlanta, is a grassroots citizen’s initiative, to ask mayoral candidates to focus seriously – with precision and depth – their plans for addressing solvency, services and public safety. The intent is to get past clichéd campaign rhetorics and talking points and get to their thought-out plans and ideas for turning the city around.

This group will not endorse any candidates – but will, through a series of taped forums with questioning by neighborhood leaders, draw out of each of the leading candidates, as to how they will meet the challenges of being our next Mayor. These forums will then be available for viewing and analyzing on the group’s website at your leisure so you can make an intelligent voting choice. Our next Mayor needs to be organized and be able to hit the ground running immediately.

Go to the website at www.campaignforatlanta.com read the plans, then sign the petition to show the candidates there are thousands of us who are seriously concerned about the state of our city. The goal is to have at least eight to ten thousand city-wide signatures to show to the candidates. Show your serious concern by adding your name to the list just as thousands did on the ATAC website!!

The “30 Deep” Gang Arrests by APD

Blue jean thefts and murder were mixed together. The story is at http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/atlanta/stories/2009/05/15/blue_jean_thefts.html

Safety Team Street Captain’s Meeting

Thanx to all the folks who came out last Saturday morning to seriously discuss safety concerns in the neighborhood and how we, as private citizens, can make a difference just by connecting neighbors together to look out for each other. I’ll be sending out the notes from this meeting in my next Report. I also continue to get requests to be added to this Report distribution list, and I am grateful for the interest. What I do ask though, is that you also be willing to take on the responsibility of being a Street Captain, connect the folks on your block, and pass the Reports on to them.

Crime reports from APD

The following part of this report is gleaned from our APD Zone 6 crime stats, with specific emphasis on our Beat # 603, but with news from all over Zone 6 as it pertains to us. These stats are for weeks # 18 and 19 of 2009, and are meant to help you be aware and alert and change your everyday habits to lessen the chances of your becoming a victim.

  • Aggravated Assault – There was a domestic altercation on Monroe Place resulting in non-life threatening injuries.
  • Auto Theft – Vehicles were stolen from Lanier Boulevard and PDL Avenue. Elsewhere in the Zone – there were 5 motor scooters stolen, many of which were not securely chained. These scooters can be loaded into a pickup truck or van in seconds. Secure your scooter!!
  • Auto Theft Recovery – A car stolen from Sherwood Road was found parked on Drewry Street and reunited with the owner.
  • Commercial Burglary – Three separate units were broken into at the storage facility on Kanuga Street. The Eros bar on Monroe Drive was entered through a 2nd floor balcony using a ladder.
  • Commercial Robbery – A Checkers restaurant on Memorial Drive was robbed in a scenario similar to what happened recently at the Taco Mac on Virginia Avenue. An employee was taking out the trash at 11:30 p.m. when confronted by an armed perp who used him to gain access through the back door – he then took the cash from the safe. This serves as yet another warning to businesses to not let down your guard when you are busy cleaning up at closing time – this seems to be a very vulnerable time period when everyone is anxious to go home.
  • Larceny from Auto – Vehicles were broken into on Los Angeles Avenue (3), Frederica Street (2), PDL Avenue (2), and Virginia Avenue (2). Of these 9 different incidents – 4 of the owners were neighborhood visitors. Please remember the Clean Car Campaign – especially if you are in the hospitality business and want your patrons to return. Make sure hosts and servers gently remind patrons to return to their parked cars if they have not hidden all items visible from outside. If we can collectively eliminate the bait – the rats will go elsewhere for thievery. This is a shared responsibility for all of us. All around Zone 6 in this time period there were 20 GPS systems stolen, 2 more hand guns added to the arsenal on the streets, 6 in-dash stereo/radios ripped out and one license plate taken off.
  • Larceny Other – The Java Jive on PDL Avenue had copper piping taken from their rooftop a/c unit. I’m sure the damage will cost far more then the paltry sum the thieves received for the scrap copper. The Bank America branch on PDL Avenue had 5 checks belonging to a customer where a perp had simply changed the name on the checkface. The Bank America had yet another ATM card left in the machine, and of course, it was stolen and used. Our PDL Avenue Kroger and Publix stores caught 4 more shoplifters. The Edgewood Target caught 6 shoplifters. Yet another case of new checks stolen from a mailbox in Kirkwood – arrange to pickup your checks at the bank rather than having them mailed to you. There is evidently a job opening at a Mrs. Winner’s on McDonough Boulevard south of here. The employee who was supposed to make a bank drop never did so, and of course, never came back to work.
  • Residential Burglary – This particular report is a little fuzzy – but at an apartment on Briarcliff Terrace, the victim heard someone at the door, and just as he started to answer, the perp kicked in the door, but fled. A Drewry Street home was entered via a kicked-in back door. All around Zone 6 there were 14 cases of kicked-in doors for entry to homes, with the most common items stolen were flat-screen tv sets. Please, please – make sure your flat screen cannot be seen through your windows. Either move it to another room or cover your windows so that the flickering light cannot be seen outside at night. I am not making a recommendation here – but the next time you are at Intown Hardware, check out the door frame face plate they have for sale, and seriously think about your own doors. In fact – if you have other door strengthening ideas – let me know and I’ll put them in the next report. We’re all in this together.

Safety Team Report 5/1/09

Safety Team Street Captain Meeting

All Street Captains and interested neighbors are urged to attend this informative session on Saturday morning May 9th at 9 in the community meeting room at the Ponce library. Please come a few minutes early, using the back door via the parking lot, and get your pin on the neighborhood map for your street. Join us to discuss how we can collectively enhance our quality of life by reducing crime and promoting community neighborliness. We have to be out of the room at 11, so we will start promptly at 9. Be an active part of the Safety Team and help to make a difference in VaHi.

The Safety Team Distribution List

I keep getting a lot of requests to be added to this ever-growing list, and I am grateful for this. What I do ask, though, is that added names be willing to take on the responsibility of a Street Captain, connect with your neighbors and pass on this report to them. This enhances my theory of crime prevention, in that folks who know each other look out for each other, Granted, I could have a list of several thousand names – but these folks would still be strangers to each other. Being a Street Captain is not meant to be any sort of a huge time consuming job and is a win-win for all involved.

Neighborhood Cleanups

The regular monthly cleanup session will be this Saturday morning – meet at 9 in the parking lot of Intown Hardware for a couple of hours of worthwhile exercise on North Highland Avenue. Saturday morning, May 16th at 9 is the time set for a cleanup of the new parkland at St. Charles Place at North Highland. Both of these events give you the chance to show your pride for this place we call home.

Summerfest

Go to the neighborhood website at www.vahi.org , click on Summerfest to view the plans for this year and sign up for your volunteer time slot on this fun-filled weekend.

APD Thank You Notes

Attached to this VaHi Report is the current Midtown Safety Report which details the events of a recent Charles Allen Drive arrest. Please consider commending Officer Michael R. Carter (Badge # 4185) for this arrest by going to www.atlantapd.org and use the “Commend an Officer” section to express your thanks. In fact, use this system any time you want to make sure an officer receives recognition for a job well done. In spite of all the city budget problems – we have a wonderful group of folks looking out for our common safety.

Crime reports from APD

The following crime incidents are gleaned from the APD Zone 6 statistic reports, with emphasis on our Beat # 603, but with news from all around the Zone as it pertains to us. This report covers weeks # 16 and 17 of 2009. Read this with an eye as to how you can avoid becoming a victim and become more alert to your surroundings.

  • Aggravated Assault – On 4/21 at 2:30 p.m. a b/m attempted to rob a victim who was sitting in his car in a Woodland Avenue parking lot – but his gun failed to fire and he fled on foot. The 4/19 three a.m. Taco Mac incident that was reported in my last report is in this category. The perp entered the business demanding money – the alert armed manager shot the perp and he fled in a stolen vehicle from Frederica Street, which he crashed on Highland View and escaped on foot. I have not heard of an arrest yet.
  • Auto Theft – A vehicle was stolen from Virginia Avenue. Elsewhere – two Proof of the Pudding catering trucks were stolen from their parking lot on Monroe Drive. Cars with keys in the ignition or door were stolen on Piedmont Road and Chantilly Drive. This is an interesting story from Inman Park – on Waddell Street the victim honked his horn at skateboarders and they in turn cursed and spat on his car. The victim stopped his car, confronted the skateboarders and a fight ensued – the victim and his friend got golf clubs out of the trunk and in the meantime – one of the skaters jumped in the car and sped off, hitting another vehicle at Druid Circle and Dixie Street – the car was recovered on Old Wheat Street with the keys still in the ignition and the engine running. You decide what the moral to this story is.
  • Auto Theft Recovery – A suspicious persons 911 call on Rockledge Road resulted in a stolen car recovered and one arrest. The license plate scanner in a patrol car on Moreland Avenue detected a stolen car with two arrests made after a foot chase.
  • Commercial Burglary – A witness saw a perp breaking a rear window at Fontaines on North Highland Avenue. Pura Vida on North Highland Avenue in Poncey Highland was entered via a damaged front door. The Taqueria del Sol on Cheshire Bridge Road was entered thru a smashed front glass door, and Urban Body was entered thru a pushed in window.
  • Larceny From Auto – Smash and grabs were reported on Amsterdam Walk, Frederica Street (2), PDL Avenue, Arlington Place, Greenwood Avenue, Los Angeles Avenue, Monroe Drive, North Highland Avenue, and PDL Place. Of these 10 reported incidents – 7 of the owners were from outside of VaHi. Please remind your visitors of the Clean Car Campaign to make sure their VaHi visit is not marred by a smash and grab. An arrest was made on Virginia Circle due to a suspicious person 911 call – the arrestee had been looking into cars along this street. All around Zone 6 in this time period there were TWENTY GPS systems stolen, 7 license plates taken off, 4 in-dash radios ripped out and 3 more handguns were added to the arsenal on the streets. Keep walking behind your car to make sure you still have a license plate.
  • Larceny Other – The Eros Tapas Bar on Monroe Drive lost a lot of food when padlocks were cut on outside storage bins. A cellphone was stolen from an Amsterdam Walk bar patron. A package was taken from a Drewry Street front porch. A bike seat was taken from a bike parked in front of the PDL Publix – the perp was caught and arrested. The Ansley Blockbuster had a shoplifter. An MJQ Club patron on PDL Avenue lost items from her unwatched purse. A Briarcliff Road resident lost credit cards, and a Drewry Street resident lost her wallet from her purse in the choir room at St. Phillip’s Cathedral in Buckhead – no, nothing is sacred anymore. This story I really hate to hear – a 75 y/o/f victim on University Drive let 3 suspects who claimed they were from the water department into her home to check her system – after they left a watch and $1000 in cash was missing. Please, please, if you have elderly neighbors – make sure they understand not to let unknown persons into their home!! The Target store at Edgewood caught 5 shoplifters as well as an employee who took a gift card from another store, activated it and got caught using it.
  • Pedestrian Robbery – On 4/25 at 12:30 a.m. two female Virginia Avenue residents were robbed at gunpoint in the 800 block of Virginia by a b/m and b/f who fled in a white vehicle. I had not been notified as to this scary incident – so do not know any other details. I hope the victims were not harmed.
  • Residential Burglary – A Bonaventure Avenue residence was entered via a smashed window. On St. Charles Avenue, entry was made thru a smashed basement window at 2:40 a.m. – the victims who were at home, confronted the intruder and he fled. South of here, on Faith Avenue, S.E., entry was made into a residence by removing a window a/c unit. If you know of folks who have window a/c units – make sure they have the units bolted into the window frame so they cannot be easily removed. All around Zone 6 in this time period, entry into residences was made via kicked-in doors 12 times.

Be alert and stay safe!!

John

Safety Team Report 4/16/09

I know, I know – I just sent out a Report a few days ago, and here is another one already. Somehow or another, I was left off the distribution list at Zone 6 – but all is well now, so am getting you caught up.

The Safety Team Distribution List

I keep getting more and more requests to be added to this list, and I am grateful for this. What I do ask though, is that added names be willing to take on the responsibility of a Street Captain, connect with your neighbors and pass on this report to them. This enhances my basic theory of crime prevention – in that folks who know each other tend to look out for each other. Granted – I could have a list of thousands of names sent out individually – but, these folks would still all be strangers to each other. This is not meant to be any sort of a time-consuming activity, and is a win-win for all involved. I am also looking for more businesses to be involved – so contact me if you know of businesses and a contact person that should be more aware and alert. Speaking of Street Captains – don’t forget the discussion and training session set for Saturday morning, May 9th at 9 at the library. Become an active part of the Safety Team and help to make a difference!

Saturday, April 18th

This Saturday morning offers a lot of opportunity for you to be involved in Earth Day cleanup activities. Sign up for the BeltLine cleanup session at www.keepatlantabeautiful.org , which will enhance the BeltLine cleanup from last fall and add more mileage of walkable linkage. Our Orme Park Friends will also be cleaning up this neighborhood greenspace this same morning. Contact Alice Gepp for details at alicegepp@bellsouth.net A city-wide recycling event will also be held this same day til 4 in the afternoon at Turner Field parking lot. They are accepting e-waste and old tires and auto batteries.

Monthly VaHi Litter/Trash/Graffiti Cleanup Sessions

We will now have litter walks the 1st Saturday of every month, meeting at 9 in the parking lot of Intown Hardware. Get to know some of your neighbors as we strive to make VaHi cleaner and safer – enhancing the “broken window” theory of crime prevention – on the next walk on May 2nd.

The April 13th Windstorm

Our thoughts and prayers are with our neighbors who lost their homes on this day.

NPU “F” Meeting

This monthly meeting will be held as usual at 7 at Hillside School, and is a good chance to learn what all is happening in our northern end of APD Zone 6.

Crime reports from APD

The following crime incidents are gleaned from the APD Zone 6 stat reports, with emphasis on our Beat # 603, but with news from all around the Zone as it pertains to us. This particular Report covers weeks # 13, 14 and 15 of 2009, and is not meant to scare anyone – but simply to inform you and let you learn how to avoid being a victim. Granted, we’re in the middle of a big city, and we can’t avoid all criminal activity – but some alterations in your daily activities can increase your safety.

  • Aggravated Assault – There was a domestic fight on 3/22 at Amsterdam and Monroe, and an altercation between two St. Charles Avenue residents on this street on 4/7.
  • Auto Thefts – Vehicles were stolen from PDL Avenue, St. Charles Avenue and North Highland Avenue.
  • Auto Theft Recovery – Stolen cars were found on Kings Court and Virginia Avenue. Be sure to call 911 about unmoved cars on your street.
  • Commercial Burglary – The Circuit Tan Salon on Piedmont Avenue was entered thru a smashed glass front door, as well as the Righteous Room Restaurant at the Plaza on PDL Avenue, and the Highland Pub on North Highland Avenue where 3 flat screen tv sets were taken.
  • Commercial Robbery – The Uptown Novelty store on Cheshire Bridge Road was robbed at gunpoint.At the Edgewood Kroger store at 1:15 p.m. a suspect pulled a handgun out when approached for shoplifting – he fled on foot. And, amazingly, the A+ Cleaners on Memorial Drive was held up by a guy brandishing a broken broom stick – and, yes, they gave him their cash. At the Peek A Boo on Piedmont Circle (yes, there is such an adult business – I had to drive over there to see for myself) the perps turned off the power to the store and after the building was vacated – the perps went in and stole a flat screen tv.
  • Larceny From Auto – Vehicles were broken into on Amsterdam Walk (2), Los Angeles Avenue, North Highland Avenue, PDL Avenue (8), Vance Avenue, Virginia Avenue, Amsterdam Avenue, Bonaventure Avenue, Frederica Street, Maryland Avenue, and St. Charles Avenue.A license plate was stolen on Glen Arden Way. Of these 19 reported smash and grabs – 13 were vehicles owned by folks from outside of VaHi. Please remind your visitors of the Clean Car Campaign, especially if you are in the hospitality business. And keep checking to make sure you have a license plate and sticker. In this 3 week time period all around Zone 6 there were TWENTY ONE GPS systems stolen (are they really that worthwhile?), 3 license plates and stickers taken off, 9 in-dash radio/stereos ripped out, and 3 more hand guns added to the arsenal already out on the streets.
  • Larceny Other – The tip jar was stolen from the StarBucks on Piedmont Avenue. A check was stolen from Illuminations on Cooledge Avenue, and used to make more checks. A cell phone was stolen during a domestic argument in a vehicle traveling on Amsterdam Avenue. A wallet was stolen from an unwatched purse under the chair of a diner at Surin on North Highland Avenue.The Outback Bike store on Euclid Avenue let a prospective customer take a bike out for a trial spin and he never came back. I would assume this will be the end of test rides. At a church on Euclid Avenue – a credit card was taken from the victim’s purse while she was making an offering. A wallet was stolen from behind the counter at 10 High on North Highland Avenue. Another trailer stolen – this time from Berkshire Road.

    A Chevron station on PDL Avenue reported a shoplifter. A purse was snatched at an ATM on PDL Avenue at 5:30 p.m. – a witness chased the perp and held him for Zone 6 to arrive. At the PDL Avenue Kroger store, a wallet was stolen from a male customer when the perp bumped into him. At this same store, a perp concealed items in a bag, then tried to get a refund (unsuccessfully) for them at the customer service counter. The following incident is amazing – a 76 y/o female victim’s purse was stolen while she was at Crawford Long. Later, the female suspect, wearing white scrubs, knocked on the victim’s Piedmont Avenue front door, and said she had her wallet and would return it for $50, if the victim would follow her out to the street. The victim refused – the perp returned later with the wallet, the victim grabbed the wallet and the suspect grabbed the money.

  • Our PDL Avenue Kroger and Publix stores nabbed 7 shoplifters – the Edgewood Target caught 3 illegal shoppers, and the Edgewood Kroger caught 6.UPS packages were stolen from a Drewry Street front porch – this could have been prevented if they would have had these packages delivered to Intown Hardware’s safe address. Stop by at this friendly hardware store to find out how you can use them to receive your UPS and FedEx deliveries.
  • Pedestrian Robbery – At Ansley Mall at 8:45 a.m., a female getting into her car was robbed at gunpoint of her purse, the perp then pushed her to the pavement, kicked her in the stomach and fled on foot.
  • Residential Burglary – On Wessyngton Road at noontime, with the victim in her home, she did not answer the front door bell, so the two bell ringers went to the back glass door and threw a brick through it – the victim yelled (quite naturally), called 911, and the two b/m juveniles were caught. A Greenwood Avenue apartment was entered via a damaged front door, and a PDL Avenue apartment was entered through a pried open front door. A Morningside Place home burglary is attributed to Frederick Stranahan – the subject of last week’s BOLO, and who is now behind bars. The previously reported 3/25 burglary of the residence on Orme Circle by Roger Corley is listed. Corley also is behind bars – thanx to the 911 call by the alert homeowners who kept him in sight til Zone 6 arrived. Corley also left a stolen vehicle on Crestridge Drive.All around Zone 6 in this three-week time period – eleven residences were entered via kicked-in doors.

Be alert and be safe!!

John

Safety Team Report 4/13/09

I have held off sending out a new report awaiting more crime state reports from Zone 6, but didn’t want to wait any longer ( this is a subtle hint to Zone 6) to let you know what is happening. I have not received a Zone 6 report since week # 12.

AJC Articles

The AJC today has a story about yet another pedestrian assault on Briarcliff Road in DeKalb County. Read the story at http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/dekalb/stories/2009/04/12/briarcliff_area_crime.html The April 10th AJC had a revealing story about the backlog problem in our Fulton County court system – read this http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/atlanta/stories/2009/04/10/fulton_court_backlog.html No wonder the Fulton County jail is overcrowded.

There is also another story on 4/13 in Metro, page B6 that is not online, concerning a movement to start a local chapter of the Guardian Angels here again to patrol downtown streets. On the surface this all sounds good, giving APD more sets of eyes and ears, but I also wonder if they do establish a downtown chapter and start chasing panhandlers, thugs, etc from those streets where do they go to? We already seem to be having more and more aggressive panhandlers on our VaHi streets and I wonder if this Guardian Angel movement may send more vagrants to our neighborhood. No word yet, according to the article, as to when or if, a chapter will be set up here in Atlanta. Stay tuned for this.

Arrest and Jail Report

Frederick C. Stranahan, the subject of the alert I put out last week, was arrested on 4/10 at the Intown Suites on Piedmont Circle, N.E. by Zone 6 Officer Britt. See his jail report at http://www.fultonsheriff.org/Jail/individual.asp?BookingNumber=0911777

Michael Corley, arrested on 3/25 here in VaHi after a home breakin on Orme Circle and leaving a stolen Jeep on Crestridge Drive, had his case deferred last Thursday morning in court. He is still in jail – his report at http://www.fultonsheriff.org/Jail/Individual.asp?bookingnumber=0909923

Phone Numbers

Don’t forget the back-door number to call from your cell phone for an Atlanta 911-type emergency call which is 404-658-6666 while you are calling from within the city limits. This helps to eliminate the problems with cell phone calls bouncing off towers outside the city limits that may direct your call to a suburban 911 call center. Also – don’t forget the phone number for our VaHi Security Patrol on Friday and Saturday nites from 10 til 2 for non-emergency calls – this number is 678-772-0448. Use this number for non-emergency quality of life matters that APD may not have time to respond to.

PEDS Problem Sidewalk Survey

Find the details of this sidewalk initiative at www.peds.org as to how to send reports on our many stretches of unwalkable sidewalks during the month of April.

Neighborhood Trash Cleanups

A small group assembled by Victoria Hathcox, our VaHi “trash queen”, cleaned up litter and illegal signs along North Highland Avenue Saturday morning, the 11th. Victoria hopes to make these cleanups a monthly affair – watch for a date for May.

BeltLine Cleanup

A cleanup of these tracks from Freedom Parkway southward to DeKalb Avenue is scheduled for Saturday morning, April 18th, from 8 til noon. Sign up at www.keepatlantabeautiful.org and to get more details. This will be the second leg of BeltLine cleanups that we had in our area last November.

The Edgewood Target Store

I recently received this message from our Major Propes of Zone 6 about shopping at the Edgewood Target store. She states – “If anyone ever has a problem at the Edgewood Target or is concerned about a suspicious person in the store, please make contact with the Target security team. The Executive Team Leader of Assets Protection at Edgewood Target is Kachavias Rodgers. He works closely with us here in Zone 6 and I assure you, he will jump on anything bought to his attention by a customer of the store. Target has an incredible camera system that we access often during a variety of follow-up investigations.” They have red wallphones all over the store that you can use to call security if you have a need to contact them. Mr. Rodgers was a big help with our VaHi National Night Out event last August.

Let Me Know

I have been getting reports about urban camping behind Church of Our Savior on North Highland Avenue – does anyone else know about this potential problem? I am also getting new reports about the valet parking at the Wachovia Bank parking lot on Virginia Avenue, and the problems associated with them – let me know if you have a report to make also. These are things I’ll tackle after I hear more reports from you. Any new incidents concerning the neighborhood kids firing bb guns?

Crime reports from APD

The following report is for only week # 12 of 2009 taken from the crime stat report from Zone 6, with emphasis on our Beat # 603, but with news from around the Zone as it pertains to us.

  • Aggravated Assault – On 3/21 on Rockledge Road – 2 acquaintances were involved in a fight.
  • Auto Theft – Vehicles were stolen from Briarcliff Place, Cooledge Avenue, and 3 from PDL Avenue, including one from the Briarcliff Summit parking garage which had the keys left in the ignition.
  • Larceny From Auto – Cars were broken into on Amsterdam Avenue, PDL Avenue, Vance Avenue and Virginia Avenue. Please remember the Clean Car Campaign and keep your car cleaned out and don’t tempt the guys who wander our streets looking for opportunities. In all of Zone 6 in just this one week period – there were eleven GPS systems stolen.
  • Auto Theft Recovery – Stolen cars were found on nearby Monroe Place and Linwood Avenue.
  • Larceny Other – A female victim lost $500 in cash from her (quite obviously unwatched) purse at the bowling alley on Piedmont Circle. When I checked with the victims last week, the dognapping from Virginia Avenue is still unsolved. See the report at http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/dpp/news/Dog_Stolen_for_Ransom_032009 A PDL Avenue Kroger shopper left her wallet at the checkout counter, and it was found it was taken by an employee (ex-employee I would assume now).
  • Pedestrian Robbery – On 3/17 at 1:20 a.m. a male was robbed of his cellphone by two armed b/m on Lindberg Drive who fled in a Chevy Blazer. On 3/15 at 7:30 p.m. a Briarcliff Road resident was approached on Seminole Avenue by 3 suspects who asked for a cigarette – and then demanded money. As the victim was giving them his cash – one perp struck him, and then showed a pistol. One perp was located and arrested.
  • Residential Burglary – An Elkmont Drive home was entered via a front window. Two apartments on Piedmont Avenue were entered – one through an unlocked front door.

Safety Team Report 3/20/09

Be On The Lookout!!

There was an attempted break-in at the Colonnade condo building on North Highland Avenue early Sunday morning the 15th. The alert owners were at home at the time, awoke and scared him away – but just because he failed this time does not mean he won’t try here again. His physical description is as follows – white male in low to mid 30′s, about 5’10″, with jet black wavy hair and long sideburns. He was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt at that time. If he hasn’t shaved his head and cut off the sideburns – he ought to be very easy to recognize.

Your UPS/FedEx Deliveries

Don’t forget to stop by Intown Hardware on North Highland Avenue to sign up to have your packages delivered to their safe address, and avoid package thefts from your front doorstep. This is a wonderful good neighbor service.

North Highland Cleanup March 28th

Victoria Hathcox has stepped up to assume leadership for monthly cleanup sessions, and has scheduled the first session to make sure North Highland is really clean to welcome the ING Marathon on the 29th. Bring your gloves and meet at the Intown Hardware parking lot at 9 a.m. ready to do some serious pickingup. Trash bags, etc. will be supplied. We will also be painting over or erasing any graffiti along this street also. Contact Victoria at vhathcox@hotmail.com for any questions or further details. Thank you Victoria for your leadership! This can be a great family event.

ING Marathon March 29th

Don’t forget to alter your driving plans for this race day to avoid frustrations. Go to http://www.inggeorgiamarathon.com for details and race routes.

Safety Team Street Captains Meeting

Eleanor Barrineau has agreed to chair this helpful and informative training session again this year. This is scheduled for Saturday morning, May 9th at 10 at the PDL Avenue library. Those who attended last year know this is a way to learn how to better serve your neighbors and keep your corner of the world a little safer. Contact Eleanor at ebarrineau@aol.com if you would like to help her organize this event.

National Night Out Event

If you attended this event last August or heard about it – you know this was a great community bonding event. Michelle Reid has stepped up to head up the event this year and is ready to start planning toward August 4th – e-mail her at mareid01@gmail.com to volunteer to help her make this year’s event bigger and better. We are bound to get a lot of media attention this year, since I am sure we will be an important campaign stop for city office candidates. Thank you Michelle for your leadership!

Crime reports from APD

The following incidents are gleaned from our APD Zone 6 crime stat reports for weeks # 10 and 11 of 2009, with emphasis on our Beat # 603, but with news from over all of the Zone as it pertains to us in our everyday lives. Read these reports to learn how you can alter your daily routine to lessen the chances of your becoming a victim. Granted, we can’t avoid everything, but alert and aware folks are far safer in the long run.

Aggravated Assault – There was a domestic altercation in a parking lot in the 700 block of PDL Avenue involving folks from Stone Mountain. A fight in Freedom Park resulted in a homeless male being hit on the head with a beer bottle by a female. He was taken to Grady on our tax dollar.

Auto Theft – A vehicle was stolen from the garage of the Briarcliff Summit building on PDL Avenue.

Commercial Burglary – A unit was entered at the storage facility on Kanuga Street at Virginia Avenue. Burkhart’s Bar at Ansley Square on Piedmont Avenue was entered through a broken rear door window. (Yes, you’re right – liquor was stolen.)

Larceny From Auto – Vehicles were broken into on Amsterdam Walk, Adair Avenue, Frederica Street, Los Angeles Avenue, Pylant Street, Arlington Place, PDL Avenue (4), PDL Place, and Virginia Avenue. One of the thefts from PDL Avenue involved the loss of parking and fog lites – your guess is as good as mine as to why something like this would be stolen. Half of our smash and grabs were from vehicles owned by folks outside of VaHi. Remember to remind your visitors and neighbors of the Clean Car Campaign – an empty car is not much of an invitation to the guys who roam our streets looking for opportunities. All around Zone 6 in this time period – TWENTY GPS systems were taken, 5 in-dash radio/stereos were ripped out, 5 license plates were taken off and one ammo clip was stolen. Keep looking to make sure you still have a license plate.

Larceny Other – YSM Design on Dutch Valley Place reported several computers are missing with no signs of forced entry. A wallet was taken from an unwatched purse at the Varsity, Jr. on Lindberg Drive. The North Highland CVS had a shoplifter caught by an officer at the corner of Greenwood and Highland. A female patron forgot her purse at closing time at the MJQ Club on PDL Avenue – her credit card had already been used by the time she checked with her bank. A Briarcliff Summit resident was missing a cellphone after a visitor left their apartment. Our PDL Avenue Kroger and Publix stores caught 4 shoplifters, and the Edgewood Target caught 3 illegal shoppers.
At the Bank of America branch in East Atlanta, someone left their ATM card in the machine’s slot – and yes it was used again. Also at this same bank, a suspect tried to cash a stolen check – the police were called, but the suspect fled before the officer’s arrival. The suspect though, left the check and their I.D. at the bank.

Residential Burglary – A Highland Green Way condo was entered through a smashed rear window. Bicycles were stolen from a Monroe Drive garage via an unlocked door. Two different apartments on Piedmont Road were entered through unlocked doors. Elsewhere around Zone 6 in this time period, 4 residences were entered via kicked-in doors. In case you missed seeing the scary video of a recent Henry County door-kicking incident http://www.ajc.com/video/content/video/?bcpid=1659825399&bclid=1716449804&bctid=16960709001

I have not heard anything lately about the naked male prowler on Briarcliff Road – any news or sightings about this problem? Let me know so I can keep the rest of the neighborhood informed. And for those of you who jog or walk solo in darkness – keep in mind the stabbing attack on Briarcliff Road in DeKalb County this week. Need I say more?

Be alert, be aware, keep your car clean, and stay safe!!
John

Safety Team Report 3/6/09

Virginia Highland Scores A Win!!

Recently I was contacted by an APD Officer who wanted to perform some extra patrol time as a volunteer, giving back to his city. We are the winner, as he selected us for his generous offer!! His name is Officer Terence Alexander, and you will recognize him walking our streets, not only from his uniform and orange APD vest – but from his ear-to-ear smile. To begin with, he will be walking along North Highland Avenue from PDL Avenue to Amsterdam Avenue, in late afternoon-early evening, looking for problems along this important pedestrian route. He has promised to stop into businesses and introduce himself, and if you are a restaurant owner, and if he looks like he might be hungry – you know what to offer. His patrols will be on a random basis, which is good, as he hopes to make some arrests as he patrols. Be sure to return his smile as you encounter him on the street and welcome him to VaHi.

CourtWatch Training Saturday Morning

This is your chance to learn more than you ever dreamed about the inner workings of our Fulton County justice system from the folks who are in the Court House every day. This session will run from 9 a.m. til noon, March 7th, in the Justice Center building at 185 Central Avenue, S.W. downtown. Parking is convenient at the Underground garage on MLK or get off the train at 5 Points. Go to courtwatch@fultoncountyga.gov for more info. Learn what happens to our criminals after our APD folks make an arrest and see how this system works or doesn’t work – depending on all the variables involved. This is a real eye-opening session and you, as involved citizens, need to understand this vital part of our total crime problem.

Our New Parkland

I have recently learned that our newly acquired future parkland at North Highland Avenue at St. Charles Place is being used as an ad hoc parking lot. Granted, we have a long road ahead to transform this land to a park – but parking is NOT part of the plan. If you are a business owner nearby and you suspect your patrons are parking here – please ask them to move. The recent rains are going to make this a mud lot and ruin the grass cover. We may have to post this area for towing, if this problem continues.

The Briarcliff Summit building

This past week, I attended a resident’s meeting in this beleaguered apartment building, and really got an eyeful (and earful) as to living and safety conditions. I hope and intend to be involved in some sort of an improvement program – but really need some advisory help from you folks. I am not necessarily asking for folks to attend meetings with me – but I need e-mail advice from folks who are versed in HUD, Section 8, social services and other related aspects of senior citizen/handicapped housing, as I put togther a plan of action for myself. And, yes, in case you have been hearing rumors, there was a homicide in this building a few days ago. It was not a stranger-on-stranger crime, but a homicide nonetheless, and a life was taken. The perp has been arrested. I hope to help make some sort of a difference in the living conditions of the residents – but I do need some advisory help. Let me know at safety@vahi.org as to how you can help me. These folks are our neighbors, and need a safe place to live.

Crime reports from APD

The following crime information is for weeks # 8 and 9 of 2009, and is gleaned from our APD Zone 6 reports, with emphasis on our Beat # 603, but with news from around the Zone as it applies to us in our everyday lives. This report is not meant to scare anyone, but to give you a chance to alter your daily activities to avoid being the victim of criminal activity. No – we can’t always avoid crime, but informed and alert folks are far safer in the long run.

Auto Theft – Trailer thefts continue – this time the vehicle attached was also taken at a work site on Lenox Road. Scooter/motorcycle thefts also continue with ones being stolen on PDL Avenue, PDL Place, Greenwood Avenue, and even an inoperable motorcycle from St. Charles Avenue. As a warning, a car was stolen from a driveway on Custer Avenue, S.E. while the resident was unloading groceries – but unfortunately left it running in the process.

Commercial Burglary – Lenox Park Cleaners was entered through a smashed front glass, as was the Green Sprout restaurant on Piedmont Avenue, and Half Moon Outfitters on North Highland Avenue. Two different units were entered and robbed at the storage facility on Monroe Drive in Piedmont Heights. Vocalicity offices on Virginia Avenue lost 20 laptops and a cleaning person is suspected, since there was no forced entry.

Larceny From Auto – Smash and grabs were reported on Arlington Place, Briarcliff Place, Lanier Boulevard, Virginia Avenue (3), North Highland Avenue, St, Augustine Place, Vance Avenue, Greenwood Avenue (2), and PDL Avenue. Of these 12 incidents – 10 of the victims were from outside of our neighborhood. If you are in the local hospitality or retail business – please remember the Clean Car Campaign, and gently warn your patrons to clean out their cars before dining/drinking/shopping at your business. Also, if you have visitors in your home – give them the same message. Crime victims are not going to think highly of our neighborhood. All around total Zone 6, SEVENTEEN GPS systems were stolen, 2 in-dash radios were ripped out, 2 more catalytic converters were sawed off, 4 license plates were taken off, and two weapons/ammo thefts were reported. Also – would you buy a stethoscope from a guy on Ponce or Boulevard – one was stolen in this time period and is certainly for sale somewhere.

Larceny Other – A patron’s purse was looted at the Local Bar on PDL Avenue, the PDL Blockbuster reported a shoplifter who escaped, and yet another female shopper at the Edgewood Kroger had a checkbook stolen from an unwatched shopping cart purse. Checks were also stolen from a mailbox in Kirkwood. Pick up your new check order at the bank – don’t have them mailed to you!! Our PDL Avenue Kroger and Publix stores caught 2 shoplifters, and the Edgewood Target caught 3 illegal shoppers (wonder how many these stores did not catch?).

Pedestrian Robbery – On 2/21 at 1:50 a.m. in the parking lot of the Club Jungle on Faulkner Road, a lone female victim, talking on her cell phone in her vehicle, was robbed at gunpoint. Quite obviously her car door was not locked with the window rolled down, and who the heck was she talking to at 1:50 a.m.? Also on 2/21 at 1:30 a.m. a lone male exiting his car, was robbed at gunpoint in his apartment parking lot on Piedmont Avenue.

Residential Burglary – A door was kicked in to gain entry at a LaVista Road apartment. On Bonaventure Avenue, an apartment was entered via a pried open back door. A Los Angeles Avenue garage was easily entered through an open door. A Briarcliff Road apartment had a smashed window – but nothing taken. On St. Charles Avenue, the front door was pried open, with a hand gun stolen to add to the arsenal on the streets. And on St. Louis Place, a side window was pried open for entry. All around total Zone 6 for this time period – entry was made via kicked-in doors to 9 residences.

Help Wanted

As I filled out my goals for the 2009 strategy plan report for the civic association, I fully realize I need some help to achieve my goals. I need folks to step up and assume responsibility for the following areas to help make this a safer, cleaner, more aware and connected neighborhood -
1. Produce another successful National Night Out event (time to be determined yet by the national organization)
2. Hold another successful Street Captain training and informational meeting
3. Organize a graffiti and trash patrol group to keep our neighborhood clean and inviting
4. Organize a traffic/sidewalk/parking/transportation committee
Of course, I will work with and provide guidance for all of these activities – but I can’t be a one-man committee to achieve these goals for this year. Thanx already to David Rein for stepping up to try to figure out a way to produce a crime-mapping system for the neighborhood. Again, I am at safety@vahi.org

If you were among the several thousand folks who were not at Anne Fauver’s Town Hall meeting this past week – you missed a terrific and informative session as to the current financial state of our city and public safety concerns. I’ll be posting things I learned that nite in future reports. I don’t want this report to become too long.

Be alert and be safe!!

John

Safety Team Report 2/20/09

Citizen’s CourtWatch Training

– Learn How to Advocate for Your Community. This program helps community members actively participate in the criminal justice system. This is a wonderful way to find out how our justice system works and why it sometimes fails us. It’s an intricate process involving aspects of law enforcement, the prosecution system, our jail and penal system and the legal profession. This training session really helps to make sense of how all these different systems have to work hand in hand to protect us, and is very well presented. I hope several folks from our NPU can attend and join in our network of courtwatchers I can call on to attend specific court cases. This is on Saturday, March 7 from 9 to noon at the Fulton County Courthouse, Justice Center Tower, at 185 Central Avenue, S.W. For more info e-mail to courtwatch@fultoncountyga.gov or call Janet Martin at 404-699-5297. This is sponsored by the Fulton County District Attorney’s Community Prosecution Program. I’ll be glad to answer questions too at safety@vahi.org

City Council District 6 Town Hall Meeting

– Anne Fauver is hosting this event, March 4, at 7 p.m. at the Inman Middle School, with the main topics of discussion being city public safety, the budget crisis, and other related city information. See you there!

Crime reports from APD

The following crime stat info is taken from our APD Zone 6 reports for weeks 6 and 7 of 2009, with specific emphasis on our Beat # 603, but news from around all of Zone 6 as it pertains to us. Please take heed from this info as to how you can alter your day to day activities to avoid being the victim of crime, and heighten your sense of awareness.

Aggravated Assault – On 2/4 at noon on Kings Court in Morningside the victim stated the suspects blocked his vehicle in his driveway and began to yell at him for honking his horn at passersby. The w/f suspect got out of the vehicle, cocked and pointed a pistol at him. The victim ran to the house to get his father – the w/m and w/f then left in their car.

Auto Theft – One vehicle stolen from Rosedale Drive.

Larceny From Auto – Vehicles were broken into on Virginia Avenue (2) and a license plate was stolen from a car on Glen Arden Way being replaced with a stolen one. Keep checking to make sure you have your plate on your car.
Around all of Zone 6 in this time period there were 3 license plates taken off, 14 GPS systems stolen, 5 indash stereo/radios ripped out, two cases of wheels/tires taken off, one catalytic converter sawed off, and two more weapons added to the arsenal on the streets. Keep reminding your visitors to make sure their car is cleaned out to make their VaHi visit safe.

Larceny Other – Another trailer stolen – this time from the Publix parking lot (under the cover of darkness) at Lavista and Cheshire Bridge Roads. A FedEx package stolen from a Rock Springs Circle front porch. A construction company’s BobCat stolen from a Cheshire Bridge Road parking lot (maybe they loaded it into a stolen trailer?). A Bellevue Drive resident is missing jewelry and a dog walker is suspected. The BlockBuster on PDL Avenue caught a shoplifter. Money was taken from the bar of an unidentified PDL Avenue tavern. An ice machine was stolen from Doc Chey’s on North Highland Avenue. A locked bike was taken from a rack in front of the Majestic on PDL Avenue. At the bowling alley on Piedmont Circle – a watch was stolen when placed on top of the victim’s purse while she went to the snack bar (I’m surprised the purse wasn’t taken also). Employee’s personal items were taken from a storage room at the Dark Horse Tavern on North Highland Avenue. At the Edgewood Retail District, the Target caught 7 shoplifters, the Kroger’s caught 5 shoplifters (including another guy with two bottles of champagne in his pants). The PDL Avenue Kroger and Publix stores caught 9 shoplifters.

Pedestrian Robbery – On 2/7 at 2:10 a.m. a Virginia Avenue resident was walking to her car on Lindbergh Drive when a car pulled up with one armed b/m getting out and demanding her purse – he also demanded her car keys, but she refused and the perps fled in their car. On 2/1 at 11:15 p.m. a local female resident was walking in the alley behind Atkins Park Restaurant when two h/m grabbed her purse and fled in a white minivan.

Residential Burglary – At the Briarcliff Summit building on PDL Avenue an apartment was entered for thievery. On 2/6 at 3:03 a.m. at a PDL Avenue apartment the victims came home to find one perp in their living room – as they grabbed him they heard another perp fleeing from a side door – they saw a total of 3 b/m jump the fence behind their building. Entry was made through a smashed side door glass panel. On 2/7 at 11:45 p.m. at a Somerset Terrace apartment in Poncey Highland, the victims were in the apartment below theirs when they heard footsteps overhead – they went upstairs and caught the perp in the act. On 2/13 another PDL Avenue apartment was entered via a smashed rear window. All around Zone 6 in this time period 14 residences were entered via kicked-in doors, including one on Piedmont Circle. Nine residential flat screen tv’s were stolen – being very honest with yourself – see if your set is visible through windows from the street. Don’t give these guys an invitation to break in to your home. Don’t think they are not out driving around at nite and looking for ones that can be easily seen.

Other News For Business Owners

– These tips are from Threat Management Consultants – www.threatmangment.net on the use of panic alarms. These should be placed discretely at the register, office and kitchen and where they cannot be hit accidentally. Mobile panic alarms should be used by the most mobile employee during business hours and at closing time two employees should be equipped – the person counting out the cash and another person elsewhere in the business in the event of a robbery. Care needs to be taken against accidental false alarms to avoid false alarm fines.

PEDS News

– PEDS is about to launch an upgrade to their website at www.PEDS.org The Take Action tool where you can report pedestrian hazards directly to the City of Atlanta responsible person will be expanded to allow pictures to be downloaded for a better report. April will be Feet on Atlanta month and PEDS will be asking for dangerous sidewalk conditions – but don’t wait til then to make a report, since we still have miles of bad sidewalks. Visit their website to learn about all their activities.

North Highland Avenue Streetscape Improvements

– The second phase of this project (centered around the south side of the Virginia Avenue intersection) is scheduled to begin February 20 with the bulk of the construction completed before Summerfest. Hope we can believe this schedule!

Springtime Special Events

– The ING Marathon is scheduled for Sunday, March 29th on the same route as last year – be prepared this year! Dogwood Festival returns to Piedmont Park on the 3rd weekend of April. The parking/traffic plan will be basically the same as instituted two years ago (which really worked) and will be coordinated by our own FBAC/APD Detective Chris Clark.

Recycling

– If you are using additional containers for your recycling other than the city issued black box or the new big blue cans, I have stickers on my front porch at 1054 Vance Avenue, that you can identify your ad hoc containers with so they will not be mistaken for regular trash. Just come by and get them from my porch.

Be alert and stay safe!!!!

John

Safety Team Report 2/7/09

My Bad Experience

This past week I had a personal computer crash, and I lost a lot of stored material. If you e-mailed me from 2/2 to 2/6 and have not gotten a response – please resend. Also, I lost a lot of names on our distribution list – so if you are a Street Captain and hopefully seeing this on our neighborhood yahoo groups – please contact me so I can get your address plugged in again. Hopefully, this will not happen again, as the computer guy who set up my new tower also installed a mozy backup system. This is what happens when you have an elderly technologically challenged person as your public safety chair.

North Highland Benches

The relatively new streetscape benches on North Highland Avenue are being vandalized and damzged by someone late at nite. If you have any knowledge of this destruction, please call 911 and make a report. These benches are expensive, and the civic association has already replaced the one in front of Moes and Joes.

Street Captains

The VaHi streets west of Monroe Drive are still not covered by Street Captains, and if you know someone who would be good candidates for Amsterdam Walk, Elmwood Drive, Cresthill Avenue, Orme Circle or Park Drive – please let me know at safety@vahi.org

Clean Car Campaign

This important initiative is being rolled out at the Monday, February 9th Midtown safety meeting at 7 at Redeemer Lutheran church at 4th and Peachtree Streets. We need to continually be reminding our city visitors and residents alike to keep cars cleaned out of “stuff”. Most of our smash and grabs here in VaHi seem to involve out-of-neighborhood visitors now – so that tells me our bars and restaurants need to be doing a better job of warning their patrons.

Crime reports from APD

The following crime stats for weeks 4 and 5 of 2009 are gleaned from our Zone 6 reports, with specific emphasis on our beat # 603, but news of surrounding areas as it affects us. As you read these, keep in mind how you can alter your daily routines to avoid being being a victim of crime.

Aggravated Assault – On 1/26 at 10 p.m. a North Highland female resident was struck in the face with a stick as she attempted to break up a fight between 2 men – one was arrested. I do not know who the victim was, but hope she was not seriously injured.

Auto Theft – Cars were stolen from PDL Place, Rosedale Drive, Virginia Circle, and a car on Virginia Avenue had the ignition damaged in a foiled attempt. A scooter was stolen from Frederica Street. Three more trailers were stolen – one from Rosedale Drive, one from Hillpine Drive in Morningside and one from Waverly Way in Inman Park. If you have a trailer – I would consider hiding it in the back yard if possible, rather than leaving it on the street or in
your driveway.

Commercial Burglary – Another unit was broken into at the Public Storage facility on Monroe Drive in Piedmont Heights. Cooks Warehouse in Amsterdam Walk was entered through a smashed glass front door. A flat screen tv set was stolen from the patio of the Diesel restaurant. Maddy Cakes on Piedmont Road was entered via a smashed side window, then from there the thieves broke through the interior wall into the Marvelous Dog store.

Commercial Robbery – My Dry Cleaner on Moreland Avenue in L5P was robbed on 1/29 at 3 p.m. with cash taken from the register. I understand this robber has been caught. At the PDL Avenue Kroger on 1/27 at 6:25 a.m. a perp approached an employee and demanded money from the register – the employee stated the register was not open, only the u-scan line being open. The perp gave him a dumbfounded look and walked out of the store.

Larceny From Auto – Cars were broken into on Amsterdam Avenue (2), Amsterdam Walk, Drewry Street, Los Angeles Avenue, PDL Avenue (2), and Virginia Avenue. Of these 8 smash and grabs – 7 of the car owners were from outside of VaHi. There was also a smash and grab in the Best Buy parking lot at Edgewood at 3 p.m. No – all of these incidents do not happen after dark. Around all of Zone 6 for these two weeks, there were 12 GPS systems taken, 4 in-dash stereo/radios ripped out, 3 license plates were taken off, one revolver added to the arsenal on the streets, and another incident of tires/wheels being taken off.

Larceny Other – A laptop was missing after a party at a Monroe Drive residence. At Highland Hardware a portable steel bridge and 20 steel drain grates were taken – more scrap metal thievery? The PDL Avenue Kroger and Publix stores caught 5 shoplifters and the Edgewood Target caught 5 also. The Edgewood Kroger also caught a male shoplifter with two bottles of champagne in his pants. A North Highland Avenue resident alleged a visitor took money from her residence. A locked bicycle was taken from the bike rack at the PDL Avenue Publix. On Virginia Avenue a Rolex watch was taken by a visitor to the apartment.

Pedestrian Robbery – An h/m was robbed at gunpoint on Lenox Road at 10 p.m. by two b/m. A female was robbed at gunpoint on 1/31 at 9:20 a.m. in the PDL Avenue Kroger parking lot. At the Edgewood Kroger parking lot on 1/27 at 2:50 a.m. an a/f was robbed by 3 b/m and 1 b/f – when she didn’t have any money – they took her groceries and fled by car.

Residential Burglary – On Virginia Avenue entry was made through an unsecured front door. All across Zone 6, 27 residences were entered via kicked-in doors.

Voice – Winter 2008-9

Download PDF here
Published November 2008

- 14th annual Tour of Homes
- President’s Corner
- Safety Update
- The Bus Stop, news from schools
- VHCA attemps to purchase former library lots, by Pamela Papner
- More delays for Phase II of VaHi streetscape improvements, by John Becker
- New elementary school to open in August 2009
- Neighborhood commercial (NC) zoning initiative gains momentum by John Peak and Pamela Papner
- VHCA 2008-2009 membership Q&A
- Street smart by Drew Baughman
- History of Virginia-Highland, Part I
- Buy a brick in the new VaHi park