VaHi Safety Team Report: BOLO

By: John Wolfinger

I received the message below from our Zone 6 Commander, Major Peek, on Monday and I immediately posted it on all of our neighborhood message boards. Since then I have had several requests to send it out via our Safety Team network also, since there are many residents who are not members of any of the message boards. At the bottom of this report are two people and one vehicle to be on the lookout for.

This is a time when “See Something – Say Something” is of vital importance to get whomever is violating our fellow residents’ homes. Yeah – these burglaries have happened at night – but this thief may very well be out and about during the daytime checking out houses. Since two of the incidents have involved entry via 2nd story windows – please make sure your ladders and those of your neighbors are well stowed and hidden away. Even though the thief reportedly unscrewed the exterior light bulbs on Amsterdam Avenue – keep all of those outside lights on anyway. If you know of neighbors who are away from home – make sure their newspapers and mail have not accumulated and collect this for them. Make sure your electronics are not visible from your windows, and above all – make sure that ALL doors and windows are locked at ALL times – whether you are in or out of your house.

There have been a couple of “fake” jogger reports, too – the runner that stops and starts a lot looking in yards and cars as they are trying to look like they are just out getting some exercise and trying to blend in with the community. This sort of behavior should raise your suspicion and if you see such people while you are on the street – stop and ask them an innocent question such as if they know the time or where a certain street is (if you are comfortable doing this) – this will help to get across to them that they have been noticed. Then when you are out of their sight – make a suspicious person call to 911 noting which way they are traveling, their physical description and what they are wearing.

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John,

Thanks for giving us an opportunity to address the concerns listed. We have noticed the burglary pattern that has appeared with late evening/early morning burglaries.  Unfortunately, several communities are experiencing similar patterns. We are aware and we are also in dialogue with Zone Two and DeKalb County since they are also experiencing similar trends. We are also communicating with other law enforcement partners in attempts to increase visibility while we gather more leads to try and bring these criminals to justice. If possible, please send the message to your community that we need their help (eyes and ears) to combat these crimes. I can assure you that we are putting all of our officers out in the areas when we see crime trends changing. Understanding that we can’t be everywhere at the same time, having extra eyes and ears allows us to cover more ground. The cases have already been assigned to detectives and they are working diligently to resolve them. In recent days, we have been able to catch one burglar and identified some other burglars. We have caught other thieves because residents called when they noticed suspicious behavior. Yes, it will help if they make sure that ladders and other items are not left for criminals to use in their attempts to gain entry to the properties. The option of partnering (community and police) will prove to be very effective in the fight against crime. To sum it up, we will be there and we will increase our efforts in every way we can to detect and deter criminal activity.

Please see the incident locations below:

  • #132412694     5XX Orme Circle 08/29/13 (Thursday) Resident left at 2030, alarm went off at 2228. Rear window broken out and back door left closed but unlocked. Main floor ransacked. Electronics stolen.
  • #132432716    10XX Amsterdam Avenue 08/31/13 (Saturday) Resident left at 1730, returned at 2250 found rear window broken and the rear door closed but unlocked. Electronics stolen.
  • #132450776    7XX Amsterdam Avenue 09/02/13 (Sunday) Resident at home from 2300. At 0800 found side window broken and electronics stolen. Resident was home at the time of burglary.
  • #132450991    7XX Virginia Avenue 09/02/13 (Sunday) Resident was at home at 0320 and heard noise in house, disregarded it. At 1030 resident found side window broken out and electronics stolen. Resident was home at time of burglary.
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