San Francisco Roasting Company Hosts Coffee with a Cop

On Wednesday, March 8th, residents were treated to lively discussion with representatives from the Atlanta Police Department. Deputy Chief Tim Quiller, Community Services Division Commander and Major Marisha Shepherd, Community Oriented Policing Section Commander, were joined by Majors Timothy Peek and James Shaw who command Zone 6 and Zone 2 respectively. Also represented were the Video Integration Center, Special Operations, 911 call center and other units. We even spoke with a few officers from Dekalb County PD.

Special thanks to San Francisco Coffee Roasting for graciously hosting the event and for being such a great part of our community.

Residents from all over Zone 2 and Zone 6 chatted about public safety concerns, and showed the men and women of law enforcement some appreciation. City Council District 6 Representative, Alex Wan was on hand to advocate on the behalf of neighborhoods for more video cameras and other tools and services that contribute to our safety.




70% Approval Rate for Monroe Road Diet at Renew Atlanta Meeting

Submit Comments Online To Show Your Support for The Road Diet

by Jenifer Keenan, President of VHCA

“My daughter would not have died if there had been a road diet on Monroe.”  Those were the sobering words from the father of Alexa Hyneman, the Grady student who was killed in February 2016 when she was struck by a car on Monroe while riding her bike home from Grady, at the February 28th Renew Atlanta Meeting on the Monroe Complete Streets Project.  Alexa’s father explained to the more than 300 people in attendance at the meeting that Alexa was struck by a car that was changing lanes to avoid the left turn queue – a maneuver that would not have occurred if there had been a dedicated left turn lane as called for by the road diet.

Incredibly, the latest fatality on Monroe – one that happened this past January, less than a year after Alexa’s death, occurred under very similar circumstances.  The victim, who was riding on a motor cycle, was reportedly stuck by a car that was changing lanes to avoid the left turn queue at Monroe and Park.  As with Alexa’s death, this death would not have occurred if the road diet, with its dedicated turn lane, were in place.

It is irrefutable that road diets make roads safer by reducing speeding, eliminating lane jockeying to avoid the left turn queue, and eliminating the left turn blind spot that is caused when left turning cars must cross two lanes of traffic instead of one.  Renew Atlanta confirmed this and showed that a road diet on Monroe would reduce crashes by 29% and, in conjunction with the proposed traffic circle at Park and Monroe, would lead to a 60% reduction in injury crashes at that intersection.

In addition to the dramatic safety improvements, however, the Renew Atlanta team indicated that under current conditions, a road diet on Monroe could lead to moderate increases in am peak north bound travel time and significant increases (up to 140%) in pm peak travel time. (The number provided at the meeting was an increase of up to 140% in 2026, a number that is presumably based on 2026 traffic levels, which are nearly impossible to predict in 2017).  But even after presenting this increase in travel time, the 300+ attendees at the meeting still overwhelming supported the road diet, with almost 70% voting “yes” for the road diet during the instant online polling conducted during the meeting.

No one wants to have increased travel times on Monroe, but it is important to put this into perspective.  Peak am and pm travel times will impact 12% of the time while the benefits of the dramatic safety improvements from the road diet will cover 100% of the time.

Although the majority of people at the Renew Atlanta meeting support the Road Diet, and a road diet is called for in the Virginia-Highland Master Plan and Beltline Subarea 6 plan, there are still those who oppose the road diet.  Rather than opposing the road diet, however, people who are skeptical or even opposed should focus on how to make it a success.  One of the most dramatic ways to reduce vehicular traffic on Monroe is to convert Piedmont from one way between 14th and Ponce (or even just 14th to 10th) to two way.  Having a second north/south route from Piedmont to Ponce (or 10th) will give commuters who now use Monroe another – and better – option for their north/south Commute.  There are other tools as well. For example, with the realignment of the bike lane proposed for 10th and Monroe, there can be a dedicated right turn arrow from southbound Monroe to westbound 10th when there is the dedicated left turn arrow from westbound 10th to northbound Monroe.  And for those who are concerned about cut-through traffic and speeding on side streets, there are tools to help with those issues as well.  The Virginia-Highland Civic Association is committed to lobbying for all of these necessary changes and working to find other improvements as well.

There are also significant changes happening between now and 2026 that will also reduce traffic on Monroe.  By 2026, there will be transit on the BeltLine, and MARTA will have implemented its enhanced bus service, including its proposed service for smaller buses that will serve shorter, residential routes.  These significant improvements to transit will undoubtedly reduce the number of cars on Monroe and make an estimate for 2026 based on current conditions and a road diet rather meaningless.

We must insist that the City make the changes needed to reduce increases to travel time that may come with the road diet.  It would be very shortsighted to abandon the desperately needed 24/hour a day safety improvements to Monroe over concerns about increased travel times during a few hours a day.  But even if the projected 2026 increase in peak pm travel time comes to fruition, we have to put a line in the sand and make safety our top priority.  Alexa’s dad said it best:  “A 140% increase in travel time is a small price to pay to prevent another fatality on Monroe.”

Now is the time for action.  We must show the Renew Atlanta team that we support the road diet.  You can voice your support for the road diet and submit additional comments on the Complete Streets project via email to:   The attached comment card, which was distributed at the 2/28 meeting, can also be sent in via email.  Comments must be submitted by March 15, 2017.

A final caveat – Although the road diet is certainly the most critical piece of the Complete Streets project, the project proposes other street improvements as well, including intersection improvements to 10th and Monroe, a realignment of Virginia and Monroe, a proposed traffic circle or alternative intersection improvement at Park and Monroe, and other modest intersection improvements.  All of the proposed street improvements are online on the Renew Atlanta website (click here). Additional changes, such as improved lighting and landscaping and light synchronization, will also be part of the Complete Streets project.


Promote Safety on Your Street: Be a Street Lead!

By Eleanor Barrineau, VHCA Safety Chair

There has lately been rising anxiety in our neighborhood about crime. Much as we depend on the efforts of our police and FBAC, there is a third component to make us all safer.


It is a point worth making that crime around the neighborhood might be less likely to occur if more residents were aware of what has been happening and therefore were more on their guard.

So how do we make awareness happen?

Answer: A Street Lead on every street who passes on safety information to other residents on that street. Good news is that some streets are already covered; however, many streets still do not have a lead. In this electronic age, it’s very easy: As a Street Lead (also known as a street captain) you would:

  • Receive monthly VaHi safety reports that include updates from APD, FBAC and the Safety Committee, and simply pass them on to your street, block, or apt/condo bldg.
  • Facilitate communication between residents and the safety committee when incidents occur (for example, the pedestrian robbery on Greenwood recently).

Minimal time, maximum impact to help keep you and your neighbors safe!

If you live on one of the streets listed below, please contact us at and let us know you are interested in being a street lead.

If your street already has a lead but you can help with safety, contact us at as we have several other initiatives needing volunteers.


Streets needing a representative:
Amsterdam Av (Monroe to Beltline)
Bellevue Dr
Bonaventure Av
Briarcliff Ct
Briarcliff Pl (Barring condo bldg.)
Briarcliff Rd (Ponce to Virginia)
Briarcliff Ter
Monroe Dr
N. Highland (Virginia to CVS)
Park Dr (West of Monroe)
Stillwood Dr (Los Angeles to Rosedale)
Virginia Av (N Highland to Rosedale)
Virginia Av (Rosedale to Briarcliff)


Safety Camera Update

By Sterling Eaves, VHCA Safety Committee Member

at-the-corner-of-9.5X24-MECHThe 2016-17 VHCA board has made safety a priority and last month, a meeting with Board and Safety Committee members, the Atlanta Police Foundation (APF), and Atlanta Police Department (APD) occurred to discuss the status of video camera installation in our neighborhood. Law enforcement is greatly aided in their efforts to keep our neighborhood safe by the live surveillance of our City streets via this technology. Generally, the funding of each camera can vary between grants, government, and private funding or a combination thereof.

At various city locations, license plate readers are also installed. These cameras help to track vehicles used by criminals as they move away from a crime scene.  All cameras are monitored by the APD Video Integration Center (VIC). Throughout Atlanta, several thousand public and private business cameras (Lenox Square Mall for example) are monitored around the clock by the VIC staff.

Installed before 2016 with public funding, the VIC has been monitoring cameras at Virginia Avenue at North Highland Avenue, Maiden Lane between Ponce de Leon Place and Bonaventure, and Ponce de Leon Avenue at the Ford Factory Lofts/Kroger shopping center.

Funds from VHCA and District 6 Councilman Alex Wan’s office have resulted in the installation of three additional cameras located at Frederica Street and Ponce de Leon Avenue, Ponce de Leon Avenue between Bonaventure Avenue and Somerset Terrace (near the Clermont Hotel), and Ponce Place between St. Charles Avenue and Greenwood Avenue.

A new round of cameras funded by Invest Atlanta will result in twenty additional cameras being installed in Zone 6, with three of these in Virginia-Highland beat 601. These cameras will be located at Amsterdam Walk, Ponce de Leon Avenue at North Highland Avenue, and St. Charles Avenue at North Highland Avenue.

APF is the nonprofit vehicle through which private funding is accumulated to fund safety initiatives all over our City. APF uses the donated funds they receive to purchase the safety technology and hardware and then donate it to the Atlanta Police Department for the Police to operate and maintain.

The Atlanta Police Department has identified six additional locations which are on their priority list for cameras in Virginia-Highland, Beat 601. Each camera cost approximately $15,000. Any person or entity can make a targeted, tax-free donation to the APF to help fund new cameras for our neighborhood and you are encouraged to do so.

If you’d like to learn more, here’s a link to a story WSB-TV aired about the installation of the videos cameras in VaHi.

So, the next time you walk or drive through our VaHi neighborhood, look up for the safety cameras and know that hard-working VIC men and women are looking back and keeping us all safe.


Safety Subjects: Virginia-Highland Security Patrol

By Kay Stephenson, VHCA Vice President and Safety Committee Member

Do you know about our neighborhood patrol also known as Fight Back Against Crime (FBAC)? This member-supported private security patrol was established over 25 years ago and is one of the longest running neighborhood patrols in the city.

Investigator Chip Cook with two neighborhood trick-or-treaters at Halloween

Investigator Chip Cook with two neighborhood trick-or-treaters at Halloween

Staffed by off-duty Atlanta Police Department officers who patrol in uniform and with full policing powers, the greatest benefit of the program is the increased police presence on our streets. An alarm system is a great way to notify police of a problem after it has occurred. But, alarms are essentially a reactive tool.

Most of an APD beat officer’s on-duty time is spent responding to 911 calls. They don’t have the time to do much proactive policing. This stands in contrast to our patrol where the primary focus is to proactively work to prevent crime.

FBAC officers not only patrol in vehicles but also get out of the vehicle and walk the streets. They engage and get to know residents and business owners, and they know the offenders who target Virginia-Highland. They question people walking in unlikely places at odd hours to determine their business. In this way, individuals with outstanding warrants and who have no proper business in our neighborhood can be stopped before they offend again. The FBAC patrol officer is the replacement for the beat cop of earlier times.

Benefits for single family home members include access to officers while on duty via cellphone; a monthly newsletter with crime reports, safety tips and the schedule for the upcoming month; home checks while you are on vacation; a yard sign and window decal to let criminals know you are protected; a home security evaluation with one of our officers; and a safe ride home when officers are on duty. Officers are patrolling the most likely crime areas of the neighborhood by car and on foot to spot potential criminal activity before it happens.

There are also options for individuals living in condominiums or apartment complexes and businesses. You can find more information and sign up to become a member at


New Security Cameras Funded by VHCA and Councilmember Wan

By Jack White, VHCA Board President

IMG_1261Earlier this year Councilmember Alex Wan offered to match any neighborhood association’s contribution of up to $20K for new public police security cameras. In July, VHCA appropriated $19K for the Atlanta Police Foundation, who selects camera locations and supervises their installation for the city.  These cameras – and several hundred others in the city, with more planned – are monitored 24/7 by the Atlanta Police Department. The cameras look like the white one in the image to the right.

We met twice with the Foundation, first with our Safety Committee and the second time with Morningside/Lenox Park (who are also considering the offer) and Poncey-Highland, our neighbors across Ponce de Leon.  Alas for the latter, they are not in Alex’s district and have no offer from their own councilmember, whose financial assistance both we and Poncey-Highland would have appreciated.

We enjoyed both meetings with the Foundation, represented each time by Jessica Masters.  After examining the locations of existing cameras and pending plans for others, they selected three sites along Ponce de Leon Avenue, chosen for its role as a busy east-west thoroughfare.   The cameras should be installed soon, visible at corners westward from Frederica and Ponce.

The thoughtful Ms. Masters also reported that the Foundation was conducting some studies to examine the specific effectiveness of the cameras as a crime-fighting tool.  We look forward to sharing those results with you.

We thank her and Councilmember Wan for their support and interest in this topic.  As always, Councilmember Wan was very effective in finding tangible ways to support his communities.


Intersection of Barnett Street and Virginia Circle Now a 4-Way Stop


The city has installed stop signs for north and southbound traffic on Barnett. Previously, only motorists going in either direction on Virginia Circle were required to stop at the intersection.

Nearby resident Anurag Sahu had witnessed a few accidents and numerous near misses at the intersection over the years and reached out to VHCA to see what could be done. City Councilmember Alex Wan asked the city’s Office of Transportation to examine the situation.

Stop signs are not a cure for many traffic challenges.  Transportation engineers have a set of specific criteria – volume of traffic, signage on nearby roads, speed, and visibility among them – by which they make such decisions. It makes sense because the impacts can be widely distributed. This decision was not clear-cut, but after considerable input from neighbors and VHCA Safety Committee members Peggy Berg and Jenifer Keenan, the city decided to install the signs.

As always, we appreciate Councilmember Wan’s willingness to initiate and support the study, and we hope this change will reduce accidents and improve safety at the intersection.


APD Officials Listen and Respond to Resident Safety Concerns

IMG_0560The first portion of this month’s regular meeting of the VHCA held on April 13th was devoted to a special discussion of neighborhood safety.  District 6 Councilperson Alex Wan (who organized the meeting and arranged the speakers), APD Asst. Chief Shawn Jones, Deputy Chief Joseph Spillane, Zone 6 Commander Timothy Peek, and other officers made presentations, listened to resident concerns, and spent over an hour answering a wide range of questions.

While acknowledging the well-publicized instances of violent crime in and around Beat 601 that have caught everyone’s attention, the presenters pointed out that violent crime – murders, rapes, robberies and burglaries – is down in our beat when compared with last year, which itself had low numbers.  What is not down is the level of vehicle break-ins; officers encouraged residents and visitors to remove anything of value from parked cars and pointed out that among the items stolen from cars recently were seven handguns.

IMG_0563One resident pointed out that her knowledge of crime came at least in part from social media and asked about actual statistics. VHCA Safety Chair Peggy Berg and Board member Jess Windham graphed the last six years of stats for Beat 601 (solely and entirely composed of VaHi) and prepared and distributed a handout of those numbers at the meeting.  (They may be viewed here on our website, and we will update them monthly as we receive new data from APD.)

The officials thanked residents who told stories of calling 911 when they saw something suspicious, and encouraged everyone in attendance to do the same if they find themselves in a similar situation.  They explained the priority system that governs response to calls and provided average response times for all categories.  They reminded, urged, and pled with citizens not to intervene in crimes being committed, but to call APD.

IMG_0561Officials also commented that common traits of neighborhoods that effectively fight crime are neighborhood watches like the two-decade old one in VaHi. If you are not currently connected with your local Street Captain, please contact

Several speakers were critical of the county role in dealing with juvenile offenders and thought sentences were too light.  Another viewed the problem of keeping criminals off the street as a multifaceted one.  Police, prosecutors, judges, and the state (which runs prisons) all have a role in ensuring that the most dangerous and predatory of criminals are successfully caught, prosecuted, and incarcerated.

What was abundantly clear is that APD is highly informed as to the location and frequency of crimes, with data coming in and being analyzed constantly. The department’s ability and willingness to respond and shift resources around on an hourly and daily basis was impressive.

We appreciate the time and energy that the whole department expends on this effort, and the presentation ended with a warm ovation from neighbors.  We thank all those at APD and Councilmember Wan for the work they do and for making the evening possible.

Click here to view a video of the meeting in its entirety.

Click here for information on participating in the CourtWatch program.

Click here for a link to the Christian Science Monitor article on the Atlanta Police Department referenced by a resident who spoke at the meeting.


We’d Like Your Opinion, Please

radar-sign-image-libraryThe VHCA is considering installing a solar powered radar speed sign in our neighborhood. You may have seen these signs along the Byway and on Lenox Road. They flash your speed at you as you pass but don’t record anything and don’t take photographs. You can learn more about the device we’re considering by clicking here.

We are interested in your thoughts. What do think about using this type of device in Virginia-Highland? Where do you think a sign might contribute to safer traffic flow? Peggy Berg, VHCA Safety Chair, would appreciate your input. Send your comments to


VaHi Safety Team Report: April 3, 2013

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

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 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 and we’ll let you know.


The VaHi Safety Team


Virginia-Highland Safety Team Report: December 10, 2012

By: John Wolfinger

The Continuing Fulton County Jail Dilemma

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

The Charles Echols Sentencing Hearing

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

Piedmont Park Safety Alert!

The latest issue of the Midtown Ponce Security Alliance has a story about a serious sexual incident in Piedmont Park.  Read it at

Zone 6 Santa Claus Plans

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

A Couple of Interesting Videos

A MARTA safety video at

And, a good seasonal video from Watershed Management  Love the truckfull of happy sewer guys at the end.

Our Safe Address Delivery Program

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

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

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

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

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

Auto Theft Recovery  –  No such reports from Beat 601.

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

Residential Burglary  –  No reported incidents in Beat 601

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

Residential Robbery  –  No reported incidents in Beat 601.

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

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

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

Homicide  –  No reported incidents in Beat 601.

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

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

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

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

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


VaHi Safety Team Report: November 21, 2012

BeltLine Caution

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

The Upcoming VaHi Tour of Homes

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

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

The Jack Boys Sentencings

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

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

Other Court and Investigation News

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

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

New COPS Newsletter

Our APD COPS (Community Oriented Policing Section) has a great newsletter with lots of important holiday safety tips as well as news as to how they are working on the crime prevention front.

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

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

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

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

Auto Theft Recovery – No reported recoveries in Beat 601

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

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

Commercial Robbery – No reported incidents in Beat 601

Residential Robbery – No reported incidents in Beat 601

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

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

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

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

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

Stay alert and aware out there during this holiday season.


Safety Team Report: November 12, 2012

By: John Wolfinger

APD In Mourning

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

Thought Provoking AJC Op-Ed Article

The interesting and insightful article about crime stats that features my Inman Park partner-in-crime Greg Scott is at

Safe Delivery Addresses for Package Delivery

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

Fall Leaf Removal Practices

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

BeltLine Pedestrian Crossing at Monroe Drive/Virginia Avenue

Long-awaited pedestrian crossing improvements are being made at this dangerous intersection.

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

Aggravated Assault  –  No reported incidents in Beat 601

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

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

Auto Theft Recovery  –  No reported recoveries in Beat 601

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

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

Commercial Robbery  –  No reported incidents in Beat 601

Residential Robbery  –  No reported incidents in Beat 601

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

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

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

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

Pedestrian Robbery  –  No reported incidents in Beat 601.

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

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

Stay Alert and enjoy Fall!!


Virginia-Highland Safety Team Report: November 1, 2012

By: John Wolfinger

Roy Latimore Found Guilty!!

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

The City Crime Rate is Down

Amazingly enough, our crime rate in the city still continues to abate.  The story at:  Another way to check our VaHi crime rate is to simply go to and read the Safety Team Reports in the safety section from 2 or 3 years ago. Thanx to Brian Gross for making these reports easily available for comparison.

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

Aggravated Assault  –  No reported incidents in Beat 601

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

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

Commercial Burglary  –  No reported incidents in Beat 601.

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

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

Commercial Robbery  –  No reported incidents in Beat 601

Residential Robbery  –  No reported incidents in Beat 601

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

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

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

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

The previously reported armed robbery of 9/23 on PDL Terrace where the victim lost her cell phone – she has reported to me that the perps in this incident were the same ones arrested for Midtown incidents per her Zone 6 investigator.

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

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

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

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

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

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


Improvements Coming Soon to Monroe/10th Intersection

According to the website, significant pedestrian safety improvements will be made soon at the intersection of 10th Street and Monroe Drive. The improvements are designed to support the recent opening of the Eastside BeltLine trail which currently terminates a few feet from the east side of Monroe, just across from Park Tavern and Piedmont Park.

Here’s the pertinent text from the article on the BeltLine website and a drawing of what the intersection will look like after the improvements are made:

“The improved section of Eastside Trail ends at Monroe Dr. adjacent to Park Tavern and Piedmont Park. The City of Atlanta Public Works Dept. approved the design for traffic signal and pavement striping improvements for the intersection. Eastside trail users will be able to cross Monroe Dr. to Piedmont Park more easily with new pedestrian signals and a 28’ wide striped pedestrian crossing with new curbramps built into the sidewalks on either side of Monroe Dr. The traffic signals for the Virginia and 10thStreet intersections with Monroe will be re-timed and coordinated in anticipation of heavier pedestrian and bicyclist activity through the area. Construction on the improvement is slated to begin in early November and be completed by mid-December (weather permitting). While improvements will occur on all four “corners” of the intersection, we have requested that the contractor prioritize the interface between the Park Tavern corner and the Eastside Trail.”



Virginia-Highland Safety Team Report: October 16, 2012

Jack Boys Guilty!!!!

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

A Neighborhood Cleanup on Saturday 10/20

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

Two Nice Neighborhood Stories

A nice AJC Real Estate section story about new home-owner residents on Glen Arden Way, who mention the neighborly feel of this street. This is due in part to the leadership of Glen Arden Street Captain Laurie Harris.

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

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

Aggravate Assault  –  No reported incidents in Beat 601

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

Auto Theft Recovery  –  No such reported findings in Beat 601

Commercial Burglary  –  No reported incidents in Beat 601

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

Commercial Robbery  –  No reported incidents in Beat 601

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Virginia-Highland Safety Team Report: October 2, 2012

By: John Wolfinger

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

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

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

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

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

Officer Woolfolk on the News

I’m sure many of you remember Officer Ralph Woolfolk who succeded Officer Joe Cooper on the evening watch  (3 to 11 p.m.) here.  After he left us he was assigned to the Boulevard Strike Force, but has now moved on to the COPS division ( ).  Thanx to Kay Stephenson for alerting me to a channel 11 news clip – featuring Woolfolk at Turner Field last week – he’s a natural on TV, and represented APD well.

October St. Charles/Highland Business Area Cleanup

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

Fulton County Court improvements

A court improvement task force has been meeting and working on suggested court improvements for a year and their results were released just last week. Their report is at  A recap is at Keeping our court system functioning smoothly is as vital to our total safety program as having a safe jail, and good law enforcement agencies in the county.

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

Aggravated Assault  –  No reported incidents from Beat 601

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

Auto Theft Recovery  –  No reported recoveries from Beat 601

Commercial Burglary  –  No reported incidents from Beat 601

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

Commercial Robbery  –  No reported incidents from Beat 601

Residential Robbery  –  No reported incidents from Beat 601

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Phone Numbers to Report Music Midtown Problems Announced

The PARKatlanta phone numbers for reporting parking/traffic problems related to the Music Midtown festival are 404-201-5086 and 404-201-5396.

The phone number for Whitten Management for reporting trash/litter problems is 770-655-7281. Whitten will have crews out all weekend picking up trash/litter and emptying trash cans – but if there are still problems on Monday morning this is the number to call for trash/litter that’s left behind.

All other emergency problems should be reported to the APD as usual via 911.


Vacant Property Registration

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


Voice – March 2012 – See something, say something!

by John Wolfinger, Safety chair

I continually get questions relating to our 911 system is some form or fashion. I hope I can clear up some things you may have been wondering about.

The most important myth to dispel is that, since we do not have a 311 call system for non-emergency situations – our 911 call system is the only way to reach APD and AFR for assistance. You are not going to “bother” the operators with non-emergency situations. The first person to answer will ascertain whether you need AFR for a fire or medical reason and will transfer your call to the AFR operators in the 911 center if appropriate. A medical call goes to the nearest AFR station and to the Grady ambulance center. The reason both are notified is that an AFR station may be much closer to your call site than a Grady truck at that moment. Also, AFR trucks do not have drugs or medications that may be needed and they do not transport to hospitals. Thus the reasoning for both units being initially summoned.

All other calls then go to APD for resolution. After the operator gets all the pertinent info, it is passed on to the dispatcher fore the appropriate APD Zone. The dispatcher then rates the assistance call for timing of response. Naturally a crime in process or a life-threatening situation will take precedence over a car blocking your driveway. The dispatcher stays in contact with all field personnel in their Zone and knows the closest available person for a response.

Even though there now seems to be very few times when the 911 system rings busy (as compared to a few years ago) stay on the line for your call to be answered. Hanging up and redialing means that you go to the end of the queue. A rainy, stormy Friday afternoon at rush hour with lots of auto accidents is a time when you may get a busy signal. Even though I don’t think that the 911 call center is still fully staffed, there are now enough trained personnel to properly handle calls on a consistent basis.

The next issue is when to call. Whenever you find yourself wondering as to whether you should report a situation – the answer is yes. Your gut feeling has told you that something is not right, so go with a call. If you see someone acting suspiciously or that looks like they may need help, call and let APD handle it. The least that will happen is that an officer will have a conversation with that individual. This cannot hurt anyone and it helps the officer to get to know their assigned beat better. This is how crime prevention works and APD would always rather try to prevent a crime than try to catch a perp after the fact.

The amount of calls from an area also has a second purpose, in that they help the Zone Commander know where to concentrate personnel to combat problems. Unreported incidents not only allow the suspected person to get away – but also rob that area of added personnel.

If you sense that you are not getting across to the operator the seriousness of your call – do not hesitate to ask for a supervisor. You had a distinct reason for making a 911 call, so make sure it is followed up on.

For a complete listing of all APD phone numbers other than 911 –go to and also check out Take a look at these pages now, so that when you have a question you will know where to find the info you need.

If you have additional questions – please contact me at to give me material for additional articles about this general subject. I want our neighborhood to be well-informed for the safety of all of us.

Continue reading — March 2012 Voice (online edition)


Uncollected garbage cans?

Neighbors on Rosedale Road at Virginia have been having continuous issues with uncollected garbage cans from adjacent apartments. They tell us that the bins are left out and that residents pile their new trash over the course of the week into the bins (or around them). They tell us that this  attracts vagrants who sort through the trash, as well as causes a public health danger from vermin. They tell us the apartment owners have been unresponsive and they have escalated the issue to the City for action. They requested us to publish the rules as well as the email of Mr. Raikes ( at the City which is the person to escalate to.

The rules are that trash and recycle bins must be removed by 7pm the day of collection and placed in the following areas (measured from the home’s side of the sidewalk):

  • 35 feet if collected from the front
  • 15 feet if collected from a rear street
  • 17.5 feet if collected from a side street if your house is at a corner

If you have unresolved problems with garbage cans please contact John Wolfinger and Peggy Berg of the Safety and Traffic chair, VHCA.


Community Safety Meeting November 15th, 2011

Another reminder to mark your calendars for 11/15/2011 at 6:30 p.m. at the YWCA on North Highland Avenue with Major Dalton from Zone 6 and Major Browning from Zone 2. Sometime in December, the area north of Amsterdam Avenue is slated to become part of Zone 2, as part of APD’s long ago announced redistricting plan.

Thanx to Councilman Alex Wan for organizing this session and he stated – ” There have been a number of serious crimes that have occurred in our neighborhoods recently. Additionally, the approaching holidays are a period when we tend to see increased criminal activity. I felt this would be a good time to have a discussion on public safety in our neighborhoods and an opportunity to have everyone’s questions answered. Plus we as a community need to know how we can work together to deter this activity from our neighborhoods.”

Notes from this meeting will be compiled by Rosedale Drive Street Captain Kay Stephenson. If you note significant items to be stressed to all folks who are not in attendance – please pass them on to Kay at These notes will be passed on to the community in my next report. I will not be able to attend due to a long-planned obligation – so take good notes.


Voice – Winter 2010-11

Published late November 2010
Download PDF (1.8 MB)

– Get ready to do the tour (Tour of Homes)
– President’s corner by Aly Higgins
– Group works to rid VaHi of graffiti, by Victoria Hathcox and Laura Voisinet
– Planning continues for construction of New Highland Park, improvements to Orme Park: Both projects could see groundbreaking in early 2010, by Pamela Papner
– Green Dream fundraising
– VHCA wants Atlanta Gas Light to repave streets adversely impacted by recent line work: Gas company meets some, not all, of neighborhood’s cleanup requests
– Spotlight on public safety: keep your dollars at home! by John Wolfinger
– History of Virginia-Highland, Part IX
– Restaurant review: Goin’ Coastal
– New burger joint opens in VaHi


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


Voice – Fall 2009

Download PDF (2.8 MB)

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


Safety Team Report Special Report 6/20/09

Zone 6 Strikes Again!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Traffic Alert!!

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

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

Job Opening

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

Speaking of liquor licenses

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

Stolen Driver’s Licenses

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

Two Interesting Websites

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

Speaking of sex offenders

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

Be alert and stay safe!!



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 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

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.


Go to the neighborhood website at , 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 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!!



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 , 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 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!!



Safety Team Report 4/13/09

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

AJC Articles

The AJC today has a story about yet another pedestrian assault on Briarcliff Road in DeKalb County. Read the story at The April 10th AJC had a revealing story about the backlog problem in our Fulton County court system – read this No wonder the Fulton County jail is overcrowded.

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

Arrest and Jail Report

Frederick C. Stranahan, the subject of the alert I put out last week, was arrested on 4/10 at the Intown Suites on Piedmont Circle, N.E. by Zone 6 Officer Britt. See his jail report at

Michael Corley, arrested on 3/25 here in VaHi after a home breakin on Orme Circle and leaving a stolen Jeep on Crestridge Drive, had his case deferred last Thursday morning in court. He is still in jail – his report at

Phone Numbers

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

PEDS Problem Sidewalk Survey

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

Neighborhood Trash Cleanups

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

BeltLine Cleanup

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

The Edgewood Target Store

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

Let Me Know

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

Crime reports from APD

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

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

Safety Team Report 3/20/09

Be On The Lookout!!

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

Your UPS/FedEx Deliveries

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

North Highland Cleanup March 28th

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

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!!


Safety Team Report 3/6/09

Virginia Highland Scores A Win!!

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

CourtWatch Training Saturday Morning

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

Our New Parkland

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

The Briarcliff Summit building

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

Crime reports from APD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Help Wanted

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

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

Be alert and be safe!!



Safety Team Report 2/20/09

Citizen’s CourtWatch Training

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

City Council District 6 Town Hall Meeting

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

Crime reports from APD

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

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

Auto Theft – One vehicle stolen from Rosedale Drive.

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

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

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

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

Other News For Business Owners

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


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

North Highland Avenue Streetscape Improvements

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

Springtime Special Events

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


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

Be alert and stay safe!!!!



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

Clean Car Campaign

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

Crime reports from APD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Voice – Winter 2002

Download PDF (3.2 MB)

– Lighting the home for the holidays, by Darrah Horgan
– Letters to the editor – safety
– President’s address, by Steve Kushner (Summerfest, Hilan Theatre, Atkins Park parking)
– Safety during the holidays, by Officer Nicole Rabel
– Money magner misses mosquitos, by Chip Gallagher
– Broken sidewalk? We can help, by Chip Gallagher
– Public safety, traffic and cleanliness, by Steve Luben
– The Highland Hoer, by John Wolfinger


Voice – Summer 1993

Download PDF (2.8 MB)

– Volunteers needed for Summerfest success
– Tim Shirley’s neighborhood outreach
– 911…operator this is an emergency (how to use 911), by Joyce Gross
– Keep your lights on (for safety), by Swan McKnight
– Buy a brick for John Howell Park, by Jerry Bright
A guide to buying art in VaHi (review of VaHi’s galleries), by Tinka Green
– Mike’s rules on buying a bicycle, by Michael Goodman
Col. Mustard reviews Fleeman’s Drugstore
– Help make our neighborhood beautiful
– Recycle today, by Nan Hunter
– Crime statistics
– Kidsfest ’92 (photo essay)
– A neighborhood-wide off-duty police patrol (will not happen for now), by Yvette Weatherly


Voice – Winter 1992

Download PDF (2.5 MB)

– VHCA amends its bylaws
– Parking survey opinion
– Planning Summerfest ’93
– Get “street smart” about safe bicycling
– Officially speaking: Handgun control, by Mayor Maynard Jackson
– Recycle today: save your “waste”, by Nan Hunter
– Home sweet Virginia-Highland home: portrait of longtime residents, by Jeni Evans
– John Howell Park renovation plans still under review, by Jerry Bright
– Col. Mustard reviews Neighbors Pub
– You can HELP! (fight crime), by Joyce Gross
– Neighborhood profile: Inman Middle School, by Betty Wells and Joan Walters
– Neighbors join to protect our streets: how to get off-duty police patrol coverage for your block, by Yvette Weatherly
– Crime statistics
– Personal safety tips from Pro-Tech Security Systems
– Learn about composting
– Traffic islands get make-over by Kathy Couch
– Parking survey


Voice – Winter 1991

Download PDF (2.2 MB)

– Christmas caroling in John Howell Park, by Jim Little
– VaHi shops are just right for the holidays, by Vicky Favorite
– Rep Rap by councilmember Mary Davis: proposed sewage facility at Piedmont Park
– Paideia fine arts and crafts show
– Recycle…because we have to: (Recycling is for Republicans too), by Nan Hunter
– Update on planning process for John Howell Park, by Jerry Bright
– Living AIDS Memorial Park project update, by Jim Little
– Better bicycling
– The newsletter needs you, by Beth Marks
– School news
– Holiday safety tips, by Ken Lavine, including this piece of advice: “If you drive a lot, or at night, install a car phone.”


Voice – Summer 1991

Download PDF (3.0 MB)

– A VaHi Summerfest you won’t want to miss, by Nan Hunter
– Block watch, a success story, by Joyce Gross
– Letter to the editor from Anne Taylor Hendry in defense of services for the homeless on Ponce
– Ponce Task Force survey results
– Grady students speak out – poems and essays by Grady 9th and 10th graders
– Rep Rap by Fulton County commissioner Nancy Boxill: demolishing the Highland library, settling the Presidential Parkway, property reappraisal
– John Howell Park plans approved
– Who says it’s a piece of junk? Many of our contemporary icons are threatened. By Steve Jagger
– Neighbor profile: The VOICE staff. Jett and Beth Marks, Kala Marks, Kathy Couch, Nan Hunter, Sarah Tomaka, Jeni and Rob Evans, Mickey Lawson, Terry Tuley
– Helpful hints for the Highland homeowner: fire safety, by Virginia Temple
– First annual VHCA/Summerfest “Sweat” 5K Run and Family Run – 1 mile
– Recycling: why not add your stuff to the curbside pick-up brigade?, by Nan Hunter
– Liquor store at Ponce and Barnett closes
– Host a student from France! By Carol Sleeth


Voice – Spring 1991

Download PDF(part 1, pages 1–10, 6.4 MB)
Download PDF (part 2, pages 11–20, 5.0 MB)

In part one:
– A VaHi pioneer (Richard C. Todd) and his legacy to this neighborhood, by Jeni Evans
– Franklin Garrett speaks at March meeting. He will be presenting a history of the Virginia-Highland neighborhood.
– Being a security-conscious neighbor, by Ken Lavine, VHCA public safety co-chair
– Grady students speak out: Essays by Grady 9th and 10th graders on homelessness, war and other current issues
– The VOICE – ten years ago, by Beth Marks
– Variances and how to get one, by Steve Jagger
– Inman Middle School, by Ellen England and Janice Giddens
– New playhouse at library
– Good neighbor policy, by Kathy Couch
– St. Patrick’s Day 5K race, by Doug Sligh
– About the Ponce de Leon Task Force survey

In part two:
– Ponce de Leon Task Force survey form
– Inman wants more tutors
– CINS awards mini-grants to area teachers, by Laurie Del Martin
– Grady High School news, by Laurie Del Martin
– Help support CINS when you get your emmision test
– Top sellers at Morningside Elementary gift wrap sale
– And the pick-up goes on…recycling in 1991! By Nan Hunter
– Help for the Highland homeowner, by Virginia Temple
– Be on the lookout for the “ACORN” man!


Voice – Winter 1990

Download PDF (3.1 MB)

– Neighbor profile: Foot patrolman Officer Chris Clark, by Beth Marks
– Ponce de Leon task force to speak at December meeting
– Historic preservation presentation update, by Burn Sears
– Front porch living, by Yvette Weatherly
– Holiday entertaining like a pro, by Shelley Pedersen, director of catering at Murphy’s
– Historic designation – what is means to you
– John Howell Park update (by Jerry Bright) and events (by the L.A.M.P. project)
– Historic designation survey form
– Outline of City zoning preservation ordinance
– Council of Intown Neighborhoods and Schools (CINS), by Barbara Van Dyke
– Grady students to author VOICE articles
– Morningside Elementary volunteers
– Inman needs tutors too
– Recycling, it’s habit forming, by Nan Hunter
– The road that was almost built (Georgia 400/I-485), by Warren Pritchard with Charles Longley
– Building permits, by Steve Jagger
– Ponce de Leon Task Force gains momentum in reaching for a consensus
– Interview with Chief Eldrin Bell, by V. Evans
– Personal safety (reprinted from ProTech Security Systems newsletter)


Voice – Summer 1990

Download PDF (2.7 MB)

– Meet with the Police about forming a PAC (Partnership against Crime)
– Neighbor profile: Joyce Gross, VHCAA head of public safety
– The VOICE says fight crime
– VOICE mission statement
– Summerfest 1990
– Preservation update, by Nina Gentry
– Council of Intown Neighbors and Schools (CINS), by Barbara Van Dyke
– Ponce de Leon taskforce, by Susan Carroll
– VaHi’s annual St. Patrick’s Day 5K Road Race
– The Voice wants to announce the results of your efforts to thwart crime (streets with neighborhood watches)
-Things are picking up: the sequel (recycling), by Nan Hunter
– VaHi color: Mark Draper and Mother’s Tire Company, by Warren Pritchard
– The YWCA comes to VaHi
– What VaHi merchants are doing to deter crime