VaHi Safety Team Report: September 10, 2013

By: John Wolfinger

Good People Rule!!!!

I know that when most of you see yet another Safety Team Report, you expect to see more bad news on the crime front (and yes there is such news further down in this report), but I wanted to lead this time with some good news about recent events that have come down with no significant bad problems.

During the Labor Day weekend, Downtown and Midtown hosted DragonCon, several athletic events, Black Pride, etc. with no bad incidents per the Zone 5 report at last week’s NPU “M” safety meeting. Thanks to Zone 5, led by Major Whitmire, for all of the advance planning that culminated with tens of thousands of visitors enjoying Atlanta hospitality.

Then, this past weekend thousands more reveled in the glow of the nighttime BeltLine lantern parade and the daytime sunshine of Peachtree Street’s Streets Alive celebration – again without major incidents. I was a bit apprehensive about so many folks being on the BeltLine well after dark – but there was safety in numbers of good folks. What was not too long ago an urban wasteland, the BeltLine hosted tens of thousands of residents enjoying each other’s company in safety.

911 Calls Do Make A Difference!!!!

This past week’s events demonstrated this very well. All of the 911 calls that were placed about sighting Stanley Spradlin resulted in his arrest last Thursday 9/5. That recap and the note of thanx from our Zone 6 Commander, Major Peek, at  Thanks to our new Zone 6 Community Prosecutor, Keith Lamar, Spradlin has no bond and is safely ensconced in the Rice Street jail, awaiting further hearings. We will have CourtWatch opportunities eventually and I will be making message board posts as these come up at the Court House.

This past week also, a VaHi resident called 911 about a guy sleeping on their front walk, and it turned out to be Bobby Perry, who has warrants from Bartow County. He was one of the four who burglarized and vandalized the Virginia Highland Church back in 2009 – but is out of prison now from that sentence. He has been seen a lot lately on PDL Avenue, as well as North Highland, and has a  long list of priors just like Spradlin. Our Zone 6 Investigator Gurley has told me he is going to talk to Perry about our recent home burglaries and car break-ins before he gets shipped off to Bartow County.

Also – while on the subject of 911 calls, there is finally discussion about the confusion of cell phone placed 911 calls near the Atlanta-DeKalb County border that happens here in this area. Thanks to Natalyn Archibong for exploring this dangerous problem.

Emergency Preparedness

If you do not yet have a family plan for emergencies – there is a good form for listing details for all household members at –

Police Information Sharing Plan

Yes, I would have thought that this would have been SOP, evidently not – but is becoming a reality now.

The following reports are taken from our APD Zone 6 ( for the 2013 weeks of 33 and 34 (8/11 – 8/24) for our VaHi Beat 601. 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 from Beat 601. But – across PDL Avenue at Dugan’s bar, a patron pointed a handgun recklessly at several other patrons and an arrest was made. Guns and booze don’t mix well.

Auto Theft: A ’93 Toyota was stolen from Greenwood Avenue. On Orme Circle a stolen car report was cancelled after the owner realized the car had been left on Park Drive around the corner. Whoops!!

Commercial Burglary: Two separate incidents from the under-renovation Briarcliff Summit building on PDL Avenue. On 8/14 there was a lot of scrap metal pieces taken from the basement workroom via a kicked-in door. Then on 8/24 stoves, a/c units, etc were taken again from the basement via a damaged door. Hope that basement door is now REALLY secured!

Residential Burglary: The first of our string of residential burglaries was reported on 8/23 in the 600 block of Park Drive – with entry made via a broken out rear window.

Commercial Robbery: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Residential Robbery: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Pedestrian Robbery: On 8/23 in the 500 block of Park Drive at 11:30 p.m. the female victim was returning home and saw a male on the sidewalk who raised her suspicions.  She stayed in her car for a while until he left from sight. When she got out of her car, he reappeared with a companion and asked for her car key – the car was keyless ignition and they did not know how to start it. They then took her cell phone, debit card and driver’s license and fled into the night on foot. The victim was not hurt. In a situation such as this – it’s a good idea just to drive away and either wait for a while before returning home or call 911 or FBAC (if you are a member and they are on duty) to ask for a safety escort to your door.

Larceny From Vehicle: Vehicles were entered on North Highland Avenue (6), Briarcliff Road, St. Charles Avenue, Monroe Drive, PDL Place (2), Virginia Avenue, Maiden Lane and St. Louis Place.

Larceny Other: At a North Highland Avenue store, two males took an employee’s unwatched cell phone while being distracted by these males. A chained bike was taken from a Virginia Avenue apartment porch. PLEASE – hide these bikes while not in use!  Front porches are not a good hiding place, as we see from this and many, many previous reports!

Safety Team Meeting

Street Captains, business owners and other interested neighbors – don’t forget the safety meeting this Saturday morning (9/14) from 9:15 until 11:30 in the basement meeting room at Church of Our Saviour at North Highland and Los Angeles Avenues.  Enter from the Los Angeles side of the church. We fully realize that all Street Captains and business owners will not have the chance to attend – but please ask a watch list neighbor or staff member to attend in your place. Our guest speaker will be Captain Brent Schierbaum of the 911 call center and video integration center. This represents an excellent way to better understand how these vital APD services function to serve us. Coffee from San Francisco Roasting and pastries from the BeltLine Kroger will be served. Thanx also to Father John Bolton for allowing us to use the church meeting room.

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