March 28, 2015

Virginia Highland Public Safety Report - Weeks 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12

Prepared by John Wolfinger

I know, I know that I am way behind in getting a new report out to you - but life events got in the way with the death of my mother in Ohio and I was gone for quite a while.  Nice to know though, that FBAC and my neighbors were watching my house while I was away.  This report contains the crime stats for 5 weeks from 2/15 to 3/21 - so keep this time span in mind when reading about the incidents.

Lawn Equipment Thefts

Officer Reddick from Morningside has asked me for you to alert your lawn and tree care crews to keep all of their equipment locked up when not being used, as there have already been several of these thefts in the past few weeks.  Probably a lot of these firms are small and can ill afford to lose the tools they need for their liveliehood.  Allow them to park in your driveway, off the street, if you have such space.

Gas Station Thefts

The 3/10 Parking Lot Murder

Since I am sure that by now everyone knows the story about this cold, senseless murder of Joshua Richey in the BeltLine Kroger parking lot on 3/10, which resulted in the 3/26 arrest of suspect Demarius Thompson.  A fund has been set up for the victim's family -  Thanks to the Kroger Company for donating $25.000 to CrimeStoppers which resulted in useful tips.
There was a similar sort of incident scenario in Grant Park on 2/25 where the victim was wakened by his growling dog.  He looked out the window to see his truck being stolen.  His wife called 911 and the victim went outside with his wife's gun to chase the truck.  The perps then jumped out fleeing on foot - one of them turned around and fired three times at the victim who then returned fire two times.  No one was hit.
Even though you would have a strong urge to protect your hard-earned property if you saw it being taken - our Zone 6 Commander, Major Peek, warns against confronting the suspects, as there is no way to know if they are desperate and armed
The following reports are taken from our APD Zone 6 ( VaHi Beat 601 reported incidents for the 2015 weeks 8,9,10,11 and 12 (2/15-3/21).  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  -  Vehicles were taken from - Adair Avenue (2003 Jeep Liberty), Barnett Street (this was a failed attempt that left a broken door lock and popped ignition), Bonaventure Avenue (2004 Nissan Sentra which was recovered on Somerset Terrace), PDL Avenue (2000 Jeep Cherokee, which had also been stolen in January with a popped ignition and had never been repaired), and on North Highland Avenue (2013 Subaru).
Commercial Burglary  -  No reported incidents from Beat 601
Residential Burglary  -  A Kentucky Avenue residence was entered after the nanny left, setting the burglar alarm, but forgetting to lock the door.  A purse and contents were taken.
Commercial Robbery  -  During business hours on 2/27, the Virginia Avenue Wells Fargo Bank was brazenly robbed by three armed masked males who shouted "this is a stickup" to the employees and patrons.  Two of the males went behind the counter and cleaned out the cash drawers and became agitated when the safe could not be opened.  They were followed down Todd Road by a witness who got their tag number.  The money bag had a tracking device in it and the money was recovered in Clayton County after the robbers ditched the bag.
Residential Robbery  -  No reported incidents from Beat 601
Pedestrian Robbery  -  On 3/14, a male and female couple, who were walking home from the Dark Horse around 2:30 a.m. were pistol whipped and robbed at gunpoint by three young black males who took their wallets and cellphones.  The suspects fled in a white Ford F-150 pickup truck.  This incident took place near the corner of North Highland and Los Angeles Avenues at the Episcopal Church.  The victims reported a shot being fired in the chaos, but no one was hit and no spent bullet was found.  The victims refused EMT treatment.
Larceny From Vehicle  -  PDL Avenue (GPS and gift cards), North Highland Avenue (laptop), PDL Avenue (I-pad), Virginia Avenue (a witness saw 2 males looking into cars, 911 was called and they were detained - one took flight and was caught on the BeltLine), PDL Place (backpack, 2 laptops, prescription drugs and 2 watches), Greenwood Avenue (clothing and suitcase), PDL Avenue (2 vehicles - duffle bag, 3 laptops, I-pad), and Highland Lane (leaf blower).
At the Oakland Cemetery parking lot, the victims stated they were approached by a panhandler and said they had left her wallet in the car, so no money to give.  Yep - you guessed it, the panhandler entered their car and got the wallet and some other items.
In this period of time - there were 5 more handguns added to what is already on the streets, and a taser and an ammo clip were also taken.
Larceny Other  -  Late night behind the Druid Hills Presbyterian Church, an intoxicated female victim lost her cell phone and debit card to a snatch and run thief.  On Rosewood Drive, a beagle dog and dog bowl were taken.  On 3/10 in daylight, at the bike rack in front of Diesel on North Highland Avenue - the victim saw a suspect quickly cut the bike lock and ride away on his bike on Drewry Street.  The victim gave chase, but lost sight of him.
A nice honor was given to our VaHi Safety Team neighborhood watch initiative in the current Creative Loafing issue.  We all owe a debt of thanks to all of our Street Captains and all others who make this program successful at fighting crime and getting folks to know their neighbors.
Spring is on the way - stay alert and enjoy!!
Also - please remember the Clean Car Campaign which states ALL parked cars are to be clean at ALL times.  We would not have the guys wandering our streets in the middle of the night if there was nothing here to steal from cars!!!!!!!!!

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