VaHi Safety Team Report: October 30, 2014

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By: John Wolfinger

Bicycle Thievery

Interesting article about securing bicycles against theft- not being a bike owner myself, I always thought that U-locks were the way to go for protection. Not so – according to this article.

Interesting article about securing bicycles against theft- not being a bike owner myself, I always thought that U-locks were the way to go for protection. Not so – according to this article.

Halloween Safety

Since Halloween falls on a Friday this year – there is the possible danger of mixing adult fun with trick-or-treat fun along with the traffic gridlock. Sorry that I do not know how (if it is possible) to forward an AJC article behind their paywall.

Our New 311 System

I’ve had reports of varying success in using our new 311 non-emergency call system – but guess that we just have to give the city time to work out the bugs.

Save The Date – November 6th

Our annual Street Captain’s meeting on 10/25 was well attended, with great discussions on many subjects.  I will be sending out the notes from this session in a separate report.  Harris Botnick, the owner of Worthmore Jewelers at Amsterdam Walk announced a safety/security seminar he is sponsoring at 6:30 p.m. at Loca Luna in Amsterdam Walk on 11/6. Every VaHi street should be represented at this session, along with our neighborhood businesses too – as this concerns both personal, residential and business safety matters. We also invite our neighbors from surrounding east-side neighborhoods – we are all in this together.  Loca Luna should be packed for this evening.

Help Wanted

Our neighborhood off-duty patrol service, Fight Back Against Crime (FBAC), is in desperate need of some administrative help to assist Nancy Safay with marketing, e-publishing and general computer skill sets. This patrol is a neighborhood fixture with a 20 + year track record of serving VaHi and deserves our support, both with memberships as well as talents to guide its growth and stability.  Contact Nancy Safay at for more details.

The following reports are taken from our APD Zone 6 ( VaHi Beat 601 reported incidents for the 2014 weeks 40, 41 and 42 (9/28 – 10/18).  As I always state, these reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to let you know what happens around us everyday – so you can be alert and aware.

Aggravated Assault: No reported incidents from Beat 601

Auto Theft: Two scooters were taken from the same Briarcliff Road parking lot on the same nite.  One was chained – but the chain was cut.  There were 35 vehicles taken from all over Zone 6 in this time period.

Commercial Burglary: No reported incidents from Beat 601

Residential Burglary: On 10/2 a PDL Place apartment was entered (with no signs of forced entry) with a 47″ tv, an I-pad and 2 laptops taken.  On 10/4 a St. Charles Avenue apartment was entered via a rock thrown thru a window resulting in a playstation and controllers taken.  On 10/8 during the day a Virginia Avenue residence was entered by removing a kitchen window screen.  This suspect was arrested thanx to an alert neighbor who called 911 right away.  On 10/10 the first of our string of nite-time burglaries was committed on Adair Avenue with entry via a broken rear basement window – taken were 2 laptops, one laptop bag and a driver’s license.  On 10/15 on Park Drive entry was via a broken back window – taken was a sledge hammer.  On 10/18 a Rosedale Road residence was entered via an unlocked side window – taken were 2 I-pads, 2 desktop computers, 1 laptop, a wallet and contents and headphones.  A third nite-time VaHi burglary was reported on 10/26 with the Elkmont Drive residents being wakened to scare off the thief – entry was via a broken glass door.  Also – in this string of nite-time burglaries were one on East Morningside Drive in Morningside and another on University Drive in DeKalb County.

Commercial Robbery: No reported incidents from Beat 601.Residential Robbery: No reported incidents from Beat 601

Residential Robbery: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Pedestrian Robbery: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Larceny From Vehicle: A vehicle was entered on North Highland Avenue (laptop taken).  The license plate was taken from a motorcycle on Greenwood Avenue, and a catalytic converter was sawed off on North Highland Avenue.  This is an amazing decrease in the number of these incidents on our Beat.  There were 91 reported incidents in this time frame all over the Zone.

Larceny Other: At the CVS on North Highland Avenue a shoplifter put a can of beer in his shirt and he was arrested.  Two Apple I-pads were stolen from an Inman School classroom.  Two outgoing checks made out to Bank of America were stolen from an Orme Circle mailbox. One was cashed at a Forest Park Bank of America with the other check being refused to cash.  A “customer” was allowed to take out a bicycle from  Paris on Ponce for a BeltLine test ride and he and the bike never returned.

Nearby at the Edgewood Best Buy store – a customer put down her purse on a counter to get help from an employee and she lost $3000 in cash, a green card and a passport.  At all of the Edgewood Retail District stores – 14 shoplifting reports were filed.

With the recent nite-time burglaries – now is a good time to be honest with yourself and install good exterior lighting (not just a 40 watt bulb on the front porch), trim down over grown shrubbery around and under windows, get in the habit of locking ALL doors and windows (day and nite) and use your alarm system if you have one.  Hide your billfold and purse at nite before retiring – not just leave it on the kitchen table in view of a window along with your phones and laptops.

Recent Incidents in Candler Park/ Lake Claire Area

A Candler Park adult female was attacked at her home as she unloaded groceries – the story at The suspected attacker is still at large as of today and his picture is enclosed in this tv news clip. He has supposedly been sighted a couple of times since this attack, but no arrest has been made.The attempted abduction of a Candler Park student is detailed at

The attempted abduction of a Candler Park student is detailed at APD Zones 2, 5 and 6 are working with the School Detectives Section to step up patrols around schools as well as main routes to schools in our general east-side area. No arrest has been yet made either of the suspects in the purple van.

There was also a report on one of our message boards about a suspicious incident on Rosewood Drive here in VaHi concerning a 7y/o female, walking her dog, stating that a white passenger van (with no commercial lettering) stopped beside her on the street and the b/m driver spoke into a phone and then drove on. The child ran home with the parent calling in a 911 report. No further word on this incident.

These incidents point out that parents should have conversations with their children about safety precautions and awareness. Children should be taught to walk in groups to and from school. Set up a safe route to school and have a plan about safe houses or businesses children can go to if they are scared or threatened. Children should know their home address and parent’s phone numbers as well as another trusted adult. Go over instructions with your children as to how to call 911 and what to say to the operator. Every afternoon as I see children walking from the Inman School – I see many of them talking and texting on their phones and not being at all aware of their surroundings. Yes – cell phones are still being snatched from pedestrians and it could very well happen here too.

And – speaking of calling 911, make sure you have signed up for the Smart911 system.  Go to Click on the link to create your own family safety profile. Once you are signed up and call 911, the operator already knows facts about the person calling and speeds up the call. This program has now been in effect here in the city for well over a year now and it does work.Dig out your winter jacket and sweater and enjoy fall.

Dig out your winter jacket and sweater and enjoy fall.

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