June 14, 2016

VaHi Safety Team Report Weeks 21 and 22 (5/15/16 – 5/28/16)

News and Notes

Thefts from Restaurant Staff

As mentioned in the last report we have seen several incidents of a suspect walking in the back door of a restaurant and stealing personal belongings from staff lockers while they are in the front of the house working. The most recent incident occurred this morning at Genki. 

In the last report we suggested business owners might consider installing a bell or some other unobtrusive alert mechanism to serve as a deterrent and so that staff nearby will know someone has entered from outside. 

I also can’t stress enough that each and every incident needs to be called in to 911. I know everyone in a restaurant is busy at the hours this guy is striking, but it does appear to be one individual and a coordinated effort by Atlanta PD looking at all of these cases (unconfirmed reports on Nextdoor from Genki, Hand and Hand, Limerick Junction, Harry & Sons, Murphy’s and others), could result in an arrest.

Video Cameras for Virginia-Highland - Update

As we mentioned here in a February report, the VHCA Safety Committee has been working since December, 2015 with the Atlanta Police Foundation and Atlanta PD to identify locations and funding to install additional video cameras around the neighborhood. If you missed the earlier report you can find it here.

Atlanta PD has now identified the prioritized list of locations for different types of devices (find map here), and several meetings and discussions have taken place with the Atlanta Police Foundation to understand the options, how cameras work, what is done with the data, etc. Funds for three cameras have been verified through Alex Wan’s office (with VHCA matching those funds) to purchase three cameras. Options for additional fund-raising from businesses and residents to fund more cameras has also been discussed. Each camera costs between $13,000 and $15,000 depending on functionality.

Based on the meeting last evening (June 13th), it is expected that a vote can take place by the board to fund these cameras at the next scheduled meeting on July 11th. If the addition of video cameras is important to you, please take a moment to contact your VHCA board members and urge them to move forward as quickly as possible. Board members and their contact information can be found here

When you do contact them, I urge you to remember that VHCA board members are all volunteers and most work full time and have family commitments as well, so be patient if you are requesting a response. You can also express your interest by attending the next VHCA meeting.

Fulton County Sheriff Run-Off Election July 26th

As you know there will be a run-off election for the democratic candidate for Fulton County Sheriff. This election will be held on July 26th and early voting has already commenced. The run-off will be between the current sheriff, Ted Jackson, and Richard Lankford, who held the office prior to Sheriff Jackson’s election in 2008. A few things to know before you vote:

Under Richard Lankford the Fulton County Jail was under a Federal Consent Decree due to unsafe and inhumane conditions including jail cells that did not lock and extreme overcrowding (three to a cell with inmates sleeping on mattresses on the floor for example). The consent decree has been lifted under Sheriff Jackson, new locks have been installed, and the over-crowding problems have been dramatically reduced.

Under Sheriff Jackson the department has regained accreditation under CALEA (Committee on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies) which had been lost under the management of Richard Lankford.

Sheriff Jackson has established a Youth Intervention Program (YIP) which has served 850 students to date and was featured on A&E television. He also has established a Citizen’s Academy to build stronger relations with the community.

Sheriff Ted Jackson negotiated a new inmate food contract which has saved taxpayers $700K to date.

John Wolfinger, I, and others in the neighborhood have had the opportunity to participate in the Citizen’s Academy. I saw firsthand the improvements at the Fulton County Superior Court which would not have allowed the Brian Nichols shooting and escape had they been in place in 2005. I also interacted with many sheriff’s deputies who have pride in their organization and love going to work every day.

Given our experiences, John Wolfinger and I will be voting for Sheriff Jackson. However, I urge you to do your homework and make your own decision. My only plea to you is that you take the ten minutes to go out and vote on July 26th. Run-off elections traditionally have an absurdly low turn-out, and it would be a tragedy if only a handful of people were allowed to make this decision.

Police in the Park

Police in the Park is back! The Atlanta Police Department is hosting the first 2016 Police in the Park event on Friday, July 8 on the Atlanta BeltLine from 5-8 pm. Join the Path Force Unit and other officers for a fun day at the skate park. The Department has partnered with several local agencies and will offer bicycle safety information and exciting giveaways. Find more information here.

Atlanta Police Explorers Program for Youth and Young Adults

The Atlanta Police Explorers Program is accepting applications. The program is designed to train young adults from the ages 14-21 to become futures leaders.

Activities include: 
• Patrol “ride-along” 
• Community Service 
• Tactical training 
• Crime scene investigations 
• Report writing 

Explorer Requirements are: 
1. Be a United States Citizen. 
2. Be between the ages of 14-21(Must have completed the 8th grade) 
3. Passing school classes & maintaining a GPA of 2.5 or higher. 
4. The ability to pass a Background Investigation. 
5. Have no criminal arrests or detainment. 

To apply or for more information, please contact Lt. Clay at ABClay@atlantaga.gov

Upcoming Meetings:

Virginia-Highland Civic Association (VHCA) – July 11, 2016 at 7:00 pm at Ponce Branch Fulton Co. Public Library

Neighborhood Planning Unit (NPU) F – June 20, 2016 at 7:00 pm at Hillside

Crime Statistics

The following information is taken from our APD Zone 6 report (http://atlantapd.org/Zone6.aspx).
It includes information from the Virginia-Highland Beat 601 reported incidents along with relevant reports from other nearby beats. Keep in mind that not all incidents are reported. A map showing the location of beats 601 – 612 within Zone 6 can be found at this link

This information is not shared to scare anyone, but to let you know what happens around us every day so you can be alert and aware.

Homicide None in beat 601 and none in Zone 6.

Rape None in beat 601 and none in Zone 6.

Pedestrian/Carjacking Robbery One in beat 601 and twelve in Zone 6.

On May 21, 2016 at approximately 11:46 pm Officer C. Wade responded to 680 Greenwood Ave in reference to a carjacking that occurred at the location. The victim advised that he was getting into his vehicle when two black males approached him with semi-automatic handguns. The males ordered him and his friend to surrender their belongings and keys to the vehicle. He indicated that the vehicle was already running, so he did not turn over his key to the suspects. The suspects got inside the vehicle and left the location.

Both males appeared to be 18-20 years old and were wearing jeans. One suspect possibly had short dreads. The suspects had handguns with one being a dull gray color. The victims were not able to see what type of shirt or shoes either suspect was wearing. One of the victims stated that his cell phone was located in the driver's side door pocket. By tracking the victim’s phone, it was discovered that the cell phone was still turned on and was emitting a signal from the Mt. Zion and Macon Dr. area. Units from Zone 3 and the Zone 6 FIT team responded to the area of Mt. Zion and Macon Dr in an attempt to locate the stolen vehicle.

After several minutes, the Zone 6 FIT team located the vehicle at 50 Mt. Zion Rd which was The Woods at Glenrose apartment complex. The Zone 6 FIT team waited to see if anyone would return to the vehicle but nobody did. Officers then moved in and secured the vehicle. The vehicle was processed by City of Atlanta Police ID techs and latent prints were found. Officer Wade transported the victim to Zone 3 and allowed him to retrieve his vehicle. The vehicle and all property inside was released to Victim 1 and his friend Victim 2. The incident took place in the "Owner 10" parking spot at the address, however there were no cameras in the area where the incident took place.

Residential Robbery None in beat 601 and none in Zone 6.

Commercial Robbery None in beat 601 and two in Zone 6.

Aggravated Assault None in beat 601 and five in Zone 6.

Residential Burglary None in beat 601 and twenty-four in Zone 6.

Commercial Burglary None in beat 601 and ten in Zone 6.

Larceny From Vehicle Five in beat 601 and sixty-either in Zone 6.

Vehicles were entered on Bonaventure Avenue, Maiden Lane (3), and Ponce de Leon Avenue. Entry was made via a damaged door lock, and broken windows. Victims lost a gym bag with clothing, two watches, and cash, a backpack with clothes, an Apple MacBook and tow book bags, a Lenovo ThinkPad, backpack with Microsoft Surface, and an antique rifle.

Other Larcenies Five in beat 601 and fifty-three in Zone 6.

On May 15th at Surin on N. Highland Avenue a man entered from the back door and stole a purse with wallet, car keys, ID and credit cards from an employee locker. The suspect is approximately 5’ 7, black male in late 30’s. At the time he was wearing a red t-shirt, a red ball cap, and dark colored jeans.

On May 16th a Diamondback Insight 2 bicycle was stolen from the apartment complex bike rack at 609 Virginia Avenue. The bike was secured with a cable lock which was cut.

On May 16th at Friends Neighborhood Bar on Ponce de Leon Avenue three security cameras were stolen.

On May 24th the theft of jewelry was reported stolen when the resident returned from vacation to her home on Saint Charles Avenue. Suspects are known to the resident.

On May 26th a snatch theft occurred on the sidewalk near Hand and Hand on N. Highland Avenue. The suspect grabbed a woman’s clutch purse and ran. When she gave pursuit, the suspect dropped the bag in a trash can and ran on. The suspect is an average sized black male with a lanky build, black shirt, black pants, blue Nikes with white bottoms.

Auto Theft One in beat 601 and nineteen in Zone 6.

On May 16th a vehicle parked on the street in the 900 block of Greenwood Avenue was stolen. The car is a white 2005 Honda Accord with GA tag BTF3280.

If this report was forwarded to you and you would like to be added to the distribution, please send a message to me at VaHiSafety@gmail.com with your name, email address, and affiliation. 

Stay Safe!

Kay Stephenson
Attachments area

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