May 5, 2015

Virginia Highland Public Safety Report Weeks 16 & 17

Prepared by John Wolfinger

Neighborhood Cleanup Scheduled May 16th
Keep Virginia Highland Beautiful leader Tim Langan has announced a Saturday morning pre-Summerfest business district cleanup on 5/16 from 8:30 til noon.  Meet at the American Roadhouse patio area armed with gloves, weed-eaters, paint scrapers (for sticker removal) and wearing comfortable shoes.  This also represents an opportunity for Grady High School students to earn community service hours as well as a chance for Girl and Boy Scout troops to participate.  Age-relevant tasks will be assigned to younger participants.  Indicate your desire to attend at  or e-mail Tim at  
Our Own APD Sergeant Chris Clark In The News
With the signing of legislation legalizing the usage of medical marijuana oil - hopefully our own FBAC lead police officer,Sergeant Chris Clark, will be able to reunite and relocate his family back in Georgia again.  Read his story at   I would think that most everyone in VaHi knows Clark due to his leadership at FBAC and Summerfest security.
The following reports are taken from our APD Zone 6 ( VaHi Beat 601 reported incidents for the 2015 weeks 16 and 17 (4/12 - 4/25).  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  -  On 4/20, in a PDL Avenue parking lot between North Highland and Briarcliff Road, an argument between 2 males ended up with both parties pulling out cutting instruments with no apparent injuries - one was drunk and both were arrested.
Auto Theft  -  Vehicles were stolen from North Highland Avenue (1999 Jeep Wrangler), Virginia Avenue (2010 Audi) and Park Drive (2012 Nissan Altima).
Commercial Burglary -  No reported incidents from Beat 601
Residential Burglary  -  On Park Drive, there was no forced entry due to an inviting open window.  A lot of cameras and accessories as well as a laptop taken.  At the Virginia Highland apartments on Virginia Avenue there were two such incidents at the same time on opposite sides of the hallway.  Both were entered via the front door by either kicking it in or disabling the lock.  These two apartments lost musical instruments and personal electronics.  This apartment complex is suffering a lot of recent incidents, and Eleanor Barrineau, Kay Stephenson and I would like to have a safety meeting there and get new Street Captains appointed to increase the level of awareness and connectivity among residents.  But - we have not yet gotten any organizational help.  If there are residents reading this report who would like to help us, please let me know.
Commercial Robbery  -  No reported incidents from Beat 601.
However, nearby on 4/25 a lone armed male robbed Buddy's gas station at North and North Highland Avenues - ordering the two clerks to open the register in the middle of the nite and then fled on foot.  Also nearby on 4/16 at the Edgewood Retail District Willy's restaurant after closing time, a worker opened the back door to empty the trash when 2 armed males pushed their way in taking the day's receipts as well as the employee's cell phones.  Let this be a renewed warning to businesses to be very wary about opening the back door without cautiously checking as to whom might be lurking outside.  The back door is such a vulnerable point at businesses, and should have peepholes or windows as well as mirrors.
Residential Robbery  -  No reported incidents from Beat 601.
Pedestrian Robbery  - The 4/15 incident in Lanier Boulevard was well reported on the area message boards.  This happened in early evening when the victim gave directions to a car with 3 males inside.  As the conversation went on, the back seat passenger got out with a revolver.  The victim wisely threw down her purse and fled to a neighbor's house.
I am repeating the responding officer's narrrative for this next incident as it is hard to believe in a shortened version.  On 4/17 the victim stated he picked up a middle-aged b/m with an African accent (suspect 1) at the PDL Avenue Home Depot who advised he had $90,000 cash on him and then had the victim drive him to the nearby McDonald's where he convinced the victim to allow another well-dressed middle-aged b/m (suspect 2) to assist (no explanation in the narrative as to what "assist" means).  Victim advised suspect 2 went to a nearby bank and came back with $3000 cash.  Then the victim drove all of them to the Virginia Avenue Wells Fargo bank leaving the two suspects standing across the street.  The victim withdrew $2000 and picked up the suspects again.  Suspect 1 drew a gun at the victim saying "I'm sorry, but give me the money".  The victim was then told to drive to the Texaco at PDL Avenue and Boulevard where the suspects got out.  The victim drive back to Wells Fargo to call 911.
Larceny From Vehicle  -  Vehicles were entered on Amsterdam Avenue (backpack which was recovered), PDL Avenue (3 laptops and a laptop bag), Pylant Street (laptop), Greenwood Avenue ( the thief hit a jackpot here getting a Glock 9 mm semi-automatic, 2 magazines and 40 bullets from this UNLOCKED vehicle).  Around the Zone in this time period there were 52 such reported incidents that put 3 more weapons on the street.
Larceny Other  -  The Virginia Avenue sidewalk bench was taken from in front of Paolo's Gelato. (Why??)  On Virginia Circle a leaf blower was taken from a backyard.  At the Virginia Highland apartments on Virginia Avenue a mountain bike was taken from a driveway - no mention as to whether it was locked or secured in some way.
As usual, shoplifting continues and the rest of us have to pay for these retail losses in the prices we pay for merchandise.  The PDL Avenue Kroger and Publix stores reported two incidents.  All of the Edgewood Retail District stores reported 16 such thefts in this time period.
There was a recent posting on the nextdoor message board from a victim who had lost her purse from the back of a restaurant chair at George's.  If you must take a purse to a bar or restaurant - do NOT hang it over the back of a stool or chair or leave it under the chair!!!!!!  There are thieves patrolling the nicest of such establishments. 
Enjoy this wonderful spring weather - but don't forget to stay aware of your surroundings at all times, as well as remembering the Clean Car Campaign and keeping ALL parked cars cleaned out at ALL times.

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