September 14, 2016

VaHi Safety Team Report Weeks 30 through 34 (7/7/16 – 8/20/16)

NOTE: This is an extra big report with five weeks of data. APD provides the data for these reports as timely as possible given other demands on their time. Week 30 was the same week as the protest marches in Atlanta. This is just one way in which the drain on police resources (pulling everyone off supporting jobs and deploying them in the field) ripples through the organization for many weeks.

News and Notes

Virginia-Highland Civic Association Elections

The Virginia-Highland Civic Association will hold their annual meeting and election on Thursday September 22nd. All residents (both renters and property owners) are entitled to vote for the directors who will lead the organization during the coming year. The association can have a big impact on safety initiatives in the neighborhood, so we encourage you to educate yourself about the sixteen candidates who are running for ten positions on the board. David Eckoff has started a thread on Nextdoor for this purpose. Please ask your questions there, talk with friends and neighbors and plan to participate.

The meeting will be held in the Inman Middle School Cafeteria beginning at promptly at 7:00. Those who intend to vote must bring proof of residency such as a driver’s license with current address or a recent (60 days) utility bill with your name on it. Please plan to arrive at 6:30 so that your ID can be checked by volunteers and so you can enjoy musical entertainment by the SPARK elementary school choir.

If you are unable to attend the meeting you can also vote via absentee ballot, and instructions can be found at the link referenced above. Absentee ballots can be delivered by someone else for you, but must either be delivered to Talfin Marketing offices on Virginia Avenue by noon on the 22nd, or at the meeting before 7pm.

Atlanta City Council District Six Newsletter

Alex Wan’s District Six Newsletter can be read online. Topics include:

Monroe Drive/Boulevard Complete Streets Next Steps
Music Midtown
Atlanta Streets Alive September 25th

Safety Tips for Push Button Start Vehicles from Major Peek

Good evening Zone 6 Community! 

We (Metropolitan Atlanta Communities) have experienced a trend with vehicles being stolen that are equipped with the "push button start" feature. Push Button Start (PBS) allows you to enter your vehicle, start the vehicle and drive off without you having to insert a key into the ignition. This is a great convenient feature if used in the right manner. 

Did you know that if you start your PSB vehicle and exit your vehicle with keys in your possession, your car can still be driven away? Generally, your vehicle is operable until it turned off. The PSB key fob is only needed to start the vehicle. As a result, we have noticed a few cases where criminals are taking advantage of this issue. While we are patrolling areas where similar crimes have taken place, there are things that you can do to keep from being a victim of auto theft. 

When pumping gas or putting air in your tires, please turn off your vehicle, remove the PSB key fob from inside your vehicle and lock the doors until you are finished pumping gas or adding air to your tires. Auto theft criminals know which cars are equipped with PBS and they generally watch for easy opportunities to enter and/or steal your vehicles. Ladies can be easy targets since their PSB key fobs are usually inside their purses. As soon as you exit, criminals can quickly determine that your purse is still in the car and as a result, they will jump into the opposite side of the vehicle and drive off while you are servicing your vehicle. 

So that you will not become a victim, please keep you PSB key fob in your pocket or somewhere in your physical possession. Since we are practicing the Clean Car Campaign, please do not leave your valuable items in your cars. Purses and other bag can be kept in the trunk and should be placed in a trunk prior to arriving at your destination. If you are going somewhere and you do not intend on taking your purse with you, store it in the trunk prior to leaving home. If criminals see you placing it in the trunk, they will attempt to enter your vehicle and access the trunk from the inside latch of your vehicle. 

Again, police officers are patrolling in areas where we notice similar issues taking place but we encourage your support by being vigilant and by changing some of your habits of comfort and convenience. We thank you for being great citizens and for partnering with Atlanta Police Department. We always look forward to working with our business partners and our residents in attempts to provide outstanding customer service and keeping our citizens safe. 

Major T. D. Peek 
Zone Six Precinct 
Atlanta Police Department 
2025 Hosea Williams Drive 
Office - 404-371-5002 
City Cellular - 404-831-0824 
Efax - 404-546-9110 
Email - 

The mission of the Atlanta Police Department is to create a safer Atlanta by reducing crime, ensuring the safety of our citizens and building trust in partnership with our communities.

Upcoming Meetings

NPU – Monday September 19th at 7:00 pm Hillside
VHCA Annual Meeting & Elections – Thursday September 22nd at 7:00 pm Inman Middle School
Music Midtown – Saturday September 17th and Sunday September 18th
Firefest in the Park to benefit Fire Station #19 – Saturday September 24th 1:00 – 5:00 pm New Highland Park
Atlanta Streets Alive – Sunday September 25th 2:00 – 6:00 pm N. Highland from triangle south.
Atlanta BeltLine Quarterly Briefing – Monday Spetember 26th Park Tavern

Crime Statistics

The following information is taken from our APD Zone 6 report (

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 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 in Beat 601 and one in Zone 6.

Rape One in Beat 601 and two in Zone 6. No additional information is provided to the community about rapes.

Pedestrian/Carjacking Robbery Two in Beat 601 and twenty in Zone 6

Though not in Beat 601, on July 23rd there was a carjacking on Boulevard which provides a good warning to all of us. The victim was approaching an intersection when her vehicle was bumped from behind. She quickly exited her vehicle to check for damage and was confronted by two armed males from the suspect vehicle. One jumped into her vehicle and drove off while the other suspect escaped in their car. When in a traffic accident, be sure it is safe to exit your vehicle, and when you do, turn off your car and pocket your keys. While this might not have made a difference in this instance, if you feel uncomfortable about exiting your vehicle you can always drive to a safer location to stop.

On July 24th a woman was driving her vehicle with a passenger she had met at MJQ nightclub that evening. He was a friend of her friend’s boyfriend. They pulled over on St. Charles to wait for the boyfriend to join them when they were approached by two suspects. One pointed a gun through the passenger side window and fired. Neither victim was hit. At the direction of the second suspect, the driver exited her vehicle and lay on the ground and let the suspect take her phone and purse. At this point the victim from the passenger seat yelled at her to run and he took off. Both suspects chased him. She wisely stayed on the ground until the suspects left and then drove in her car to Ponce de Leon where she met with police. Fortunately the other victim was not hurt and he met up with her, his friend and the police. Unfortunately, he appeared to be very intoxicated and was belligerent and uncooperative with police.

The take away from this incident is that the female driver acted wisely in obeying the suspect’s commands to get on the ground and give up her property, while her passenger took a very serious risk in challenging armed suspects who had already fired one weapon. We don’t always make the best decisions when we are under the influence, and he is fortunate that he was not injured.

On July 31st on St. Charles a woman pulled up to her residence and noticed a black male stranger leaning against her apartment building. When she exited her vehicle, this man approached her, pulled a gun, and demanded her keys. She gave him the keys and ran into her apartment. This case reminds us all that if we notice something unusual, like a stranger lurking around our residence when we arrive home, it can’t hurt to drive around the block, or to call 911 and ask that an officer investigate before you put yourself at risk. If you are an FBAC member you can always call the FBAC cell during patrol hours and request that they come by and see you safely to your door.

Residential Robbery None in Beat 601 and one in Zone 6.

Commercial Robbery None in Beat 601 and four in Zone 6.

Aggravated Assault   One in Beat 601 and twenty-seven in Zone 6.

On August 12th the victim was jogging on Ponce de Leon in the evening when he heard a pop, felt a sting, and then found blood pouring down his right upper arm. X-rays at urgent care revealed a pellet or other object close to the bone that would require surgery to be removed. No other information is available on this case.

Residential Burglary None in Beat 601 and forty-five in Zone 6.

Commercial Burglary Two in Beat 601 and sixteen in Zone 6.

On July 25th at 752 N. Highland Ave someone broke into the business and stole a steel cash box with cash totaling $2,900. The rear door appeared to have been pried open.
On August 1st at the storage facility on Virginia near Kanuga, three storage units were broken into. The customer whose access code was used on the gate believes it may have been used by some individuals who had previously helped him move some of his property.

Larceny From Vehicle Twelve in Beat 601 and one hundred and sixty-six in Zone 6
Vehicles were entered on Bonaventure, Maiden Lane, North Highland, Ponce de Leon, St. Charles, and Virginia Ave. Entry was made via broken windows, damaged doors and door locks, and unlocked doors. Victims lost a purse with driver’s license and credit cards, two backpacks with school books and papers, a bowling bag and ball, five laptops, two calculators, two checkbooks, two Apple iPad, a tool bag and tools, game controller, cash, and a Les Paul Guitar and keyboard.

Other Larcenies Two in Beat 601 and one hundred and fifteen in Zone 6.

On August 11th at CVS on N. Highland three black males entered the store and stole product from the medicine isle.

On August 14th at Halfmoon Outfitters a suspect stole a jacket and sleep pad

Auto Theft Four in Beat 601 and fifty-five in Zone 6.

On August 1st a scooter was stolen from Barnett St.

On August 11th a 2002 Chrysler Town & Country was stolen from the street on Frederica St.

On August 16th the suspect was observed pulling on door handles and attempting to open the trunk of a vehicle on N. Highland Ave. The suspect, Jeremy Allen was arrested.

On August 19th a 2016 silver Jeep was stolen from the parking lot at 758 Ponce de Leon Ave.
If this report was forwarded to you and you would like to be added to the distribution, please send a message to me at with your name, email address, and affiliation. Thanks.

Stay Safe!

Kay Stephenson

September 2, 2016

Introducing Officer Michael Costello

Officer Michael Costello Ready to Work
For someone like me that grew up in the wilds of northern New York State, I’m always happy to meet a fellow transplant. Officer Costello, the newest recruit to the Virginia-Highland Security Patrol, grew up in Sayreville, NJ. For those in the know, that’s exit 11 on the New Jersey Turnpike and about thirty minutes south of Manhattan.

In addition to earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from John Jay College in NYC in 2010, he has just been admitted into the Georgia State College of Law and will earn his Juris Doctor degree in 2020. After earning his undergraduate degree, and before moving south Officer Costello worked for a security management company, but Atlanta was calling.

He joined Atlanta Police Department in 2011 working first in patrol in Zone 4 and then moving to the Street Crimes/APEX Bravo Unit. This is a team of officers assembled to address violent crime issues city-wide. APEX stands for Atlanta Proactive Enforcement Interdiction and is just one of the teams that make up Special Enforcement including Narcotics Enforcement, Gang Squad and Homeland Security.

Getting to meet new people and interact with community members is Michael Costello’s favorite thing about being a police officer, so don’t be surprised if you see him and his three-year-old son around Zone 6 when he isn’t working too. Through the Atlanta Police Foundation’s Secure Neighborhood initiative, he recently purchased a home in the Edgewood community. This program is designed to have Atlanta police officers move back into the city, and act as a liaison between the department and their fellow community members.

When asked for a safety tip he reminds us to always be aware of our surroundings. We will try to do that Officer Costello, and until he earns that law degree and possibly a new career, please make him welcome in Virginia-Highland. Let him know how much we appreciate what he does to keep us all safe.

August 30, 2016

FBAC Report for Month, Year- Virginia-Highland Security Patrol (FBAC) August 2016

The activity report is a summary of what our FBAC Patrol Officers do on their shifts

Directed Patrols:  24
Drop ins/Park and Walks:  30
Suspicious person:  6
Alarm Response:  7
Suspicious Vehicle:  2
Parking Complaints:  0
Noise Complaints:  0
Out of town Checks:  11
Abandoned Auto:  0
FBAC member Contact:  4
Lost Person:  0
Street Obstruction:  0
Wanted Persons:  0
Intoxicated Persons:  0
Found Property:  0
Criminal Trespass:  0
Info for Officers:  2
Shots Fired:  0
Calls for service (cell Phone):  5

News and Notes

ARREST - Virginia-Highland Security Patrol officers assisted in the arrest of a suspect for entering automobiles in the 800 block of N. Highland Ave. A call came in to 911 that a suspicious male was checking door handles and trunks at the apartment complex. Our officer and the beat officer located the individual still wandering the parking lot of the complex and he was arrested and charged.
Significant Incidents

Robbery/Car Jacking 900 block of St. Charles at intersection with Frederica – Vehicle recovered, suspects still at large.

On July 31st at 9:30 pm Officer Berry was dispatched to a carjacking call on St. Charles. The victim was driving a rental car and renting the apartment for a couple of weeks while in town on business. She reported that when she arrived at the location she saw a black male leaning against her building. She parked and exited her vehicle when the suspect approached her pulled out a handgun and demanded her keys. She surrendered her keys and ran into her apartment without physical injuries. The suspect fled in the vehicle described as a Gray Chrysler 300 CA tag #7MIF686. The suspect was wearing black jeans a red shirt and had a black hoodie tied around his waist. Sgt. Turner and Criminal Investigations Division (CID) went to the scene and located a video camera, but were unable to access the footage as the owner was away.

On August 8th at around 7:15 pm Officer Cogdell was patrolling in the area of Martin L. King Jr. DR SW and Peyton PL, SW. The officer observed a suspicious vehicle with two males inside and vehicle damage on the passenger’s side door. The officer checked the tag, found that the vehicle was reported stolen and matched the description of the carjacked vehicle from St. Charles Avenue. He began to follow the vehicle and reported to dispatch. The Georgia State Patrol (GSP) and Phoenix team (APD Air Unit) were notified as the vehicle made its way onto I-20 eastbound and then I-75/85 southbound. GSP join the pursuit north of University and was able to get behind the vehicle. The Phoenix team was also following by air. GSP turned on emergency lights and the suspect was moving to the right but did not stop. They drove in the emergency lanes and then exited at University. The air unit officers began following and calling out locations so that APD and GSP could follow as the suspects traveled north on McDaniel St, west on Fletcher, north on Metropolitan, crossing over Dill then on Decker back towards Murphy. They continued on Evans and Sylvan Road and onto Lankford Parkway. At this time APD, GSP and Phoenix all lost sight of the vehicle. Shortly thereafter East Point police advised that they had a vehicle accident at Semmes St. and Broad Ave. The vehicle (abandoned by the driver and passenger) was confirmed to be the one being followed and that was stolen on July 31st. It was towed and processed by CID.

Burglary 700 Block of Brookridge Drive

On August 23rd Officer Berry was dispatched for a residential burglary. The victim advised that he left his home at 8 am with all secured and returned at 5:30 pm to find his rifle, 9 mm and ammunition, which had been in his room were missing. The room was disturbed from the way he had left it. He saw that the back door of the home was unsecured, which was left unlocked by his roommate. His roommate was also missing an Xbox, PlayStation 3, guitar, MacBook Pro and iPad from his room. The third roommate was not missing anything from his room. Other valuables around the home were not taken. Both the gate to the back of the property and the back door were left unsecured making this an easy target for the suspect. Finger prints were obtained from the door.


All members call 911 first if you see a crime in progress or a suspicious person or activity, and then call the FBAC Phone. The phone number is (770) 310-0871 and is also on the schedule that is emailed to you monthly.

If you see someone or something suspicious, please report it to the police.  When driving or out walking keep an eye out in the neighborhood, what you see and report just might prevent a crime.

Note: Part one crime statistics from the Atlanta Police Department are available online and will be included in the VaHi Safety Team Reports which are distributed by Neighborhood Watch approximately twice per month. These statistics will no longer be duplicated here. If you have questions about this change, please send a message to 

If you do not know who your street captain is, please send a message to with your name and street address, and Eleanor Barrineau will connect you.