VaHi Safety Team Report: November 11, 2014

By: John Wolfinger

Medical Marijuana

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

Two Recent Morningside Incidents of Note

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

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

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

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

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

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

Commercial Burglary: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

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

Commercial Robbery: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Residential Robbery: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Pedestrian Robbery: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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