October 2, 2015

VaHi Safety Team Report weeks 36 and 37 (8/30/15 – 9/12/15)

News and Notes

Breaking News – Zone 6 Arrests Five Robbery Suspects

Just last night we heard from Major Peek that increased patrols and plain clothes officers have resulted in the arrest of two robbery suspects on September 3rd and three additional suspects on Friday September 25th. Those arrested on Friday will be charged with four armed robberies, hijacking a motor vehicles and a “host of other charges”. These individuals have not yet been linked to Virginia-Highland incidents. However, Major Peek tells us that APD will continue to monitor and investigate these incidents as the suspects have only been charged with four incidents but are believed to be responsible for many more.

Major Peek went on to write, Although these apprehensions were made, please continue to move around with a heightened sense of awareness. It is not time to simply relax and forget about these crimes. Please continue to be watchful and call 911 immediately if you notice any suspicious behavior.”

I hope everyone will attend the next NPU F meeting on October 19th at 7pm at Hillside. Major Peek will attend and we can learn more about APD’s ongoing efforts to stem the recent robberies, burglaries, and car break-ins.

APD YouTube

Did you know that the City of Atlanta Police Department has their own YouTube channel? Videos include public service announcements, crime videos, press conferences, and Around APD, which are short videos to introduce the public to different departments and services of APD. The most recent video (found here) provides an inside look at the APD Air Unit including their Huey helicopter. Officer Keeley Miller, one of our own Virginia Highland Security Patrol (FBAC) officers is a pilot with the Air Unit. Or use this link to access all of APD’s videos.

Impact of Private Security Patrols on Allocation of APD Resources

On Saturday September 19th we held our annual street captain's meeting for neighborhood watch in Virginia-Highland. We were talking about our Virginia-Highland Security Patrol (FBAC) and one attendee asked if having the private patrol in place caused APD to devote fewer resources to our neighborhood

We sent a query to Major Timothy Peek, Zone 6 Commander for an official response, and very quickly heard back. Here is what he said:

Thank you for sharing your concern and to address the question, the answer is absolutely not.  Resource allocations are based on the number of assigned beats, 911 calls for service as well as the population.  We will always dedicate resources to your area, regardless of whether you have established a security patrol or not.  When giving additional resources, your security patrol is not considered at all.  We do encourage officers working your security patrol to communicate with on duty personnel so that on duty as well as off duty officers understand the crime challenges for your community.  Hopefully, this clears up any misunderstandings.

Home Security False Alarms

It is now the law that alarm systems must be registered with the city, so if you haven’t taken care of that, do so here. https://www.crywolfservices.com/atlantaga/. This information is required so that the Atlanta Police Department can begin to address a significant problem with false alarms. False alarms are those called in to police when your monitored system goes off without any criminal activity and the alarm company cannot reach you to determine you are safe.

During the seven day period from 8/30 – 9/5/15 in Zone 6 alone there were 156 false alarms versus only two true alarms. Year-to-date that number is even more dramatic. 5,455 false alarms and only 67 true alarms. Citywide year-to-date there have been 27,167 false alarms. Each of these false alarms sends an officer to your home or business to search the property looking for a problem; time taken away from patrolling the streets and responding to real 911 calls.

Do you know that certain activities tend to set off the alarm in error? Is it likely these activities could happen when you are not at home? Then it might be time to have a professional look at your system and see if something can be done to eliminate the risk of a false alarm.
If you have multiple false alarms you will be fined by the city. Worse than that, such an alarm is taking officers away from important police work.

Street Captain’s Meeting

On Saturday September 19th the VaHi Public Safety Team held the annual street captain’s meeting for neighborhood watch. The meeting was well attending and provided information to assist street captains with their duties as well as a very informative presentation about Citizen’s CourtWatch. Full minutes of the meeting can be found here.

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 http://boundaries.atlantapd.org/Map-Zone6-Beats.aspx. 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 reported in Beat 601. None reported in Zone 6. Seven murders reported citywide (five in Zone 1 and two in Zone 2)

Rape None reported in Beat 601. One reported in Zone 6 (beat 603 Old Fourth Ward). Nine reported citywide – no additional information is provided regarding rapes.

Pedestrian/Carjacking Robbery One reported in Beat 601. Fourteen reported in Zone 6.
On September 10, 2015 during the evening shift a white male attacked an older white male at the bust stop near the intersection of Ponce de Leon Ave. and Briarcliff Road. When police arrived he was choking the man. The Victim stated that the man had robbed him of $4 cash. The suspect also threatened the victim with a knife. A witness also identified the suspect as the person he saw choking the victim, and the knife was found on the suspect along with the stolen cash. Brandon Hathaway was taken into custody and charged with three felonies including aggravated assault and armed robbery. Hathaway shows a record of nine prior arrests in Fulton County and thirteen in DeKalb County. The Virginia Highland Public Safety Team has requested that this be identified as a CourtWatch case.
Best Buy/Craigslist scam – people are continuing to be taken in by an advertisement on Craigslist claiming that an employee of the store can sell discounted IPhones. In this case the victim drove from Alabama with $1600 in cash to purchase 5 IPhones. He met the supposed employee at the Edgewood Best Buy parking lot and was robbed of the cash. As with all online advertisements, if it sounds too good to be true, it is.

Residential Robbery None reported in Beat 601. None reported in Zone 6.

Commercial Robbery None reported in Beat 601. One reported in Zone 6

Aggravated Assault None reported in Beat 601. Three reported in Zone 6.

Residential Burglary None reported in Beat 601. Fourteen were reported in Zone 6.
In East Lake a shotgun, .38 caliber pistol and a .40 caliber pistol were stolen from a residence.

Commercial Burglary None reported in Beat 601. Five reported in Zone 6.

Larceny From Vehicle Ten reported in Beat 601. In Zone 6 there were ninety-five, and citywide there were 449 thefts from vehicles.
Vehicles were entered on Greenwood, N. Highland, and Virginia. In almost all cases windows were broken. Thieves took book bags, laptops, backpacks and other items left in plain sight.
In an unusual case all four tires/wheels were stolen from a Camaro on Rosedale Drive during the night. Ansley Park has been experiencing a rash of such thefts, but this is the first time we have seen it here in Virginia-Highland. We are told that locking lug nuts will slow down an amateur, but gangs that make their living with such thefts have all of the tools to steal the wheels and be gone in minutes. Let us hope that this crew is caught before they can victimize more people in our neighborhood.
All over the zone three additional handguns were stolen from vehicles and three vehicles had catalytic converters stolen.

Other Larcenies None reported in beat 601. Fifty reported in Zone 6, and 308 reported citywide.
Note that several individuals were the victim of pick-pockets at Historic Fourth Ward Park during the festival on 8/30 and 8/31. With all of the large events taking place this fall, please use extra caution about where you carry wallets and other valuables. It is much more difficult to nick something out of a front pocket than it is a back pocket. When moving through crowds try to be aware of your surroundings and anyone who jostles you, as you might not realize you have been a victim until you go to make a purchase.

Auto Theft None reported in Beat 601. Sixteen reported for Zone 6, and 170 citywide.

Stay Safe!

Kay Stephenson

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