VaHi Safety Team Report: February 18, 2013

By: John Wolfinger

Residential Burglaries

We are experiencing an abnormal (read very high) amount of home burglaries this month and everyone in VaHi is urged to be extra alert.  If you see any activity here that gives you a gut feeling that it is not normal or indicates something is wrong – please make a suspicious activity report to 911 immediately.  Try to remember as many details as you can see – vehicle make, color, license plate number if you are lucky enough to see it, how many passengers, which direction it is traveling – or if you see a person – note the race, gender, clothing being worn, direction walking, backpack or bags being carried, approximate heighth and weight.  This is all part of the “See Something – Say Something” APD campaign – we are the extra eyes and ears for APD and what we may witness may be of importance.

As usual, make sure that ALL doors and windows are securely locked, outside lighting is set to come on at dusk, and your alarm is set EVERY time you leave your house.  If you are leaving town – make sure your trusted neighbors, including your Street Captain, know as well and how to get in touch with you.  If you are having work done at your house or having visitors – also make sure your neighbors know, so there will not be false alarms raised.  Nosy neighbors are our best first-line of defense.  If you are a FBAC member – make sure they are notified of your absence also, so they can do walk-about checks on your property.

The recent break-ins that I know of were – Highland Green Way (2/10), two apartment units at Highland View on PDL Place (2/13), Barnett Street (2/3), PDL Terrrace (2/7), two homes on Glen Arden Way (2/16), Cooledge Avenue (2/15), Highland View (2/6) and an aborted attempt on Virginia Avenue (2/15).  Nearby in Piedmont Heights – Piedmont Way (2/11) and Rock Springs Road (2/16).

Home alarm systems and security cameras will not necessarily prevent break-ins (I always wonder if our thieves can read), but alarms will limit the amount of time spent in your home and cameras can provide pix of intruders to help APD.

We have a dynamic duo of Zone 6 investigators working on all of these cases – Officers Jason Somers and Chad Gurley.  If you have any tips – please let them know at or

There is terrific video of the aborted break-in attempt on Virginia Avenue, courtesy of the tech-savvy homeowner at –  and

Zone 6 is still looking for this person of interest –

Police Arrrested

I was extremely saddened at the news of the arrests of several metro police personnel, including one from our APD Zone 6.  As much as I am an avid supporter of our local police, I am also forced to admit that there can be bad apples in every barrel.  But – these arrestees do NOT exemplify the APD folks that I encounter every day in my volunteer work for our Safety Team.  We are blessed to have a dedicated and loyal group of folks protecting us every day.

The following reports are from our APD Zone 6 ( ) crime stats for the 2013 weeks of 2,3,4 and 5 (1/6 – 2/2 ) from our VaHi Beat 601, along with news from nearby as it affects us.  Again, I state, these reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to make you aware of what happens around us everyday, and to raise your alertness.

Aggravated Assault  –  No incidents reported from Beat 601

Auto Theft  –  Vehicles were stolen from Monroe Drive (recovered in SW Atlanta), PDL Place, North Highland Avenue, Virginia Avenue (3 – one being a botch attempt), Barnett Street, Frederica Street, and Bellevue Drive.  The North Highland Avenue stolen vehicle also netted the thieves 2 hand guns and 2 rifles that were in the vehicle.  More weapons on the street to be used in other crimes!

Commercial Burglary  –  The Bridge Boutique on St. Charles Avenue was entered via a brick thrown thru the front window.  Their alarm also let police responders see that the Threadz store on the same black was also entered via a broken front window.

Going Coastal restaurant on Virginia Avenue was entered via a pried open front door with 8 bottles of liquor stolen.  The American Roadhouse rstaurant on North Highland Avenue was entered via a broken side glass door.

Residential Burglary  –  A residence on Rosedale Drive was entered via a rock thrown thru a kitchen window.  That same nite a chained bicycle was taken from a front porch and a tool box stolen from the driveway of a nearby Rosedale Drive address.  The rest of the recent residential burglaries are beyond the week 5 dates and I do not yet have these report details.

Commercial Robbery  –  No incidents reported from Beat 601

Residential Robbery  –  No incidents reported from Beat 601

Larceny From Vehicle –  Vehicles were entered on Arlington Place, Cresthill Avenue, Lanier Boulevard, North Highland Avenue (2), PDL Avenue (2), Rosedale Road, Greenwood Avenue and a catalytic converter taken on PDL Place.

Larceny Other  –  Maintenance crews are suspected in a theft from a Greenwood Avenue apartment.  A scooter and two bicycles were taken from a North Virginia Avenue backyard storage shed.  Two chained and locked bicycles were taken from a St. Charles Avenue apartment building common stairway.  A hitched trailer was unhooked and taken from a North Highland Avenue parking lot.

Nearby, our PDL Avenue Kroger and Publix stores caught 5 shoplifters (I always wonder how many they do not catch).  The Edgewood Retail District Target store caught fourteen shoplifters.

Pedestrian Robbery  –  An ATM customer leaving the Virginia Avenue Wells Fargo Bank had a handgun armed perp walk behind him on Todd Road and robbed him of his cash.  The gunman ran to a vehicle parked at Todd and Virginia Circle and drove away.  I do not know a time for this incident, other than it was on morning watch (10 p.m. to 7 a.m.) – but well after dark, and evidently late enough that there were no other pedestrians nearby to witness.  I wonder if the victim REALLY could not have waited to get cash the next day in daylite.  ATMs are convenient – but they also pose dangers (especially at late hours).

Rape –  On 1/27, the victim was walking home from Midtown Plaza and was assaulted from behind on Virginia Avenue just east of Barnett Street.  The perp knocked the victim face down to the sidewalk and assaulted her, with a condom being used.  There is no time listed on the report, other than it was on the morning watch ( 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.).  The report does not state as to whether the victim was taken to a hospital.

Stay alert and remember the Clean Car Campaign – ALL parked cars cleaned out at ALL times.

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