VaHi Safety Team Holds Annual Street Captain Meeting

Editor’s Note: Photos appearing in this article are courtesy of Lynn Melin.

VaHi's street captains pose for a group photo.

VaHi’s street captains pose for a group photo.

The Virginia-Highland Safety Team held its annual street captain gathering on Saturday September 14 at the Church of Our Saviour on N. Highland Avenue. By all accounts, it was a well-attended and informative half-day session with over thirty street captains on hand.

John Wolfinger started the Street Captain program in 2007 when he was Safety Chair for the Virginia-Highland Civic Association. Street captains are a network of VaHi residents who’ve volunteered to stay connected with and promote safety-related initiatives to residents in their watch area. They welcome new residents to the neighborhood, make them aware of the VHCA and other neighborhood services and encourage them to get involved by meeting and, most importantly, getting to know their neighbors.

Orme Circle street captain Lynn Melin (l) and VaHi safety team chair John Wolfinger.

Orme Circle street captain Lynn Melin (l) and VaHi safety team chair John Wolfinger

Street captains use email to distribute Wolfinger’s periodic safety report, and also to alert residents to more immediate safety concerns. The connectivity provided through the program has directly aided in the apprehension of wanted criminals on more than one occasion.

Wolfinger retired from the VHCA board a few years ago but his street captain program is as strong as ever. There are more than 85 street captains who are responsible for watch areas that represent about 80 percent of the community. In case you’re interested in volunteering yourself, street captains are still needed for the following areas:

  • St. Louis Place
  • Ponce Place (single family homes)
  • N. Highland Ave. (between Virginia Ave. and Lanier Blvd.)
  • Monroe Dr.
  • Briarcliff Rd.
  • Cresthill Ave. (west of Monroe)

Saturday’s meeting was an opportunity for street captains to get updates on what’s new and different around the neighborhood, exchange best practices for staying in touch with residents and hear presentations from Atlanta Police Department Captain Brent Schierbaum and Reiko Ward from the Fulton County District Attorney’s office.

APD Captain Brent Schierbaum makes a point to the group while John Wolfinger listens.

APD Captain Brent Schierbaum makes a point to the group while John Wolfinger listens.

Formerly Sector Sergeant for the APD’s Zone 6 (of which VaHi is a part) and then Lieutenant in charge of COPS (Community Oriented Policing Section), Schierbaum is now interim director of the department’s 911 call center. Schierbaum provided the group with insight into the call center’s inner workings, as well as information and guidelines that can help residents get the most out of using the system. For example, Schierbaum said that, when calling 911, the most critical information to have ready is:

  • Exact location (as specific as possible)
  • Nature of the problem (medical, police, fire, etc.)
  • When reporting a crime or suspicious activity, provide specific details as to the suspect’s physical description (height, weight, skin color, tattoos or other distinguishing characteristics) and what the suspect is wearing (color of shirt/pants, jewelry, hat, shoes, backpack, etc.).
  • In case of fire, advise the call taker if anyone is inside the structure or if there are any hazardous or flammable materials in the area.
Reiko Ward with the Fulton County DA's office addresses the group.

Reiko Ward with the Fulton County DA’s office spoke about the Citizen’s Courtwatch program.

Reiko Ward coordinates the Citizen’s Court Watch program for the Fulton County DA’s office. Courtwatch empowers citizens by providing an understanding of the criminal justice system and encouraging people to take an active role in the process. Through the program, residents are made aware of opportunities to come to the courthouse and watch a trial or hearing that often has local significance. Ward said having the community present at trials could make a difference in sentencing by letting the judge know that residents are concerned about the outcome of the case.

Wolfinger is proud of how the street captain program has grown and the difference it makes helping residents feel safer about the world in which they live.

VHCA safety committee chair and Rosedale Dr. street captain Peggy Berg addresses the group.

VHCA safety committee chair Peggy Berg addresses the group.

“I’ve watched the VaHi Safety Team – our neighborhood watch initiative – grow not only in number of involved citizens,” Wolfinger said, “but in importance in creating connectivity among residents and raising awareness of what goes on around us everyday. None of this would be possible without the dedication of the street captains who are at the very heart of our neighborhood watch system. It says a lot about the commitment of these folks that they’d take half their Saturday and spend it learning more about how they can help their neighbors,”

“I also want to thank Father John Bolton for graciously hosting our meeting at his church,” Wolfinger continued, “as well as San Fransisco Roasting for providing the coffee and the BeltLine Kroger for donating pastries.”

If you’ve yet to be contacted by the street captain for your area, visit vahi.org and click on the ‘Sign Up to Receive Updates’ button. On the form that appears, make sure the Safety Reports box is checked and be sure to enter your name, email and street address at the bottom of the screen before clicking on Submit so we know where to find you.

Step Up for Safety

Did you know Virginia-Highland has one of the most established neighborhood watch programs in all of Atlanta? Nearly all of our streets are monitored by a Street Captain who forwards safety reports to residents and helps keep them connected and aware of issues in their immediate area. Street Captains also coordinate occasional get-togethers for residents on their street, because we’ve found that folks who know each other tend to look out for one another.

But there are still a few streets that need captains. These streets include Ponce de Leon Place (except for a few condo buildings that do have captains), Monroe Drive, and St. Louis Place. If you live on one of these streets, please consider volunteering for this simple but important job. Email us at safety@vahi.org and we’ll send you more details. Many existing Street Captains would also appreciate assistance so please let us know if you can help, regardless of where you live.

Don’t know who your Street Captain is? Email us at safety@vahi.org and we’ll let you know.

Thanks!

The VaHi Safety Team

Street Captains Get Together

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

Safety Team Street Captain Get Together Planned

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

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.

Safety Team Report 5/16/09

Campaign For Atlanta

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

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

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

The “30 Deep” Gang Arrests by APD

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

Safety Team Street Captain’s Meeting

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

Crime reports from APD

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

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

Safety Team Report 5/1/09

Safety Team Street Captain Meeting

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

The Safety Team Distribution List

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

Neighborhood Cleanups

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

Summerfest

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

APD Thank You Notes

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

Crime reports from APD

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

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

Be alert and stay safe!!

John

Safety Team Report 4/16/09

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

The Safety Team Distribution List

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

Saturday, April 18th

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

Monthly VaHi Litter/Trash/Graffiti Cleanup Sessions

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

The April 13th Windstorm

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

NPU “F” Meeting

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

Crime reports from APD

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

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

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

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

Be alert and be safe!!

John

Safety Team Report 3/20/09

Be On The Lookout!!

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

Your UPS/FedEx Deliveries

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

North Highland Cleanup March 28th

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

ING Marathon March 29th

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

Safety Team Street Captains Meeting

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

National Night Out Event

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

Crime reports from APD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Safety Team Report 2/7/09

My Bad Experience

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

North Highland Benches

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

Street Captains

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

Clean Car Campaign

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

Crime reports from APD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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