VaHi Safety Team Report: December 22, 2013

By: John Wolfinger

Holiday Messages from APD and AFR

Our APD Chief Turner sends us a holiday message –

A light-hearted but serious musical message from AFR and Chief Cochran  – I think most of our firefighters were hired for their bravery and not their vocal talents! 🙂 Too bad our folks at # 19 were not included.

APD’s Highlights for November 2013

MARTA’s New “See and Say” App

MARTA now has a new app, which is a free smart phone application that allows patrons to report suspicious activity directly and discreetly to the MARTA police at From someone who does not have a cell phone, I think that this technology is so neat.

The Clean Car Campaign

This much touted APD campaign that states that ALL parked cars are to be cleaned out at ALL times, still gets forgotten about. Our thanks to Scott Stern, the owner of the commercial area at North Highland and Amsterdam Avenues, who has upgraded the parking lot lighting and installed more of our VaHi Safety Team Clean Car Campaign signs as a reminder to his patrons to clean out their cars when parking there. Unfortunately, some folks do not think these signs apply to them.

A couple of sad stories about folks who had forgotten about this campaign – I hate it when a merchant’s reputation gets smeared because of his patron’s naiveté. Another story that does not have a direct link is at, then go to the “news videos” on the right hand side of the page and click on the video captioned “police warn shoppers to be aware of car”. This incident happened in Dawsonville – this can happen anywhere anymore.

Be sure to warn your holiday visitors of this danger when they are at your home or business. VaHi is known to the thieves as a great place to ply their trade, and our car break-ins are increasing. This particular crime is so easy to prevent, yet it goes on and on.

The following reports are taken from our APD Zone 6 ( VaHi Beat 601 crime stats for the 2013 weeks 46, 47 and 48 (11/9-11/30). These reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to raise your level of alertness as to what happens around us everyday.

Aggravated Assault: There was a domestic dispute on Highland Lane.

Auto Theft: Two incidents in this time period – a 2007 Honda Accord was taken from Frederica Street and an unspecified vehicle taken from St. Charles Place.

Commercial Burglary: No reported incidents in Beat 601

Residential Burglary: Two incidents in this time period.  Elkmont Drive- where there were no signs of forced entry other than a slit in a porch screen, with jewelry taken.  Park Drive – entry via a rear window with jewelry and small electronics taken.

Commercial Robbery: No reported incidents in Beat 601

Residential Robbery: No reported incidents in Beat 601

Pedestrian Robbery: The reported details are very sketchy other than a lone pedestrian walking home on Drewry Street from a bar at late nite was approached by two males in a car who asked for directions, then a third male tried to grab a purse. The victim was knocked down in the struggle – but nothing was taken. No reported injuries. There was also a reported such incident with the address of the Briarcliff Summit building – but no details as to whether it was inside or outside of the building or what happened.

Larceny From Vehicle: These reports are seasonally escalating with vehicles entered on Los Angeles Avenue (3), Barnett Street, Hudson Drive, North Highland Avenue (4), Frederica Street, Virginia Avenue (3), Briarcliff Terrace, Greenwood Avenue (2), St. Charles Avenue, Drewry Street, and Clemont Drive.  This is NINETEEN incidents in three weeks – not good!!!!  If you do not clean out your parked car – someone else will!!

Larceny Other: An iPhone, driver’s license and an ATM card were taken from a purse at an un-named bar on PDL Avenue.  When you are unloading your car – do not assume that someone is not watching.  At Amsterdam Walk, a whole case of cymbals was taken from the parking lot – they had been placed on the ground while drums were being taken into a building.  I can only assume that there was a very unhappy musician.

Around the Zone in this time period there were 3 shoplifters caught at our PDL Avenue Kroger and Publix stores and 4 non-payers caught at  the Target Store in the Edgewood Retail District.

In the Edgewood Retail District parking lot a victim met a Craigslist buyer in daylite for her two cellphones – he grabbed the phones and fled. Surprised??   Also in this same parking lot in front of Kroger, a shopper with plastic bags on her arms, picked up her child from the cart, then turned around to get her purse out of the cart and it had been snatched.  All in an instant!!!


Thanks to all of the generous VaHi folks who left piles of toys on my front porch to take to the Zone 6 Christmas toy drive. I attended the party at the precinct on Friday and there were a lot of very happy kids. I am proud to live in such a caring neighborhood.

Five more thank you’s: first one to Rad Slough from Urban Body who continues to clean up Maiden Lane on a regular basis – we are all indebted to Rad for cleaning up after less civic-minded folks. Also thanks to Dennis Baker of Paris on Ponce for hosting Thanksgiving and Christmas luncheons for our first responders – APD and AFR. And a third thank you to Intown Hardware, Morningstar Self-Storage and Urban Body for being safe delivery addresses for our intended package deliveries. This is a unique VaHi service not found in other city neighborhoods. A fourth thank you to Osteria 832 for hosting their annual Breakfast with Santa. We are so lucky to have such great businesses amongst us. Be sure to let them know with your patronage, and verbal thanks. The fifth thanks goes to all of our diligent and caring Safety Team Street Captains who help our unique neighborhood watch really make a difference in the safety for all of us.

There was a fire in the unpaved alleyway between St. Charles and PDL Avenues after dark on 12/19, evidently caused by urban campers. Thanks to fast response from AFR # 19 there was no serious damage. I had not been informed of all of this camping activity until this incident – but it is evidently becoming a big problem again. The St. Charles Avenue residents who abutt this alley have pledged a cleanup after the holidays and I will be glad to help – keep me informed so we can all help as a whole neighborhood. What goes on in this alley affects all of us.

Stay alert and have a safe holiday season!

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