VaHi Safety Team Report: September 9, 2014

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By: John Wolfinger

Parking Laws and Regulations

Thanks to my friend Susan Kanellos of the Piedmont Heights neighborhood watch for passing on this handy list of where not to park here in the City of Atlanta – maybe save yourself a ticket by reading and then printing out this list to keep in your vehicle for reference.

“Light Up The Night” Family Bike Ride

This sounds like a neat family bike riding experience on 9/13. This ride benefits the Gold Shield Foundation which assists public safety employees injured in the course of duty. Our own Lieutenant Jeff Baxter, head of the BeltLine Path Force, is the local president of this organization.

The BeltLine Lantern Parade

It is nice for me to report something nice that does not involve some sort of criminal activity – the Lantern Parade is one of those events.

I have not heard of any incidents along the parade route and that is good that 15,000 people can safely gather together outside in the dark without fear. I’m sure that there were some cars that were broken into though along the route where there were things that were left visible.

The following reports are taken from our APD Zone 6 ( VaHi Beat 601 reported incidents for the 2014 weeks 34 and 35 (8/17-8/30).  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: There was a 1996 Honda Accord stolen from the parking lot at the Virginia Highland apartments on Virginia Avenue.  Around the Zone in this time period there were 35 such reported thefts.

Commercial Burglary: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Residential Burglary: Instead of relying on the responding officer’s narrative – I am repeating the report I got from the victim of a residential robbery on St. Louis Place on 8/25 at about 12:35 p.m.

“The suspect knocked on our door soliciting yard work.  My husband declined and he moved on.  Shortly thereafter we took our dog for a walk and passed the suspect on our street as he was knocking on a neighbor’s door. When we returned to our house, our MacBook, I-pad and I-phone were missing.  We called 911 and my husband went to look for a suspect. He found the same guy in Freedom Park, called 911 and followed the suspect til police arrived and apprehended him near Austin Avenue. The suspect was a 17 y/o w/m.  He had jumped our fence and entered via our unlocked back door. We are now locking all of our doors always and will not be opening doors to any unknown solicitors.”

Detective Gurley tells me that this arrestee also admitted to another residential burglary on Sidney Street in Grant Park. I admire the victim for tracking the suspect that far and being there to identify him to the responding officer.

PLEASE, PLEASE do not think that just because you have part or all of your lot fenced in that it is impenetrable by our thieves, and you do not need to lock doors and windows.

Commercial Robbery: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Residential Robbery: No reported incidents from Beat 601.

Pedestrian Robbery: An off-duty waiter was held up at knife point after dark in the Intown Hardware parking lot by a lone suspect who accepted $5 from the victim’s work apron.  The suspect fled on foot west on Drewry Street.

Larceny From Vehicle: Such reported thefts were on St. Charles Avenue ( ski jacket, GPS and a laptop), Virginia Avenue (laptop, purse and contents), North Highland Avenue (laptop and printer), Virginia Avenue (laptop and backpack), Drewry Street (breast pump- no I do not make these things up), Frederica Street (laptop), Virginia Avenue (2 laptops), North Highland Avenue (camera, lenses and a tablet), Maiden Lane (cell phone, laptop, diamond engagement ring, 2 pair sunglasses), North Highland Avenue (laptop, files, bag), PDL Avenue (9mm pistol), Barnett Street (laptop, I-Pod) Virginia Avenue (clothing, cd’s),and PDL Avenue (wallet and contents – the door was unlocked!).

All over the Zone in this time period there were 92 such reported thefts – when will we ever learn??????  Elsewhere on Memorial Drive, the steering wheel air bag, headrests and the radio/cd player were taken – somebody taking orders for specific car parts?

Larceny Other: This is an interesting story.  At a North Highland Avenue parking lot, the victim came to retrieve his parked trailer and it was missing.  He had locked one wheel, so there were skid marks on the pavement, which he tracked to Briarcliff Road (the trailer must have been heavy to leave pavement marks).  It was hooked to a pick-up truck and when he confronted the driver he drove off minus the trailer.  The report does not specify as to how the trailer was unhooked.  Sometimes these reports leave some questions.

Nearby, two suspects were arrested after being caught stealing copper wire from lite poles along Freedom Parkway near Boulevard.

Also nearby at the Edgewood Retail District Target and Kroger stores there were 12 reported shoplifters resulting in 12 arrests.  Though I wonder as to how many shoplifters in these stores were not caught.

Remember the Clean Car Campaign which states that ALL parked cars are to be cleaned out at ALL times.  As long as we continue to offer lots of “stealables” left in plain sight in parked vehicles – the thieves will continue to roam our streets.

Stay alert and enjoy the rest of summer.

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