Door Bell Ringers

We recently had a rash of reports of strangers at our front doors asking for donations or selling magazines for various reasons, and I hope that no one here got taken. This was quite obviously one of the rings that travel around to many cities, hit hard and leave. If this part of Atlanta was not successful for them, maybe we will be taken off the lists of good neighborhoods to hit at future dates.

I have also been informed that the Inman School will be having a magazine subscription drive and hopefully these kids will be wearing Inman t-shirts and have their parents in tow also and only be ringing doorbells on their immediate streets. If you are not interested in a magazine subscription, but would like to make a donation to the PTA you can send a check made out to Inman PTA and send it to Inman School, attn PTA, 774 Virginia Avenue, N.E., ATL 30306.

Interesting story about door bell ringers at http://www.miamiherald.com:80/2010/08/13/1774033/beware-of-that-neighbor-who-isnt.html This article underscores the distinct advantage we have here in VaHi with our Safety Team neighborhood watch in that you can know who your neighbors are and who is pulling your leg.

Voice – Fall 2010

Download PDF (1.5 MB)

- Summerfest success
- President’s Corner: VHCA achievements of past 12 months
- Historic designation interest survey results to be presented
- Atlanta’s oldest fire station seeks funds for renovation
- Green Dream – New Highland Park fundraising
- Osteria 832
- Gas main replacement project nears completion
- History part VIII
- Public safety update: city codes and code violators
- Java Jive
- 2010 Tour of Homes with Design Forum
- Membership

Crime reports

The following reports are gleaned from our Zone 6 crime stats for the weeks of 32 and 33 of 2010, with emphasis on our VaHi beat # 603, but with news from around the Zone as it applies to us. Zone 6 is experiencing a drop in criminal activity, thanx to the diligent folks working 24/7 to protect us – but this is no reason to drop your guard in protecting yourself, your property, friends, neighbors and family. When I cite facts for the whole Zone – remember that Zone 6 is huge – bordered on the north by I-85, on the east by the city limits (going into all parts of the city in DeKalb County), on the west by the BeltLine area, and going southward to the area around the Starlight Drive-in Theater on Moreland Avenue. Learn from these reports – granted, we are in a big city, and we can’t avoid all situations – but there are many that we can avoid too.

Auto Theft – Vehicles were stolen from Park Drive and Virginia Circle here – around the Zone three were 4 scooters stolen, some of them chained and locked.

Residential Burglary – none on our beat – but around the Zone in this time period, entry was made to residences via a kicked-in door eight times.

Larceny From Auto – Vehicles were entered on Rosedale Road, PDL Place, Virginia Avenue, Drewry Street, North Highland Avenue (2), and St. Charles Avenue. of these 7 reported incidents, 5 of the vehicle owners were VaHi residents, and two of these involved vehicles that were behind the owner’s houses. Just because you have off-street parking does not guarantee that you cannot be a victim (unfortunately). The best defense here is to keep your car cleaned out whenever and where-ever you park at any time of the day! In this time period all around the Zone, there were 9 PPS systems taken, two more handguns added to the arsenal on the street and one license plate taken off (not much you can do in this case – other than keep checking behind your car to make sure you still have a plate). Across Briarcliff Road in Beat # 605, there were three different vehicles hat had their hubcaps stolen in one nite.

Larceny Other – Another lawn care crew lost their locked equipment from the back of their truck in Morningside, and a similar theft involved a trailer and lawn care equipment from Amsterdam Avenue. Warn you lawn care guys!! A cell phone was taken from an un-named North Highland Avenue business. Our PDL Avenue Publix and Kroger stores reported 5 shoplifters, including a guy who ate a box of chicken and hid the box of bones (evidently not hidden well enough), a guy who stole once and got away, so came back in for more and got caught the 2nd time, and a woman in a power wheelchair. The Edgewood Target caught 4 non-paying visitors. Still lots of a/c thefts all over the Zone – copper is evidently still worth enough to go to all this work.

Commercial Robbery – the SunTrust branch in the PDL Publix store was robbed at 11:40 in the morning. The story of the Ansley Bank of America robbery on 8/19 is at http://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta/bank-near-ansley-mall-596046.html

Pedestrian Robbery – At 10:00 p.m. on Briarcliff Place, a female Virginia Avenue resident (evidently by herself) was grabbed from behind and lost her laptop and purse with the perp jumping into a car. A witness driving by followed the get-away vehicle, getting the tag # (thank you!). APD contacted the vehicle’s owner who said he had loaned it to a friend – the car was found later abandoned in Chamblee.

There were two such incidents in Inman Park in this time period – one of Colquitt Avenue at 10:15 p.m. with a male victim robbed at gunpoint. At Washita and Euclid Avenues at 11:45 p.m. two victims were robbed with a shotgun pointed at them. A witness in a car was slowing down to stop when the perp aimed the shotgun at his car, and shattered the rear window with a blast as the car sped away

Stay alert and keep you car cleaned out when parked!!

John

Graffiti News

Our anti-graffiti squad is really making headway at erasing this urban vandalistic painting from our streetscapes by asking commercial property owners to please remove this defacement, and just being out there on a regular basis painting over or erasing paint from public property spots such as utility poles, traffic signs, etc and they are to be commended from all of us. If you have questions as to how to join in, e-mail the team co-captains Laura Voisinet and Victoria Hathcox at graffiti@vahi.org or check removal tips, etc at http://vhgraffiti.pbworks.com Other graffiti info available at www.keepatlantabeautiful.org and scroll down to the “graffiti hurts” section

Interesting article about Inman Park graffiti at http://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta/in-inman-park-not-596437.html as to some after-effects stemming from the Urban Walls event last weekend.

National Night Out Event Recap

I always knew that some year we would get rained out – and this was the year!! We were off to a rousing start – a good crowd (in spite of the heat and stifling humidity). lots of Zone 6 personnel, two mounted policemen, our AFR Station # 19 firefighters, good music, good food from Whole Foods, several politico reps – and then the rain and lightning came, and it was over.

Thanx to our co-chairs – Joy Rousso and Max Alligood, all of the community volunteers, including Susan Longley from the Garrison after-school program, our business sponsors – Whole Foods (for the 3rd year) , CVS North Highland, Glamour Paws, Intown Animal Hospital, Bark Busters and City Storage. Thanx also to Virginia Highland Church for the loan of tables and chairs, musicians Tom Wilner and Westin Taylor, and to Jeff Ferguson at City Storage for the loan of a U-Haul and muscle for moving the tables and chairs. In spite of the outcome – a textbook example of community partnering to achieve a goal.

I am now petitioning to move the City of Atlanta National Night Out event to October next year when we have more hospitable weather conditions – stay tuned for this.

Crime reports

The following crime reports are gleaned from our Zone 6 stats from weeks 28 and 29 for 2010 with emphasis on our VaHi Beat # 603, but with news from around the Zone as it applies to us. As I always state, these are not meant to scare anyone, but to make you aware and increase your alertness as to what happens around us everyday.

Aggravated Assault – A lone male sitting on the curb in the 600 block of North Avenue at 2 a.m. was attacked by a stranger – no visible injuries. Need I say anything about sitting on a curb at 2 a.m. by yourself? A lone male was discovered down on the sidewalk in the 600 block of PDL Avenue at 3 a.m. with visible injuries – he was taken to Grady by EMT.

Auto Theft – A Honda Accord was stolen from Virginia Avenue and a motorcycle stolen on St. Charles Avenue. All around Zone 6 in this time period there were 10 motorcycles/scooters stolen. These can be loaded up in the back of a pickup truck in seconds – watch where you park. Speaking of this – there was a pickup truck with a bike in the back stolen on Cheshire Bridge Road – somebody got two for one in this theft. On Thomasville Boulevard, S.E. in the far southern part of the Zone, a Grady EMS van was taken while the medics were on a call – it was found nearby crashed into a ditch.

Auto Theft Recovery – A suspicious vehicle 911 call from Virginia Circle resulted in a stolen vehicle being found.

Residential Burglary – A PDL Avenue condo was entered via a broken front door glass with 5 flat-screen tv’s being taken – 5 tv sets in one condo? All around Zone 6 in this time period, 8 residences were entered via kicked-in doors – can your outside doors withstand a good hard, booted kick?

Commercial Burglary – Another ATM was stolen from the American Deli at the Edgewood Retail District – with a pickup truck at 3 a.m.

Larceny From Auto – Vehicles were broken into on Greenwood Avenue (2), PDL Avenue (2), Cresthill Avenue, Virginia Avenue, and Bonaventure Avenue. Of these 7 reported incidents – 4 of the owners were from outside of VaHi, which means that 3 more of our neighbors have learned the hard way about leaving stealables visible in their vehicles. When will we ever make everyone aware of this danger? In this 2 week time period all over the Zone, there were TWELVE more GPS systems stolen, one more weapon added to the arsenal on the street, one license plate decal ripped off, 8 laptops taken and in yet another instance, nothing was taken on one report. In a LaVista Road parking garage, a BMW was jacked up and all 4 tires/rims taken off – guess somebody had an order to fill. And there is a Hall County deputy sheriff who had some explaining to do, in that their car was broken into about midnite on Glenwood Avenue, S.E. and taken was her badge, pistol, a box of ammo, purse, wallet, car keys, a gas card and credit/debit cards. Would you not think that a deputy (even from Hall County) would know enough not to leave all that gear in their car?

Larceny Other – A Briarcliff Summit resident accused his in-home health care provider with stealing items from his apartment. At this same PDL Avenue address, the perp took building materials from the grounds, he was tracked down and claimed he thought they were trash. The stolen materials were not trash and he was arrested. A wallet was taken from a backpack at an unnamed business on PDL Avenue.

At the now infamous Room Service Lounge on Piedmont Circle in Piedmont Heights, a patron was involved in an altercation inside the club and was thrown out – the club security video tape showed the security person take property off the victim and give it to an accomplice. This amazes me – he claimed he lost a $25,000 chain and $7000 in cash – both of which were payment for producing a rap song for rapper “Gucci Mane”. If I ever had $7000 in cash – I sure would not have it on my person late at nite on Piedmont Circle!

The metal thieves are still at work – lots of a/c units reported stolen all around the Zone.

Pedestrian Robbery – At 12:30 a.m. on St. Charles Avenue, a resident who was walking home reported that he woke up on the ground minus his I-pod, wallet and laptop. If you know folks who walk solo late at nite – PLEASE warn them of the dangers of this practice!

South of here at midnite in the 900 block of North Avenue, a female pedestrian was approached from behind by a male perp who demanded her purse as he grabbed her – she screamed (naturally), bit his hand (good for her) and he fled on foot as a witness came to her aid.

Remember the Clean Car Campaign, and please remind your visitors and neighbors to do the same. The less time that our beat officers have to spend writing up these reports – the more time they can devote to patrolling and preventing crime from happening.

Enjoy your summer and stay alert!

John

Upcoming Races to Register For

Atlanta’s Finest 5K Race on August 7th to benefit the Atlanta Police Foundation – info at http://www.atlantapolicefoundation.org/AtlantasFinest5K.aspx The new Morningside Mile Race to benefit our AFR Station 19′s planned renovation efforts on September 19th – register at www.active.com or www.Running4Fitness.com Also don’t forget Station # 19′s neat new t-shirts on sale at the Station house.

Crime reports

The following report is gleaned from our Zone 6 crime stats for 3 weeks this time – weeks 25, 26 and 27 for 2010 – with emphasis on VaHi beat 603, but with news from around the Zone as it applies to us. As I always state – these reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to make you aware of what happens around us everyday so you can avoid some situations.

Aggravated Assault – Two females in a fight at a Cheshire Bridge Road club resulted in both of them being arrested.

Auto Theft – A car was stolen from a PDL Avenue parking lot. All around Zone 6 in this 3 week time period there were six scooters stolen, including one from St. Charles Avenue. At a Cheshire Bridge Road club, two males were buying drinks for a female, who ended up waking up at Atlanta Medical Center, and finding out her purse and car were gone.

Residential Burglary – A Virginia Circle apartment was entered via an unlocked back door. Lots of outside a/c units and copper wire and pipe continue to be taken around the Zone. All around Zone 6 in this 3 week time period, entry was made to homes via a kicked-in door 6 times. I just recently had my original 1920′s front door lock replaced with a long dead bolt – I feel much better now. Could your door lock withstand a good hard booted kick?

Commercial Burglary – The Atlanta Boy Choir home was entered with no forced entry – an employee believes he left keys on the counter at the 30306 post office.

Larceny From Auto – Cars were entered on Highland Terrace (nothing taken), Drewry Street, Greenwood Avenue (3), Virginia Circle, Cresthill Avenue, North Highland Avenue (2), PDL Avenue (2), St. Charles Avenue (3), Briarcliff Place, Kanuga Street, Rosedale Drive (decal taken), Clemont Drive, and Virginia Avenue. Of these 19 incidents – only 7 of the owners were from outside VaHi. In addition to warning your visitors of the dangers of leaving items in cars – warn your neighbors. We’re still not getting the idea of a clean car campaign across to our own neighbors. All around Zone 6 in this 3 week time period there were TWENTY GPS systems taken, 3 license plate/decals taken off, 4 catalytic converters sawed off, and three more handguns added to the arsenal already on the streets and once again – one report of nothing taken.

Larceny Other – A purse was taken from a St. Charles Avenue front porch while the owner was inside taking a nap. A PDL Terrace resident lost her purse while shopping at a Buckhead store – the perp bumped up against her and took her wallet out of her purse. The PDL Avenue Blockbuster reported 2 shoplifters who escaped. A locked bicycle was taken from a rack on Virginia Avenue and another bicycle stolen from Greenwood Avenue. A wallet was taken from a locker at an Ansley gym. At the SunTrust in the PDL Avenue Publix – fraudulent checks for $73,848 were deposited into a fraudulent account opened for a fake business. I’m surprised at SunTrust not checking businesses more thoroughly for legitimacy. Somebody must have been a smooth talker. Our PDL Avenue Kroger and Publix stores caught 5 non-payers. An unwatched purse was taken from a shopping cart at an unnamed store at the Edgewood Retail District. Two patrons at Manuels Tavern ran up a bill of $69.85 and could not pay – they were arrested. Another job opening at the Edgewood Target after a cashier was caught un-ringing sales. A Target “customer” filled up a Target bag with goods – then took it to the return counter for a cash refund – when they were refused a refund they tried to leave the store with the bagful and were arrested.

Commercial Robbery – At our beloved and beleaguered Ben & Jerry’s store on North Highland Avenue, a w/m came in at 11:00 p.m. asking for free ice cream. When this request was turned down he asked for free water and while the employee was getting him some water he took the cash from the tip jar. The employee confronted the guy about this and the perp pulled a knife out and fled the store. Glad the employee was not hurt.

Commercial Burglary – A lock was broken off a storage unit for entry at the Public Storage on Kanuga Street.

Pedestrian Robbery – At the Exxon parking lot at Piedmont and Monroe at 11:20 p.m. a wallet was taken from the victim’s pocket after being elbowed in the head – a witness followed the perp and he was caught. The victim had no visible injuries, but was taken to Grady anyway. On Rosedale Drive at 12:30 a.m. a lone male pedestrian had been followed by the perp and in front of the victim’s condo building the perp demanded the contents of his pockets. The victim yelled (naturally!!) and the perp hit him in the head with an unknown object. The victim lost his cell phone and cash. Need I say anything else about walking solo late at night?

Joshua Geller, our Zone 6 Community Prosecutor, reports that the perp from a 5/7 kicked-in door burglary on Reeder Circle in Morningside was sentenced to 5 years in prison with 15 years probation after release. A neighbor witnessed the incident and took down the tag number of the get-away car. Our own Investigator Gurley went to the address belonging to the reported car and waited for the perp to come home – he did and he was arrested.

Don’t forget to let your trusted neighbors know of your vacation plans, stop the mail and the newspaper, and travel safely.

Enjoy your summer and stay alert!

John

Crime reports

The following incident reports are gleaned from our Zone 6 crime stats for weeks 23 and 24 of 2010, with emphasis on our Beat # 603, but with news from all around the Zone as it applies to us here. Again, I state, these reports are not meant to scare anyone – but to alert you as to what happens around us everyday

Aggravated Assault – At PDL Avenue and Freedom Parkway at 5:30 p.m. an umbrella was the weapon of choice in an altercation between 2 females – a male companion stepped in to separate them and he was struck by the umbrella also. One female was arrested.

Auto Theft – Vehicles were stolen from Elkmont Drive, Brookridge Drive and Bellevue Drive.

Auto Theft Recovery – one of the cars used in the attempted ATM theft at North Highland Avenue and Amsterdam was found via an abandoned car 911 call on Bellevue Drive. Two stolen vehicles were recovered as a result by some of Zone 6s finest following these vehicles in the early morning hours of 6/8 – resulting in the arrest of 8 individuals on Piedmont Avenue and North Highland Avenue at University. These were the 4 handcuffed guys many of you saw that morning sitting on the curb awaiting the paddy wagon. Burglary tools were also confiscated from these vehicles. The Gang Squad also assisted Zone 6 in these arrests.

Commercial Burglary – The PDL Avenue Moe’s was entered via a broken out front glass door.

Larceny From Auto – Vehicles were broken into on Virginia Avenue, Los Angeles Avenue, Kanuga Street, PDL Place, St. Charles Avenue, Greenwood Avenue and Bonaventure Avenue. Of these 7 incidents – 6 of the owners were from outside VaHi. All around total Zone 6 in this time period – there were seven GPS systems taken, 3 license plates taken off, one hand gun stolen, 2 in-dash radios ripped out, and once again – one reported incident stated nothing was taken. A battery was taken from under the hood on Moreland Avenue, S.E. and the chrome steps taken from a Ford F-150 pick-up truck in Candler Park.

A North Avenue resident thinks a white van followed him from the bank and broke into his vehicle in a PDL Avenue parking lot – taking his $2000 cash withdrawal. Be VERY alert on your banking trips, keeping track of everything going on around you as you come and go.

Larceny Other – An Ansley Golf Club member lost his clothes, wallet, etc to a locker room thief. Thanx to their surveillance cameras – the thief was identified, the credit card issuer was called, finding that the thief was at Ansley Mall having a “shopping trip” where he was arrested. Another locker room thief at the Ansley Mall L A Fitness was not caught. The PDL Avenue Blockbuster store had two shoplifters get away. A locked bicycle was taken from a North Highland Avenue rack. An artificial plant was taken from the front porch of a PDL Place residence. The PDL Avenue Kroger and Publix stores caught 9 non-payers, including one guy caught in the restroom drinking a 6 pack of Smirnoff Ice. The PDL Avenue Rite-Aid store caught a guy using after shave with no money to pay for it – he was arrested. This same store also caught a cashier voiding transactions and pocketing the cash – I would assume there is a job opening there now. At an un-named North Highland Avenue restaurant in Poncey Highland two outside diners had their cell phones taken by two perps who reached over the fence and grabbed them – escaping in a vehicle. Urban Outfitters on PDL Avenue caught a shoplifter. The Kroger at Edgewood caught a shoplifter leaving the store with a whole grocery cart full of merchandise.

The attachment to this Report is the AGL construction schedule for next week in VaHi and Morningside – use it to alter your driving trips if possible.

Stay alert and stay safe!!

John

Movies by Glamour Paws in New Highland Park

The North Highland Avenue pet store, Glamour Paws, is sponsoring two free movies in the new parkland at North Highland at St. Charles Place on 6/19 and 6/26 at about 8 – cleverly enough, both are dog movies. This will be a neat family event – walk to the park and enjoy an evening with your neighbors and family pets.

Sewage spill into Rosedale Road lots

Thanx to Rosedale Road residents David Brandenberger and Tom Spach for their relentless phone calls wading through the watershed management bureaucracies of DeKalb County and the City of Atlanta to bring an end to the raw sewage spill behind the east-side homes on their street, and enlisting the help of reporter Lesley Tanner of Channel 46.

The Suspicious Person on Orme Circle

Since I made the report about this mid-eastern or light-skinned b/m lurking in his black pick-up truck in the pre-dawn hours on both sides of Monroe Drive, thanx to an alert resident, we now know a license plate number – BW392A – and also know that he has been spotted in the evening hours also. Our Zone 6 commander, Major Dalton, asks that anyone spotting this guy make a suspicious person 911 call immediately. Our beat officers have been informed about this activity.

City Hall East Graffiti

In case you have not yet been on PDL Avenue lately and seen the disgusting graffiti defacement on 3 sides of the tower – the building was entered one night late last week by an unknown number of vandals, who managed to get to the top of the building and must have spent several hours up there doing their dirty work. The City though has responded quickly and is in the process of enacting the following steps – they are soliciting bids for the paint removal, the underbrush is to be removed on the PDL Avenue side of the parking garage, an additional private security person is being added on all three shifts for patrol inside and outside, the fence along the BeltLine side of the building is being repaired and enhanced (razor wire I hope), the a/c, as well as interior lighting, is to be turned off to make the interior less desirable for camping, and Zone 5 will now make hourly visual checks and will issue criminal trespass warnings or make arrests as needed. I have always worried about fire in this building and hopefully these security measures will minimize the chances of this happening now, and minimize the risk to we the taxpayers until the final sale of this building is completed. It is a shame though, that this graffiti attack had to happen to enact these security changes.

Speaking of graffiti – don’t forget the organizational meeting of our local Graffiti Team at the Warren City Club on North Highland Avenue at 7 on the 23rd. Your help is needed to battle this growing scourge on our city-scape. Direct any questions to graffiti@vahi.org

Yet Another Scam to Be Aware Of

There have to be some people who lay awake at night trying to think of ways to run scams. I just got the following e-mail from Joe McCoy telling me about this cash redistribution method I was not aware of – though after checking this afternoon I found that it is going on in various places around the metro area. Joe stated he was approached in the Midtown Promenade shopping center parking lot that past Sunday by 2 w/m in their mid 20s to early 30s who “were trying to get rid opf some home audio equipment”. He states that they were following the script described as the “White Van Speaker scam” as described in this Wikipedia article at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_van_speaker_scam These particular guys were driving a late model hunter green Toyota Forerunner.

Speaking of scams – I haven’t heard anything at all lately about our infamous guy standing by the roadside flagging down cars, guess he has gone on to other neighborhoods for a while. The same with the guy who offers to repair your car after you can’t get it started in a parking lot, as well as the guys selling meat out of the back of their pickup truck. Hopefully they have all given up on this part of the city.

Crime reports

Recent Crime News

The melee at last week’s Screen on the Green story at http://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta/chaos-at-thursdays-screen-544535.html

Midtown Promenade break-ins story at http://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta/flat-screen-thieves-hit-543191.html

VaHi ATM theft attempt at http://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta/thieves-ram-but-cant-542720.html

Saturday’s killings on Piedmont Road at http://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta/victims-of-piedmont-road-542569.html Major Dalton states that a warrant is out for one of the killers in this case.

I received a lot of eyewitness e-mail reports about seeing a group of hand-cuffed arrestees sitting on the North Highland Avenue curb in Morningside early Tuesday morning surrounded by APD guys in Gang Unit shirts. I have not yet heard anything about this scenario – but know that the Gang Unit has been looking for thugs that have been breaking into stores.

The following crime reports are gleaned from the Zone 6 crime stats for weeks # 21 and 22 of 2010 – with emphasis on our Beat # 603, but with news from all over the Zone as it applies to us. Again, I state, these reports are not meant to scare anyone – but to alert you to what happens around us everyday so you can take steps to keep yourself safer.

Aggravated Assault – At the Room Service Lounge on Piedmont Circle at 2:30 a.m. two groups of patrons had an altercation with the victim being hit in the head with a bottle. Zone 6 has to spend a lot of time at this establishment taking care of problems.

Auto Theft – Just as the responding officer got a call about an auto theft at the Virginia Highland apartments on Virginia Avenue – he also got a call about an abandoned auto that matched the description of the stolen one. The steering column was broken, but the owner got the car back right away.

Residential Burglary – A Barnett Street apartment was robbed with an unknown method of entry.

Commercial Burglary – A landscaper lost two blowers from his unwatched trailer while he worked on St. Charles Avenue – please warn the guys that are doing work at your house to secure all their tools, and equipment while they are working or they may very well lose them.

Larceny From Auto – Vehicles were broken into on Kentucky Avenue, Bonaventure Avenue (this perp was caught in the car), North Highland Avenue (2), Rosedale Road, Virginia Avenue (2), St. Augustine Place, PDL Avenue (3), PDL Place, Amsterdam Walk, St. Charles Avenue and Highland Lane. Of these 15 incidents – 11 of the victims were from outside of VaHi. All around Zone 6 in this time period 5 in-dash radios were ripped out, SIXTEEN GPS systems were stolen, 2 more hand guns added to the arsenal on our streets, one license plate taken off, all 4 tires taken off one car, and yet again two reports stated nothing was taken. Two of the vehicle break-in victims in the Zone were folks who you would think would know not to leave the tools of their trade visible in their cars – one was a corrections officer and another a Homeland Security officer. I guess both of them had some explaining to do to their superiors after losing weapons, badges, handcuffs, etc. Some thugs is going to wreak havoc with these items.

The most unusual item stolen in the Zone in this time period was a package of Depends from a car on Van Vleck Avenue, S.E. – guess that thief had a personal problem.

Larceny Other – A bicycle was taken from a bike rack on North Highland Avenue. Paris on Ponce had a statue stolen from their back patio along the BeltLine. Another bicycle was stolen on Barnett Street – but the thief was found and arrested. A plant was stolen from a back porch on PDL Place. On Drewry Street, an evicted tenant accused the landlord of stealing some of his possessions from the porch. At a bank on Cheshire Bridge Road the victim left his unwatched wallet at the teller’s counter and it was stolen. On 5/19 at 9:20 a.m. in a Morningside North Highland Avenue parking lot two males came up behind a business person and took the bank bag with 2 day’s cash receipts of $5602. Please, please – hide those bank deposit bags to and from the bank.

The PDL Avenue Kroger and Publix stores caught 3 shoplifters and the Target at Edgewood caught 6 non-paying “customers”.

Yet another beer delivery truck lost some suds on Eastland Road, S.E. – the lock was broken this time to make entry into the truck.

Pedestrian Robbery – A lone male victim was robbed of his backpack, camera and cash at 4:30 a.m. by another lone male at the corner of North Avenue and Freedom Parkway – no weapon used, just physical and verbal force.

I have not gotten any reports of any serious problems at Summerfest – hope everyone enjoyed themselves this past weekend. Thanx to all the volunteers who made the festival a success yet again.

Stay alert and start summer by being safe.

John

Our New Graffiti TaskForce

This group has an organizational meeting planned for June 23rd at 7 at the Warren City Club on North Highland Avenue atop the Dark Horse at 7 p.m. A plan will be developed and work teams assembled to fight this thoughtless urban vandalism this is becoming more prevalent here. If you are interested in helping with this effort – make plans to attend and ask questions at graffiti@vahi.org

Our Front Doorstep Package Thieves

I continue to get reports of the thefts of FedEx/UPS packages. I know I am preaching to the choir if you are reading this – but please alert your neighbors to utilize the free safe delivery address service offered by Highland Wine and Crystal, Intown Hardware, City Storage and Urban Body to thwart these thieves that roam our streets looking for packages to steal. Even though I get reports of these thefts – they don’t show up on our Zone 6 crime stat reports – which tells me these thefts are not being reported to APD. These 911 calls also serve another purpose, in that APD resources are deployed to areas with the most 911 calls – so yes, it is worth taking the time to make 911 reports.

Suspicious Person on Orme Circle

I have received two reports of a male in a black pick-up truck lurking in the early morning hours (4:30 to 5:30) in the vicinity of Orme Circle and Park Drive. He is described as having black hair, a broad face and body build and appears to be either Middle Eastern or light-skinned African-American. No reports of criminal activity yet – but what is someone doing parked at that corner at that time of morning? Zone 6 has been alerted – if you are up at that time of morning and see him – please make a suspicious person 911 call and let Zone 6 find out what he is doing.

AFR Station # 19 Open House

I had been hearing about the planned renovation efforts for our VaHi Firehouse – but had no idea how big of a project it will be til Firefighter Ian Allum made a presentation at the VaHi  monthly meeting Monday evening.  Ian was accompanied by the architect with her drawings – this ambitious project will restore the building to essentially how it looked in the late 1920′s.  I knew that there was some termite and rot damage to the building – but again did not realize how serious this damage was and how much has to be done to stabilize the structure and make it last for another 80 some years, til Ian made his pitch.  I’m sure many of you already know Ian – as he is the storyteller.

There will be an open house this Saturday from noon til 4 where you can meet the architect, see the plans and the damage that has to be corrected.  You’ve got to make time this Saturday to attend this event at Atlanta’s oldest functioning fire station to meet Ian, and also to see the 1925 American LaFrance fire truck that he has bought to keep at the station.  There will also be a brand new 85th Anniversary t-shirt for sale that features a 1920′s picture of # 19.  They are terrific!

If you are in a group that is looking for a cause to support – this might be your answer.  All donations towards this project go through the Atlanta Fire Foundation which is a 501c3 group.

On a related subject, Kelvin Cochran, is to be our Fire Chief again – http://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta/cochran-to-return-as-544493.html

Crime reports

The following crime incidents for weeks 19 and 20 of 2010, are gleaned from our APD Zone 6 crime stats – with emphasis on our Beat 603, but with news from all around the Zone as it applies to us. Again, I repeat, these reports are not meant to scare anyone – but to raise your level of awareness as to what happens around us everyday and to hopefully let you avoid some situations.

Auto Theft – A scooter was taken from Rosedale Drive, and a Drewry Street resident lost his car on Wildwood Road when he left the keys under the front seat. South of us at a gas station on Moreland Avenue, a customer left his car running while he went into the convenience store and guess what happened? All around the Zone in this time period there were 26 stolen car reports.

Auto Theft Recovery – An abandoned vehicle 911 call resulted in a stolen being recovered on Virginia Avenue.

Aggravated Assault – At the Room Service club parking lot on Piedmont Circle in Piedmont Heights a shooting incident left the victim with 3 shots to his head – he was taken to Grady and no word as to his condition. Again I state this was the club that told us at NPU when they were applying for a liquor license that they were going to be a “family oriented” restaurant.

Residential Burglary – A St. Charles Avenue apartment was entered via a broken window. A PDL Place residence was broken in – but no report as to the entry method. A Drewry Street residence was entered via an unlocked side door. And in Candler Park a residence was entered via their doggy door – remember these crack-heads are skinny guys and they can squeeze through small places. All around Zone 6 in this time period 10 houses and one tool shed was entered via kicked-in doors.

Commercial Burglary The Moe’s Restaurant on PDL Avenue was entered via broken glass in the side door.

Commercial Robbery – The Pawn Mart on Cheshire Bridge Road was robbed of cash and jewelry.

Larceny From Vehicle – Vehicles were broken into on Frederica Street, Virginia Avenue (2), North Highland Avenue, Los Angeles Avenue, a workman’s truck was broken into on Virginia Circle and PDL Avenue (2). One of the PDL Avenue incidents was in a parking lot involving a guy who stated he was drunk and sleeping it off in his car when someone entered and stole his cell phone from his pocket. At least, I guess, he was not driving while drunk. Of these 8 reported incidents – 6 of the owners were from outside of VaHi. All around Zone 6 in this time period – along with all the usual stolen I-pods, laptops, etc there were 5 GPS systems taken, 4 license plates taken off (keep checking to make sure you have a plate), 6 radios/stereos ripped out, and two more hand guns added to the arsenal already out there on the streets. Also another beer truck lost a case of brews on PDL Avenue while making a delivery. Wouldn’t you think rule number 1 would be to always keep a beer truck locked?

Larceny Other – A bicycle was taken from a St. Charles Avenue front porch. On PDL Place plants and decorative objects were taken from the back porch. Our PDL Avenue Kroger and Publix stores caught 2 shoplifters – the Edgewood Target store caught two shoplifters and an employee who was stealing gift cards. A guy was seen pushing a cart full of metal storm drains and other scrap metal – but he got away. Speaking of scrap metal – A/C units continue to be stolen around the Zone. And I could not pass up letting you know this story – at the infamous Intown Suites Motel on Piedmont Circle – a female victim reported that the male suspect called her an “ugly whore” and that he left with $600 of her cash. There has to be more to this story than what was written up by the responding officer – use your imagination here.

Pedestrian Robbery – A 37 y/o male victim from Chicago stated that 2 males offered him a ride to his hotel from a nightclub. The suspects stopped their car in a Briarcliff Road parking lot and robbed their passenger at gunpoint. The victim took a taxi back to his hotel and reported the incident to Zone 5.

When I was at the Edgewood Retail District yesterday I saw a Zone 6 officer on a bicycle patrolling this parking lot. This is good news for shoppers at this popular center. I also see that work has finally begun to construct the long-awaited sidewalk in front of the new CVS store on PDL Avenue – watch for the orange construction barrels in the roadway.

While you are out walking – please make a special effort to pick up litter and trash before we welcome the world to VaHi for Summerfest. Let our visitors see the neat and clean neighborhood we are proud to call home.

We are still in need of a lead person to take charge of our National Night Event – a neat family event – on the 2nd Tuesday in August. We now have 2 years of experience and track record making planning this year much easier than previous years. I’d hate to call this event off for lack of a lead person in charge. Let me know if you have questions and would like to step up for the neighborhood.

Enjoy Summerfest and all that spring has to offer in the great city by being aware of your surroundings.

John

A Warm and Fuzzy Story

Last Sunday morning, an Australian visitor to VaHi relatives lost his wallet with his passport, trip spending money, credit cards, etc on a bicycle trip to Piedmont Park. There lost wallet was found by a good soul who called the Australian bank to get U.S. contact info and turned over the wallet and all contents to a very relieved young man. Isn’t it nice to confirm that all folks on the street are not thugs and thieves?

New FBAC Website Now Online

Thanx to Brian Gross for stepping forward to assist Beth Marks in getting the word out about our off-duty subscription VaHi police patrol – Fight Back Against Crime. Their new website is at www.fbacvahi.com Please visit this site to find answers to your questions about how this patrol operates and use handy pay-pal to join up. The website also has a listing of their patrol activities for all of 2009 – these guys are busy adding another layer of protection for the neighborhood, and looking out for the member’s homes and property.

Additional Street Lights for Security

The Civic Association has allocated some monies to fund some additional street lights in dark areas where there has been excessive criminal activity – mainly car-break-ins. I would like to have 6 VaHi locations to try out this program and so therefore I need suggestions as to where to try extra lighting – hopefully in public areas where there are already existing wood utility poles, but this is not a hard and fast criteria. Please e-mail to me your suggested locations and I am going to ask our Beat 603 Officer Cooper to be the judge of the best sites to begin with.

Graffiti TaskForce Ready to Take Action

I am pleased to announce that we now have the core team ready to take action against this urban vandalism that is becoming more prevalent here in our neighborhood. The goal is to 1. work with city agencies to manage and reduce graffiti 2. ask merchants/building owners to promptly remove graffiti 3. ask community members to actively report, watch for and help clean graffiti. Moving forward – this group plans to have a kick-off meeting (planned for June) but with immediate communication with volunteers as of next week. This group will also issue reports with listings of graffiti locations, clean-up activities and community updates. To join up, simply e-mail graffiti@vahi.org with the subject line “volunteer” and you will be added to the distribution list. There already has been a lot of interest in controlling this criminal activity before it becomes worse.

Crime reports

The following incident reports are gleaned from our Zone 6 crime stats for weeks 17 and 18 of 2010, with emphasis on our Beat # 603, but with news from around the Zone as it applies to us – learn from these reports and avoid problems.

Aggravated Assault – A 3:30 a.m. altercation in the parking lot of the Room Service Lounge on Piedmont Circle resulted in the victim being taken to Grady Hospital. I remember when this establishment was asking for approval of their liquor license at NPU – they stated they would be a “family-oriented” restaurant.

Auto Theft – Unsuccessful theft attempts were made twice on Greenwood Avenue – the owners nonetheless still had to repair a broken steering column and an ignition switch.

Residential Burglary – An unlocked tool shed was entered on Monroe Drive. Across Zone 6 entry to 5 residences was made via kicked-in doors.

Commercial Burglary – The CVS store at Ansley was entered again via a smashed-out front glass door – no drugs taken, just 3 flat-screen tv sets. The One-Stop Dry Cleaners on PDL Avenue was entered via a broken out ventilation fan, and only change was missing.

Larceny from Auto – Vehicles were entered at Amsterdam Walk, Amsterdam Avenue (2), Greenwood Avenue, Glen Arden Way, Virginia Circle, St. Charles Avenue, Rosedale Road, Kanuga Street, Barnett Street, and on North Highland Avenue a Greenwood Avenue resident lost her remote at this location and she drove home with the thief evidently following her and entering her vehicle with the remote key. Of these 11 incidents – 7 of the owners were local residents, and not naive suburbanites. What should I be doing to alert our residents to the dangers of leaving items in their cars? We all have to pay higher insurance rates due to their carelessness.

Across Zone 6 in this time period there were TWENTY GPS systems stolen, 2 license plates taken off, two incidents of tires and wheels taken off, two more hand guns put in the hands of amateurs, 3 radios ripped out, and yet again – nothing taken in two incident reports.

At 9 p.m. at a Cheshire Bridge Road un-named business a bank deposit bag containing $1000 was left in the driver’s seat – and guess what happened?

Larceny Other – Amazingly enough, nothing reported in 603 – but on Moreland Avenue the victim met the suspect to sell him a cell phone from a Craig’s List ad – the suspect grabbed that phone along with another cell phone and fled in a car. Use Craig’s List with a lot of caution. Urban Outfitters on PDL Avenue caught a shoplifter and our PDL Avenue supermarkets, Kroger and Publix, reported 4 shoplifters – including a guy with 16 bars of soap in his pants.

Pedestrian Robbery – At 11:50 p.m. in the Ansley Mall parking lot – a female victim was approached as she was entering her car by a perp who put a gun in her back – he stole her car and fled followed by the car he came in. At 10:30 p.m. on Bonaventure Avenue in Poncey-Highland a lone male pedestrian was robbed at knifepoint of his cash. Again at Ansley at 1:00 p.m. on a busy Saturday – the female victim with $600 in her bank deposit bag was approached from behind by the perp who grabbed her bag and fled in a car. Business owners – PLEASE make sure you and your employees hide those deposit bags going to and from the bank – you ARE being watched.

Commercial Robbery – At the L5P Starbucks on Moreland Avenue at 9:30 p.m. a lone b/m robber demanded the employees open the safe – the employees ran out the back door instead followed by the would-be robber who fled on foot.

Stay alert to your surroundings and enjoy spring in Atlanta!

John

Yet Another Door-to-Door Story

Morningside has reported a new angle on door-to-door sales technique and product. This concerns a slim b/m in his early twenties with lots of tattoos, stating he is an ex-gang member, and is now selling bottles of cleaning solution out of a red duffle bag. He also has a towel with him for cleaning demonstrations. The bottles are priced at $39.95 each – or buy two and get one free (what a deal!!). These reports have come from Northview Avenue, Wessyngton Road and Cumberland Road. You know the drill by now – either yell through your door telling him to leave/ ask to see his city permit (which I would doubt he has), and or/call 911 with a physical description and which way he is headed after leaving your home. This scam has been around a long, long time – I will have to admit I fell for this back in the 80′s and bought a bottle of this stuff, finding out later it was no more effective than a bottle of Windex. I would assume this is some sort of a pyramid scheme. Also remember that door-to-door solicitations are unlawful after 8 p.m.

First Quarter 2010 Narcotics Arrests

These arrests do not show up on the regular weekly Beat # 603 crime stats –

Glen Arden Way – 2/14 – possession of marijuana Virginia Avenue – 3/27 – possession of marijuana

Virginia Avenue – 3/27 – possession of marijuana PDL Avenue – 2/18 – possession of marijuana

PDL Place – 2/7 – possession of marijuana PDL Avenue – 3/16 – possession of other controlled substance

Bonaventure Avenue – 1/9 – possession of cocaine PDL Avenue – 3/16 – possession of cocaine

PDL Avenue – 2/8 – possession of marijuana Greenwood Avenue – 3/16 – possession of cocaine

PDL Avenue – 2/8 – possession of other controlled substance Virginia Avenue – 3/27 – possession of marijuana

BeltLine Cleanups

Thanx to all of the folks who volunteered to help with the Earth Day BeltLine cleanups in our area – the 4th Ward Park area, here in VaHi and in the Ansley Mall area. This entire area is now walkable (with some caution), but is not a no-man’s land anymore. As you walk this area now, take a plastic bag along, pick up urban litter as you go and help keep the right-of-way clean as we all have a responsibility for this public property. Thanx also to the Piedmont Park Conservancy for cleaning the Park Drive bridge area the week before. There will be a project this Sunday, May 2nd to do prep work to prepare for Art on the BeltLine – meet at 1 p.m. on Somerset Terrace next to Barking Hound. Sign up at Hands on Atlanta at http://www.handsonatlanta.org/projects/viewProject.php?_mode=occurrenceView&_action=load&ixActivity=83708

The PDL Terrace House Fire

The 4/19 fire at 845 PDL Terrace served as an example of what a great neighborhood we have, in that caring neighbors rallied to locate and contact the newly-wed residents on their honeymoon in Bermuda, boarded up and secured the house afterwards, arranged temporary housing at the Gaslight Inn on St. Charles Avenue and watched the house til the owners returned. Quick response from our AFR Station # 19 minimized the structural damage.

This tragedy also served to emphasize the importance of getting to know your neighbors and to having a contact directory for your street. Most all of our VaHi streets now have a Safety Team Street Captain and many now have such directories – but if you are reading this and are not aware of who your Street Captain is or if your street doesn’t have a lead person, contact me at safety@vahi.org so I can put you in touch with your street person or find a person to be the lead contact person. Good neighbors are our first line of defense against the perils that can confront us at any time.

BeltLine cleanup

Don’t forget the BeltLine cleanup this Saturday morning. Meet at Monroe Drive just south of Kanuga Street at 9 for a cleanup along the BeltLine southward to the Georgia Power property. Sign up at www.keepatlantabeautiful.org and bring your own gloves, wearing long pants and sturdy shoes. Teenagers are welcome – but please, no small children.

Dogwood Festival and possible Freaknik

This Weekend – April 16th Through the 18th

Plan your weekend driving very carefully – traffic is bound to be a real challenge with all the events scheduled (with or without Freaknik). It will be best to avoid Monroe Drive, 10th Street and Piedmont Avenue, and use either PDL Avenue, Cheshire Bridge Road or Briarcliff Road as exits and entrances. Yeah – this may be inconvenient, but the time saved in the long run may make it worth while.

Read the AJC story at http://www.ajc.com/news/big-atlanta-weekend-dogwood-465611.html The Dogwood Festival security team seems to have more than ever “Emergency – No Parking” signs up in the neighborhood to keep our streets passable for traffic and emergency vehicles. Be prepared to show your drivers license for proof of residency on some of our streets if traffic really gets heavy.

The Mayor’s Office of Constituent Services at 404-330-6023 can be called for city-related non-emergency and general questions on Friday from 8:15 a.m. til 10 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. til 10 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. til 4 p.m.

I also had a call Thursday afternoon from Mitzi Bickers from the Mayor’s Office offering her city cell phone number at 404-558-6970 for non-emergency calls at times other than when the office will be open for calls. Just please be judicious in using this number for this weekend only but if your driveway is blocked, traffic signals are not working, etc. she will take your call. For all emergency calls – use 911 as usual.

If you are attending the Dogwood Festival this weekend – buy a beer or soda from the Midtown MPSA folks at the 14th Street entrance to the park. Funds raised go towards supporting their off-duty patrol group – the Midtown Ponce Security Alliance. Midtown also has a tour of homes this weekend.

Plan your weekend carefully and enjoy this wonderful weather. As usual, warn your visitors to clean out their cars before parking here – the thieves are bound to be out this weekend also.

Crime reports

The following reports are gleaned from the Zone 6 crime stats for weeks 11 and 12 of 2010, with emphasis on our Beat 603, but with news from around the Zone as it pertains to us here. These reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to give you a chance to alter your everyday activities to help you avoid becoming yet another victim Yeah – I know we can’t avoid everything, but we can be aware and alert and stay safer.

Aggravated Assault – At the Hillside School in Morningside an employee was stabbed in the back of the head by a resident. At the El Azteca Restaurant on PDL Avenue on 3/7, a h/m employee was assaulted after a party of 6 to 8 males refused to pay their bill. The victim was taken to a hospital and the perps escaped in 3 vehicles. An argument between 2 female patrons at the Dark Horse Tavern resulted in one being hit with a drink glass. I wont put into print what one of these folks called the other.

Auto Theft – A good report here, unless you were the owner of the one vehicle stolen from Virginia Avenue.

Residential Burglary – None here in 603, but around the Zone entry was made to 3 residences via a kicked-in door and one entry made via a pulled out window a/c unit. If you know of someone who has window units – make sure they know to bolt them securely into the window frame.

Commercial Burglary – The ATM thieves are still at it. On 3/15 the Colonnade Restaurant on Cheshire Bridge Road was entered via a smashed front glass door, but the attempt to steal their ATM was unsuccessful. They only got so far as unplugging it before giving up. Also on 3/15 at 7 a.m. the El Azteca Restaurant on PDL Avenue was entered via broken front glass doors and their ATM was taken away in a white van by 4 males. Their security cameras caught the action – the license plate on the truck was stolen.

Larceny From Auto – Vehicles were broken into on Greenwood Avenue (2), North Highland Avenue (3), Vance Avenue, PDL Avenue, Adair Avenue, Lanier Boulevard and Virginia Avenue. Of these 10 incidents reported – 5 of the owners were from outside VaHi. Wonder if they will return to VaHi to enjoy our bars and restaurants again? All around the Zone in this time period, seven license plates were taken off (keep checking to see if yours is still attached), ELEVEN GPS systems were taken, 5 in-dash radios ripped out and, once again, one entered vehicle had nothing taken.
Missing some mail?? At the Ralph McGill post office, a tray of mail was taken from a delivery truck at 12:30 p.m.

Larceny Other – An unwatched (obviously) purse was taken at the MJQ Club on PDL Avenue. An employee at the Bill Hallman store on North Highland Avenue chased a shoplifter down the street and the perp was caught soon after by APD. Our PDL Avenue Kroger and Publix stores caught 3 shoplifters. At a Bank of America branch on Moreland Avenue an ATM used left their card in the machine – and guess what? Some body had a good time with it before it was canceled. This report from Fisher Road, S.E. south of here is one I just can’t believe. The female victim let the male suspect into her apartment and when he left – she said her tax refund of seven thousand dollars cash was stolen from her coat pocket? Maybe there was a typo error in the amount of that cash – has to be.

Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings and warn your visitors to clean out their cars – don’t let them become one of our crime stats!!

Our “Fight Back Against Crime” Private Security Patrol

Beth Marks, this group’s dedicated coordinator, has announced that we STILL do not have enough folks committed to extend this effective off-duty patrol service to the southern part of VaHi -basically south of Highland View and Rosedale Drive down to PDL Avenue. She also would like a volunteer to step forward to help her with marketing this wonderful service to the whole neighborhood and keep it viable. E-mail her at bethmarks@bellsouth.net I live in the current service area, am a member and enjoy the feeling that we have an extra layer of security over and above our APD patrols.

The AJC Reach Saga Continues

VaHi resident David Eckoff has stepped forward to really mount an offensive against the plastic-wrapped Reach advertising packets that are being thrown willy nilly all over the city – creating mounds of litter to be picked up by citizens who give a damn about how their neighborhoods look. I also view this delivery method as a public safety hazard representing the “broken window” theory of crime prevention, in that messy neighborhoods invite criminal activity. Visit the website at http://www.stopajcreach.org Channel 46 has also joined the crusade to stop this unwanted litter – see their report at http://www.cbsatlanta.com/video/23005984/index.html David was interviewed for this report as well as my friend and fellow trash-hater, Jeff Childers from Kirkwood. The 46 reporter, Lesley Tanner, reported today that “the city says they contacted the AJC and they will have to start securing the ads at each house so they cannot blow around”. To me. this does not represent a “solution” at all – probably using the same guys who have been flinging these packets all over and asking them to “secure them to houses” – sure!! Channel 46 wants reports from you as to how this new delivery method is being done – send verbal and pictorial (video or still pix) to Lesley.Tanner@cbsatlanta.com and then post your report also on the stopajcreach website for everyone to see. Stay tuned on this!!

Citizen’s Police Academy

Ever wanted to ride with a cop some nite just to see exactly what happens in an 8 hour shift? This is one of the benefits offered in the next session of this terrific course scheduled to start April 13th. It involves a time commitment every Tuesday evening for 12 weeks – but is well worth your time just to see how APD copes with keeping us safe 24/7. Application forms and more details are at http://www.atlantapd.org/index.asp?nav=CPA Joe Laster of Adair Avenue and I just graduated from the last class and we loved it. You will too!

Our “Scammer” Arrested?

The guy who has taken so many of you folks for a “ride” while you were being helpful and offering him a ride may have FINALLY been nabbed this morning. I still have not been able to find out his name or what charges he was arrested on, but, I’m working on getting this info. In the meantime I had to let you know of this morning’s terrific story told by the heroine 911 caller in her own words.

“Our dapper neighborhood visitor (the black man dressed nicely in a suit) attempted to stop me this morning at University and Briarcliff. He said his car broke down and that’s as much as I heard him say as I floored it past him. He matched the exact description of the guy everyone talks about on the message boards. And strangely enough, the car he was pointing to belongs to a neighbor. I called 911 and they quickly took down his description and dispatched someone right away. 911 picked up on the first ring, correctly switched me from Atlanta to DeKalb and were prompt, courteous and took my call seriously. As I was watching him, he talked a driver into letting him into their car and drove off. I followed them while relaying our whereabouts to the 911 operator. For whatever reason, the driver pulled over into the Peachtree Baptist Church parking lot at Briarcliff and LaVista and the suspect rapidly got out. Two police officers were able to catch up to us, got out of their patrol cars and apprehended him..After searching him, they determined he needed to be arrested (not sure what was in his possession). The nice police officer said to me “rest assured, we are taking this man off your neighborhood streets.”

Job well done by our 911 system and our hardworking police officers. Yay!!!!”

Zone 6 has given me a contact name in the DeKalb County DA’s office – but (naturally) they were not in their office and have not returned my phone call yet. But, I really do want to see this guy get some justice served to him – so if I need statements from you folks who have been taken by him – I’ll be putting out a plea for help. Stay tuned!

This story also shows that it pays to be alert and aware and most importantly – 911 Calls Do Make A Difference!!!! Thanx again to the gutsy lady amongst us who really made a difference today !!

Joggers on busy streets

I received 3 e-mails this week about joggers using the streets around the Inman School in the morning while there is heavy traffic in this area what with parents dropping off kids, and school buses on the streets also. I know, I know, our sidewalks are terrible, but joggers also do have to remember they can be a serious hazard as they weave in and out of traffic. Anybody have any suggestions for dealing with this problem?

Your Turn to Make A Difference in State Criminal Laws

I just received this notification today about impending legislation in the Georgia Senate that will affect all of us in dealing with the criminal element that surounds us. This is SB 423, known as the “Smash and Grab Act”, and I also found out today that it was co-written by our own friend and ally in court – Sharla Jackson, the Community Prosecutor for neighboring APD Zone 5. She has made sure the language is written so that it can be an effective tool for the District Attorney’s office in delivering effective prosecution to us. I am, by no means, a lawyer – but as I read the bill – there are separate sections dealing with the thugs who are now using vehicles to drive through store fronts for theivery (especially ATM machines), the low-lifes who use juveniles to commit criminal activity (especially shop-lifting), the scrap-metal thieves who are stealing metal cemetery markers and historical markers, and the crack dealers and fences (on Boulevard and elsewhere) who buy stolen goods to trade for drugs. These are all situations that affect us right here in Zones 5 and 6 and tougher sentences are needed to keep these offenders behind bars for longer periods of time.

I know this is a lot of reading to do quickly – but time is of the essence in this case. The Senate Rules Committee, chaired by Sen. Don Balfour, must approve the bill by Tuesday, March 23. Then the full Senate must pass the bill on Thursday, March 25. This is cross-over day to be passed over to the House for their consideration. The attachments have lists of Senators on the Rules Committee, as well as a suggested letter ready for you to send. You might also alert our own Senator, Nan Orrock, at nan.orrock@senate.ga.gov and our House rep, Pat Gardner at pat@patgardner.org of the importance to our safety this bill represents.

Crime reports

The following reporting of our Beat # 603 crime stats is gleaned from the total Zone 6 reports for weeks 8 and 9 of 2010. The emphasis is on our beat, but with news from around the Zone as it applies to and affects us. As I always state, these reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to allow you to make adjustments in your daily life to avoid, as much as possible, becoming a crime victim. And, as always, keep your car cleaned out and warn your neighborhood visitors to do the same.

Aggravated Assault – None in VaHi – but at noon at a Monroe Drive gas station near I-85, two business partners had an argument with a hand gun involved – no shots fired and an arrest was made. At midnite at Club 21 on Piedmont Road, an altercation left a bystander with a bullet in his leg – the gun firer escaped in his vehicle. Stay alert at all times – you never know when you are going to encounter some sort of a situation as an innocent by-stander.

Auto Theft – A scooter was taken from an Amsterdam Avenue driveway and a painter’s truck (with keys in the ignition!) was taken from Cooledge Avenue. And on Fisher Road, S.E. in the south part of the Zone, yet another car being warmed up on a cold morning was stolen. With spring around the corner – hopefully this will be the last of these thefts til next winter.

Residential Burglary – None here in VaHi – but across the Zone, entry into 3 houses was made via kicked-in doors, and an entire furnace was taken from a residence on Glenwood Avenue, S.E.

Commercial Burglary – Summit Medical on Piedmont Road was entered via a broken glass front door. The Dark Horse Tavern on North Highland Avenue was entered via a pried open rear door – nothing reported missing. The Hand in Hand restaurant on North Highland Avenue was entered via broken side windows with 4 bottles of booze missing. A whole ATM machine was taken from the Urban Market on Elizabeth Street in Inman Park and was widely reported in the media. I understand yet another ATM was taken from a PDL Avenue pizza store this past Monday morning.

Commercial Robbery – At the New Order bar in Ansley after closing, an employee was robbed at gunpoint of the nite’s receipts and was left tied up. His yells were heard by a passer-by who called 911. I am assuming that there was only one employee on duty at the time of this robbery. Business owners – be honest with yourself and review your opening and closing procedures – these are your most vulnerable times and oftentimes with only one person in the business.

Larceny From Auto – Cars were broken into on Amsterdam Avenue (2), St. Charles Avenue (2), PDL Avenue (2), Drewry Street, and Briarcliff Terrace. Of these 8 incidents – 5 of the owners were from outside of the neighborhood. Will these folks return to spend money here? All around the Zone in this 2 week time period – 8 GPS systems were taken, 2 handguns stolen, 2 license plates were taken off (keep checking to make sure you have a plate), 2 vehicles had tires and rims taken off, one catalytic converter sawed off, one Bible stolen, and in one reported incident – nothing was taken at all (go figure).

Larceny Other – At the Diesel Restaurant on North Highland Avenue, an unsuccessful attempt was made to steal a very visible flat screen tv set from the patio. At the Dabberdoo store on North Highland Avenue – a 911 call resulted in a shoplifter arrest by Officer Cooper. At a Virginia Avenue residence jewelry was reported missing and a maid is suspected. The trailer thieves are back – one was taken from Avalon Place in Morningside. At the Edgewood Best Buy parking lot, a thief was selling Bose speakers stolen from Best Buy, out of his car trunk. Across the Zone, a/c units are still being taken from residences. Our PDL Avenue supermarkets, Publix and Kroger, caught 6 shoplifters, including one guy who drank a beer inside the Publix. This is probably no worse than folks I see eating produce, such as grapes, from the counter. I always secretly hope these folks will get sick since the produce has not been washed.

Pedestrian Robbery – On 2/25 at 7:15 p.m. in the Ansley parking lot, a w/f was approached by a b/m wanting to “fix her car dent” as she was still in her car, and she said no. Then as she was walking to a store, the “dent fixer” came up to her from behind, placed a gun in her back stating “I will blow your f*****g brains out” – the victim gave up her purse and jewelry and the perp fled in a car with a b/f passenger. In a case like this – it might be best just to leave the area for a while rather than having to encounter the approachee on foot. Wait til he leaves the area.

At the Rite-Aid parking lot on PDL Avenue at 2:45 p.m., the victim, who was selling a cell phone on Craig’s list, met a potential buyer. The seller got into the “buyer’s” car with the phone as he took off, pulled a gun and told the seller to get out taking the phone with him. The report stated the seller was from Athens – why drive all the way to Atlanta to sell a cell phone?

Be alert, keep your car cleaned out and stay safe!

Unleashed Dogs

I have gotten some reports lately about unleashed dogs being allowed to run in the playground area of Orme Park while children are at play. Just remember all dogs are to be on a leash on city park grounds at all times. There also seems to be some misinformation going around that there will be an off-leash dog area in this park as part of the renovation plans – this is not true as this park is not large enough to accommodate such a facility. The nearest off-leash dog play area is in Piedmont Park near the Park Drive entrance.

Crime reports

The following reports are gleaned from our Zone 6 crime stats for weeks 7 and 8 of 2010, with emphasis on our Beat # 603, but with news from around the Zone as it pertains to us. I’ll state, as usual, these reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to give you a chance to alter your daily life enough to help you from becoming a victim. And – don’t forget to remind your guests to clean out their cars, not only here but anywhere they park.

Auto Theft Only one stolen vehicle to report this time – a theft on Amsterdam Avenue. Elsewhere in the Zone, cars with keys in the ignition were stolen from gas stations on Memorial Drive and Moreland Avenue while their owners went inside to pay for their gas. Need I say anything about taking keys out of the ignition?

Residential Burglary – Only one report in this category – a PDL Avenue apartment was robbed with no signs of forced entry, with maintenance people suspected of forgetting to lock up after making repairs. All around the Zone, three residences were entered via kicked-in doors.

Commercial Burglary – Druid Hills Presbyterian Church was entered via a broken window next to a door. At the Subway store in the Edgewood Retail District entry was made via a large rock thrown through the front door.

Pedestrian Robbery – At 6:30 p.m. a 70 y/o female had her vehicle taken at knife-point in the Edgewood Retail District parking lot – the car was found soon afterwards.

Residential Robbery – At 5 a.m. at a Woodland Avenue apartment in Martin/Lindridge Manor, the front door was kicked in by “several males” wearing masks and gloves carrying a shotgun and a handgun, and the 7 resident Hispanics were robbed and one was injured.

Commercial Robbery – As stated in the last Report – our North Highland Ben&Jerrys store was robbed at gunpoint on 2/7 at 5:30 p.m. This is the third robbery at this store since November.

Larceny From Auto – Vehicles were broken into on North Highland Avenue (4), Briarcliff Road, Los Angeles Avenue, Hudson Drive, and PDL Avenue. Of these 8 incidents – 7 of the owners were from outside of VaHi. Will these folks return to VaHi to patronize our businesses again? Warn your customers of the danger of leaving items in their cars by putting a gently worded sign on your front door!
All around Zone 6 in this time period 9 GPS systems were stolen, 5 in-dash radios were ripped out, two license plates were taken off and one broken-into car had nothing taken.

Larceny Other – Unwatched coats and a purse were taken from Hand in Hand restaurant patrons. Yes – these thefts can happen in nice restaurants. Our PDL Avenue Publix store caought 5 shoplifters and the Edgewood Target caught 2 non-payers.

After this past Tuesday evening’s graduation ceremony – there are now 36 new officers on the streets of Atlanta. I met several of them and they are a dedicated, gung-ho group of folks, ready to protect us. That same evening Joe Laster of Adair Avenue and I became proud graduates of Citizen’s Police Academy. This was a terrific learning experience for both of us.

Be Alert and Stay Safe!!

A New Fundraiser For Our New Parkland

The attachment to this Report outlines the details of this fruit tree and berry bush sale. Read about the neat trees and shrubs being offered for sale and then get with your neighbors to plan plantings of those that need cross-pollination and create an orchard on your street. We will also need some early morning helpers on March 13th to bundle and label orders for customer pick-up at the new parkland. Let me know if you can help that morning – should be fun.

Fruit Tree Fundraiser (PDF)

The Annual PEDS Wire Hunt

PEDS, our watchful city-wide pedestrian advocacy organization is sponsoring its annual hunt for fallen utility wire hazards and needs your help to find them. Go to http://peds.org/wire-hunt/ to find out how to report and enter the contest.

(3/21/10): From our good friends at PEDS – our local and very effective pedestrian advocate – two stories of important interest. The first deals with their annual Hazardous Wire Hunt Survey that is in full swing right now. We’ve all seen hanging wires on sidewalks all over the city – make sure they are reported.

The second story deals with keeping sidewalks clean and free of vegetation, overgrown shrubbery, low-hanging tree limbs etc. This is your responsibility as a property owner.

Our Monthly Trash Walk

The March walk and talk session will be held Saturday morning, March 6th. Meet at the Intown Hardware parking lot at 9 a.m. and bring your own gloves. We canceled the February session due to bad weather – so there is lots of trash to be picked up on North Highland. This is also the time to catch up on local gossip as we walk and pick up.

Crime reports

Another Significant Arrest

January 27th saw the arrest of Jared Nathan Davis aka Jared David at the Extra Space Storage facility on Kanuga Street. I was informed he is suspected of 3, and maybe 4, burglaries as well as many auto smash and grabs in Zones 5 and 6. He is now securely behind bars on Rice Street, and I hope our CourtWatch system will notify me when he is scheduled for court hearings. He is also one of our neighbors, recently residing on Monroe Drive before moving to the Fulton County Jail.

Another Armed Robbery at our Ben & Jerry Store

I just learned this week that our neighborhood friend, Kwang Lee, was robbed at gunpoint in his North Highland Avenue store for the third time in just recent months. Only a real desperate crack-head would rob an ice cream store in the dead of winter, and Zone 6 and the Commercial Robbery unit are handling this investigation. Stop by this store soon and let Kwang know the community is behind him in this time of frustration for him. We need his store in the neighborhood.

The following part of this report is taken from our Zone 6 crime stats for weeks # 5 and 6 of 2010, with emphasis on our beat # 603, but with news from around the Zone as it pertains to us. This report is the shortest it has been in a long, long time and even though the cold weather has surely had some impact here, I still hope that this is a harbinger of safer times ahead. Do your part to support Zone 6 by keeping your car clean of stealables and urge your friends, neighbors and visitors to do the same.

Auto Theft – Vehicles were stolen from Amsterdam Walk, Bellevue Drive and Maryland Avenue.

Residential Burglary – At 2 p.m. an East Rock Springs Road resident heard noise downstairs, and upon investigation found a w/m who fled in the victim’s vehicle. All around Zone 6 in this time period entry was made via kicked-in doors 5 times.

Commercial Burglary – Storage units were entered at the Public Storage facilities on Chantilly Drive and Monroe Drive. The Summit Medical offices on Piedmont Avenue were entered via a smashed front glass door. The above mentioned arrest of Jared Davis was made at Extra Space Storage on Kanuga Street.

Commercial Robbery – Yet another warning to business owners to be very alert when taking out the trash. At the New Order bar at Ansley at 7 a.m. an employee had taken out the trash and was walking back when confronted at gunpoint forcing him inside to get the cash that was out on the counter for counting before a deposit. At this time of the morning, quite obviously this was the only person at the bar, and he was very vulnerable. Pre-opening and post-closing times are very vulnerable times for our neighborhood businesses

Larceny Other – Our PDL Avenue Kroger and Publix stores caught 5 shoplifters, and I always wonder how many they do not catch. An inoperable lawn-mowing tractor was stolen from the Carter Center grounds. An Edgewood Target store shoplifter was arrested later on Hosea Williams Drive after a struggle in which the officer was injured – hope he is ok now. Jewelry was reported missing from a Todd Road residence with no forced entry evident. The PDL Avenue Blockbuster store stopped a shoplifter and the responding officer made an arrest. A cell phone was taken during a PDL Avenue party. A chained and locked bicycle was taken from the rack in front of the PDL Avenue library.

Larceny from Auto – Vehicles were broken into on Amsterdam Avenue, Virginia Circle, Kanuga Street (this one led to the arrest of Jared Davis), North Highland Avenue (4) one of which led to an arrest, Los Angeles Avenue, Amsterdam Walk, Briarcliff Terrace, Orme Circle, and Virginia Avenue. Of these 12 incidents, 6 of the vehicle owners were from outside of VaHi. This says to me I am still not getting the Clean Car Campaign message across to everyone in the neighborhood – I need your help in getting this across to your friends and neighbors.
Also – keep up your observant 911 calls when you see someone peering into cars – Officer Cooper loves to get these calls on the evening watch.
All across the Zone, ten GPS systems were taken, 3 more hand guns were added to the arsenal on the streets, 2 license plates were taken off, 4 in-dash stereo/radios were ripped out, and (go figure) 5 reported incidents had nothing taken (discriminating thieves?). All 4 tires/wheels were taken from a car on Cumberland Road in Morningside.

Be alert and stay safe!!

The Latest on the Burgundy Buick Story

Our new Community Prosecutor, Josh Geller, from the DA’s office, was successful on 2/13 in a bond revocation hearing for Paul Douglas Williams, and he is now our guest in a cell on Rice Street. This is the driver of the 1998 burgindy Buick LeSabre who has been repeatedly spotted in VaHi at locations where many smash and grabs occur. He was arrested in VaHi on 1/4, released on bond the next day, and then, taking advantage of his freedom, was back in action and arrested at a Midtown smash and grab on 1/14 and bonded out again. Now – thanx to Josh, he is no longer free and the Buick is grounded. The next step now is his hearings to determine his guilt or innocence and the ensuing sentencing if warranted.

Our Neighborhood Scammer

Thanx to an alert Morningside resident who sent a query about a midnite encounter with a pedestrian at the corner of North Highland Avenue and East Rock Springs Road stopping passing cars stating he had been the victim of a car jacking – I would not have known that our infamous scammer was still active. After a posting on the neighborhood message boards about this incident, I learned a lot about this middle-aged, 6 foot tall, nicely dressed b/m, who has been scamming good samaritans for years now. He was located, thanx to a 911 report, and questioned by APD one recent rainy nite – but I have not gotten any word as to the outcome of this event. I counted 26 “true confessions” messages I received from folks who have given this guy 20 or 30 bucks just to get rid of him, and I am sure there are scores of other similar stories. He seems to commonly use tales of woe about needing to get to a hospital to visit a family member, he has run out of gas somewhere, is in the military and is stranded, or variations thereof. He quite often has a cellphone to his ear and quite often the encounters are at odd hours of the day or in bad weather – lending an air of authenticity to his stories. The guy has had years to perfect his craft and is quite obviously very good at it and evidently has raked in a lot of cash over time. Our Officer Cooper asks you not to let him in your car and to please call 911 immediately so he can be caught in the act sometime. Evidently he has never harmed anyone yet, and is only after your hard-earned cash – but do not take chances with him.

Crime reports

The following reports are gleaned from our Zone 6 crime stats for weeks 3 and 4 of 2010 – with emphasis on our beat # 603, but with news from all over the zone as it pertains to us. Just because the cold weather seemed to slow down criminal activity for this time period – don’t let down your sense of awareness and alertness, because they will be back!!

Auto Theft – Vehicles were stolen from Greenwood Avenue, Virginia Avenue and St. Louis Place. Because of the cold weather – 3 vehicles were stolen around the zone when the owners left them unattended while warming them up. A cold car seat is better than no seat at all!!

Residential Burglary – A condo residence at the Carlton on Highland Lane was entered via a kicked-in front door. All around the zone in this time period 7 homes were entered via kicked-in doors.

Commercial Burglary – Prima on Dutch Valley Place was entered via a smashed-in front window.

Larceny from Auto – Vehicles were broken into on Arlington Place (2), Los Angeles Avenue (2), Highland View, Lanier Boulevard, North Highland Avenue (5), PDL Avenue (2), Rosedale Drive, St. Charles Avenue, Briarcliff Place, Park Drive, Greenwood Avenue, and Virginia Avenue. Basically, the same streets every report – right? All around the zone in this time period – sixteen GPS systems taken, 2 in-dash stereo/radios ripped out, two license plates taken off (keep checking to make sure you still have a plate in back), and 3 more weapons added to the arsenal already on the streets. The AT&T parking lot on Chester Avenue, S.E. was hit yet again with 8 catalytic converters being sawed off work vans. I would think that by now AT&T would be instituting some new security measures for this lot as many times as they have been hit with this theft problem.

Larceny Other – Our PDL Avenue Kroger and Publix stores caught 3 shoplifters – I always wonder as to how many they do not catch at these stores. All around the zone, a/c units continue to be stolen, presumably for scrap copper.

Be alert and stay safe!!

The ING Marathon

This race will be going through VaHi again this year on Sunday, March 21st. The full marathon will have the same route as in previous years, but the half-marathon will be on a different route, freeing up North Highland Avenue earlier for businesses to have access for their patrons. Go to www.IngGeorgiaMarathon.com and click on “community” to see the map for this year. Be prepared.

CourtWatch Opportunity Concerning the Burgundy Buick

While I was at CourtWatch this past Thursday morning, I learned from our Zone 6 community prosecutor, Joshua Geller, that he has scheduled a bond revocation hearing for Paul Douglas Williams, on 2/12. Williams is now free on bail stemming from two arrests and Josh wants to get him behind bars pending the hearings on these arrests. We all know how many times Williams has been spotted here and this is a chance to make sure he does not return soon. When I hear of a definite time and court room I will make a posting on the vhlist and hope that I can have company on the benches to support Josh.

Crime reports

The following incident reports are gleaned from our Zone 6 crime stats for the 1st and 2nd weeks of 2010, and as I always state – are not meant to scare anyone but to make us all aware of what happens around us everyday and to take steps to avoid, when possible, of becoming yet another crime victim. Granted – we can’t avoid all situations, but there are many we can sidestep.

Aggravated Assault – A Hillside School counselor was attacked by a juvenile resident – unfortunate, but an occupational hazard I guess. A street argument on PDL Avenue at 5:30 p.m. between two males resulted in one stabbing the other with an ice pick – the arrestee here also had a new, still wrapped, Toshiba laptop in his backpack.

Auto Theft – Vehicles were stolen from Briarcliff Terrace, Greenwood Avenue, North Highland Avenue, PDL Avenue (a motorcycle), and Rosedale Road. As you might suspect – the cold weather resulted in two unattended vehicles being stolen elsewhere in the Zone while the owners left them running in their driveways to warm up. Also around the Zone a vehicle was stolen while the owner was putting trash in a parking lot dumpster. On Memorial Drive at midnite, a driver lost his keys while playing in the snow. Upon returning with extra keys – someone else had evidently already found the key in the snow and his car was gone. Or it might have been hot-wired.

Residential Burglary – no VaHi incidents in this time period – but around the Zone, 5 residences were entered via kicked-in doors.

Commercial Robbery – Yet another warning to business owners not to become lax at closing time. At the Einstein Bagel store on Monroe Drive at 4:30 p.m. – a female employee had taken out the trash after closing and was accosted at the back door by a robber who forced her to open the safe, taking $1300 of hard earned sales. Businesses are very vulnerable at closing time – so be alert and be aware. Maybe two people should take out the trash and keep the door locked while doing so.

Larceny From Auto – And this goes on and on. Vehicles were broken into on Arlington Place (2), Greenwood Avenue, Lanier Boulevard (2), Los Angeles Avenue (2), North Highland Avenue (5), Rosedale Road, St. Charles Avenue (3), Clemont Drive, PDLAvenue, Vance Avenue, and Virginia Avenue. Of these TWENTY incidents, 16 of the victims were from outside of VaHi – is this saying something to our hospitality business community??
All around the Zone in this 2 week time period – one hand gun stolen, one catalytic converter sawed off, 3 in-dash radios ripped out, 3 license plates/stickers taken off (keep checking your car), and seven GPS systems taken. There were also 4 incidents where nothing was taken at all – though these 4 folks still had to buy a new window.

Larceny Other – Highland Wine & Crystal had a shoplifter escape. Green’s Liquor on PDL Avenue caught a guy with a bottle of gin in his waistband. Urban Outfitters at the Plaza caught a shoplifter. At the LA Fitness at Ansley, a patron lost his wallet from an improperly locked locker. At an unnamed St. Charles Avenue business the female cashier was inappropriately touched by the perp who left the store when asked, but went across the street, and rummaged through her car – but not taking anything. He was arrested. A lot of activity at the Edgewood Retail District – a Target employee’s walkie-talkie was stolen and being used to broadcast obscene messages. At the Best Buy – 2 perps were caught using scissors to cut off security tags and another shoplifter here dropped stolen laptops when he hit the front door. At the Kroger store a shoplifter took the stolen items to her car – then was nabbed when she had the nerve to come back in the store (she evidently forgot some items on her list). Two other shoplifters caught here also had Target merchandise in their possession without a corresponding sales receipt. A car-mounted bicycle was taken – make sure these racks are locked. At 12:30 p.m. in this center’s lot, the victim was being handed $400 in cash when it was grabbed from his hand by a perp who fled on foot. No reason given for why $400 was being exchanged in a parking lot.

Pedestrian Robbery – At the Buddy’s gas station at North Highland and North Avenues, at 9 a.m., the female victim was pumping gas when approached by the perp who asked if she wanted to go for a drive – she replied “no” but he did not take that for a refusal, got into her car and sped off. ALWAYS take your keys out of the ignition when at a gas station!!!! At the Briarcliff Summit building, the victim was visiting 2 friends at 2 a.m. in an apartment along with 3 other visitors. The victim was attacked, losing his laptop and wallet and the perps escaped on foot out of the building. Limit your 2 a.m. social calls to people you really can trust – or better yet, don’t go visiting at this time of nite at all.

Be alert, be aware and stay safe!

North Highland Streetscape Damage

Thanx to alert dog-walker Rob Glancy who noticed the damaged light pole, bench and torn out tree in front of Highland Hardware that was the result of an auto accident. He obtained the police report from this incident and Kathryn King Metters is pursuing to contact the involved insurance companies to make sure the city is reimbursed for this damage so they can be replaced. Rob has already contacted Trees Atlanta to replace the damaged tree.

The AJC Reach advertising flyer packages

If you do not want to receive these annoying plastic wrapped packages – you can opt out of delivery by contacting Erica Singleton at 404-526-9473 or esingleton@ajc.com If not picked up out of the gutter or alleyway – they not only become litter but also announce to our thieves that you are not at home. if you have unoccupied houses on your street – you can also have delivery stopped to that address. I sent an e-mail and successfully stopped these from appearing in my alley.

The Burgundy Buick

As reported previously the owner of this 1998 vehicle, with license plate # BVJ 2541, who has been seen so often here on our neighborhood streets with lots of auto break-in incidents, was arrested by our Officer Cooper on 1/5, but bonded out on 1/6, has received an “invitation” from the DA to appear in court 1/19. I intend to attend his initial hearing Tuesday morning at 9 in Judge Woodson’s CourtRoom 8-C in the Fulton County CourtHouse. I’ll leave Vance Avenue at 8:15 that morning if you would like to ride with me – just let me know. This is an all purpose calendar that morning and in all probability, the only thing enacted will to be to set a complete hearing or trial date. But, he might just decide to plead guilty at that time – or then, there is also the possibility that he might now show up at all. Who knows? Keep a lookout for him though, if he decides to visit us before the 19th, if he has the need to raise cash with some smash and grabs.

Clean Car Campaign

The first “clean out your car” reminder banner is now hanging in the California Auto Buff parking lot at Virginia and North Highland Avenues. I strongly urge other business owners with parking lots to order copies of this banner to remind your patrons to clean out their cars before visiting your business. That patron who leaves your business to find their car window smashed is not a good candidate for a return visit. You can order your own banner at Rapid Signs at Ford Factory Square on PDL Avenue – the 3×8 size is $100 and a smaller 3×6 size is $80. Consider this an investment to protect your business future. A gently worded warning sign on your front door is also a good idea – that you can print out on your computer. About 3/4 of our many, many smash and grab victims are our guests from outside of VaHi.

VaHi Silent Auction/Dinner Event

This fundraising event to benefit our newly purchased parkland on North Highland and improvements to Orme Park to be held next Friday evening the 22nd at Callanwolde provides an excellent social venue to meet more of your neighbors, as well as help fund our greenspace plans. Ticket purchase info and details of the auction are at www.vahi.org See you there!

Crime reports

Beat # 603 Arrest
I know that many of you are familiar with this vehicle description – a 1998 burgundy Buick LeSabre, dark-tinted windows and license plate # BVJ 2541. The owner/driver is Paul Douglas Williams, and he was arrested by our Officer Cooper on 1/5/2010 for driving without a
license, and had a laptop in his possession that had been stolen earlier that same evening. I learned from the Fulton County Jail website that Williams was charged with theft of property and possession of burglary tools – both of which are evidently bondable charges. Williams somehow came up with the $5000 bond (stolen money?) and was released on 1/6/2010 and is back on the streets right now. But, Officer Cooper tells me that he is to appear before the Grand Jury on 1/12/2010 to obtain a new warrant. Though Officer Cooper does not think Williams will be stupid enough to make a VaHi appearance any time soon – he urges an immediate 911 call if this vehicle is spotted here. Williams is a 32 y/o, 6′, 190 pound b/m unconvicted thief. Local residents of Kentucky Avenue, Briarcliff Place and Virginia Avenue are folks who already know about him personally – you know who you are. I won’t name any names til Williams is safely behind bars. Thanx to Officer Cooper for the nab and the phone call and Officer Gurley for notifying me. Also thanx to my amateur detective friend in Midtown for helping me to connect the dots on previous reports so I could let Zone 6 know. This stuff takes a village!!

Now to the crime stats for the last two weeks of 2010 – which should have been two weeks of peace on earth and goodwill to men. Somehow, though, it didn’t quite work out that way here in Zone 6! These stats are for our 603 beat, but with news from around the Zone as it applies to and affects us. Again, as I always state – these are not meant to scare anyone – just to keep us alert and aware.

Auto Theft – Vehicles were stolen from Park Drive and Todd Road.

Aggravated Assault – At the PDL Avenue Kroger store two co-workers got into an argument resulting in one striking the other with a metal pole. Guess there is a job opening now at this store!

Commercial Robbery – At the Metro PCS store on Moreland Avenue – two perps, one armed with a sawed-off shotgun, said to the clerk “Give me everything you got” the clerk victim said he had nothing and the perps left! Our Ben & Jerry’s store on North Highland Avenue was not so lucky – they were robbed at gunpoint on 12/26 at 6:20 p.m. and the two perps even took the money from the clerk’s wallet. The Uptown Novelty store on Cheshire Bridge Road was also robbed at gunpoint on Christmas Eve at 2:20 a.m..

Commercial Burglary – Prima on Dutch Valley Place was entered via a smashed front door glass. The Unique Pizza store on PDL Avenue was broken into on Christmas Eve via a smashed front window. A storage unit was entered at Public Storage on Monroe Drive in Piedmont Heights.

Larceny from Auto – Vehicles were broken into on Arlington Place, Lanier Boulevard (2), North Highland Avenue (5), Virginia Avenue (4), Adair Avenue, and St. Charles Avenue. Of these 14 incidents – 12 of the owners were from outside of VaHi. Beer was stolen from a delivery truck in the Ansley Mall parking lot – wouldn’t you think these delivery drivers would lock the truck while making deliveries? Outside of 603 several yard care trucks had equipment stolen from them – warn your yard care guys to lock up their equipment on their trucks!
All around Zone 6 in this time period – NINE GPS systems were stolen, two license plates taken off (keep checking to make sure you have a plate), and 4 in-dash radios were ripped out.

Larceny Other – This I hate – Christmas decorations were taken from front yards on East Rock Springs Road, N.E. and Warren Street, S.E. A diamond ring was reported missing from a Lanier Boulevard residence. At the American Roadhouse restaurant – cash was taken from the unlocked office area. Credit cards were taken from a patron of the Cavern bar on North Highland Avenue. An unwatched purse hanging from the back of a chair at a PDL Avenue restaurant was taken. A thief was caught taking a spool of wire from the Georgia Power grounds on PDL Place. Our PDL Avenue Kroger and Publix stores caught 3 shoplifters. Can’t believe there were no shoplifting reports from the Target store in Edgewood. for these two weeks.

Residential Robbery – 3 Hispanics were robbed at their Lenox Road apartment. I always wonder as to how many incidents involving Hispanics are never reported.

Pedestrian Robbery – In the Ansley Mall parking lot at 12:50 p.m. (broad daylite) the victim was sitting in his car when the perp approached with a sawed-off shotgun and demanded the vehicle. The victim threw his keys on the ground (his window must have been open) and started yelling (naturally!) – people heard him and someone yelled “call the cops” and at which time the perp fled on foot.

Stay warm and stay alert and safe. Hopefully our thugs will not be so active during this cold snap.

Voice – Winter 2009-10

Download issue as PDF (7.0 MB)

- VaHi Green Dream silent auction
- 15th annual Tour of Homes
- President’s Corner
- SPARK opens its doors
- Spotlight on Grady
- VaHi’s Green Dream
- Spotlight on public safety
- Spotlight on businesses: Atlanta Activewear and Knitch relocates
- City responds to streetscape project concerns
- Col. Mustard reviews George’s
- Update on Callanwolde drainage concerns