Note: Four weeks of data
News and Notes
Neighborhood Video Cameras
The VHCA Safety Committee and Virginia-Highland Neighborhood Watch are making good progress on identifying and increasing video camera coverage in the neighborhood. Working with the Atlanta Police Foundation we are now aware of the locations of all existing cameras (total of five) that have been integrated with and monitored by the APD Video Integration Center (VIC). Also, we know the location of additional cameras (total of six) that the city has committed to install. We are now working with APF and APD to identify locations for additional cameras that will be paid for with funds raised by the neighborhood and with a matching grant from Alex Wan’s office.
In addition, we have seen several incidents lately where the availability of video from private residents or businesses has helped to catch criminals. Many residents have volunteered information about their existing external cameras for our neighborhood registry. This information is shared with APD so that they will know where to look for nearby video when investigating a crime. If you have not shared your camera locations and contact information, please send me an email so we can add you to the list.
Atlanta BeltLine Public Meetings
There are two upcoming BeltLine meetings of note.
Feb 26th at 6:30 pm the Southwest Study Group for Subarea One will meet at the West Hunter Street Baptist Church (1040 David Abernathy Blvd, Atlanta, GA 30310). Note that Virginia-Highland is in Subarea Six. This meeting will address plans for the Westside.
March 1st at 6:00 pm the first quarterly briefing of 2016 on the overall BeltLine plan and progress will be held at the Cleveland L. Dennard Conference Center at Atlanta Technical College, Bldg. B (1560 Metropolitan Parkway, SW, Atlanta, GA 30310). You will be asked to register when you arrive, or you can pre-register online. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/
Upcoming Road Races
The fifth annual Intown Ten! 10K race will be held Sunday March 6, 2016 beginning at 9 am. The race begins and ends near John Howell Park. Find the route map at this webpage http://intownten.com/news/
race-route/ and plan your travel around the neighborhood accordingly. You can also find contact information if you would like to volunteer or be a sponsor for the event.
Online Safety for Children
Recently we have seen tragic news reports about teens who have been hurt or murdered by people they met on the internet. The following tips for keeping children safe is shared from Chris Coffee, VP Public Safety for Inman Park Neighborhood Assoc.
One of the great benefits of our Inman Park Security Patrol is the wide variety of jobs that our officers work for the Atlanta Police Department. We have several officers that are detectives in their ‘day job’. Investigator Jared Watkins works for us and lives in Inman Park. When he is not protecting Inman Park, he is protecting kids from pimps, predators, and exploiters as part of the APD Child Exploitation and Online Protection Squad. I had a conversation with him about what we can do to keep our kids safe online.
1. The internet is such a part of our world now, between computers and phones and tablets. How do we keep our kids safe?
Investigator Watkins: First and foremost, be involved with what they are doing online. The world is a far different place from the early 90’s when you had to call someone’s house to talk to them. Know what apps they are using and what social media they use and on what devices. You don’t have to have a phone to text or use social media these days. An iPod touch attached to Wi-Fi is able to send text messages, pictures, videos and even use facetime (Apple’s video chat service). Tablets connected to Wi-Fi have several contact options and can record and send video.
Be mindful of who your kids are chatting with and do not be afraid to pick up their phone and look at it. Look at what they do on social media and be mindful of the fact that so many apps have built in social media components. Research each app your child downloads on any device.
2. Who is appropriate for my kids to interact with online?
The easy rule for this that I tell parents is “Would you let this person talk to your kid at the mall or on the phone?” Most people would be creeped out if a 40-year-old man called the house and asked to speak to your 13-year-old daughter. Use the same intuition and investigate who they are chatting with online.
3. I have heard that most of these predators start out pretending they are an age group peer of my child. How do you watch out for that?
Again, investigate who your children are chatting with. Are they asking your child to send photos? Videos? Do they ask to video chat with your child but their webcam is always broken? Is their phone video blurry or cracked? These are all red flags that the person is pretending to be someone they are not.
4. What other disturbing trends are out there?
Sextortion. A predator will engage a child in chat and eventually ask them sexual questions or talk them into sending a somewhat compromising photo. Then the predator will threaten to expose the sexual conversation or picture to the child’s parents or friends to force the child to send even more provocative photos or videos or even worse to get the child to meet them somewhere. Know who your kids are interacting with.
5. What is one thing you would like for parents to remember?
Do not be afraid to go through their devices. Our children have a right to be safe, not a right to privacy.
Crime Statistics – Note: four weeks of data
The following information is taken from our APD Zone 6 report (http://atlantapd.org/Zone6.
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 for beat 601. One reported on Zone 6 and Five citywide.
The Zone 6 incident happened at an apartment on Glen Iris south of North Avenue. The victim was shot.
Rape None reported in beat 601. One reported in Zone 6 and twelve citywide.
No additional information is provided about rapes.
Pedestrian/Carjacking Robbery Three reported in beat 601. Thirteen reported in Zone 6.
On January 14th during the daytime on Ponce de Leon Place a male victim was robbed at gunpoint in the parking lot while unloading his car. The victim gave up his wallet, watch, keys, iPad and wedding ring, but was not physically injured.
On January 16th during the overnight hours on Greenwood Avenue a male victim was robbed at gunpoint while walking westbound from N. Highland Avenue toward his parked vehicle. Two assailants pulled out guns and took his backpack with laptop as well as car keys and wallet. The victim was otherwise unhurt.
On January 17th, during the early morning hours on Arlington Place the four victims were walking home from the Dark Horse. After walking a few houses north of the intersection with Briarcliff Place, they were approached by three black males who put guns to their heads and demanded their property. After surrendering their property, they were instructed to head back South on Arlington while the suspects headed North. Other than the loss of personal property, there were no injuries.
Though not in beat 601, a robbery in Little Five Points at the Vortex is worth noting. A female suspect took a cell phone off the victim’s table and handed it to a male suspect. Both the victim and the manager confronted the male suspect who made threats if they did not let him leave. He left the restaurant and entered his vehicle. The victim stood in front of their car in an attempt to detain the suspect, but the driver revved his engine and used the car to push the victim out of the way. While this was going on the female suspect paid cash for their food and then went out and entered the male suspect’s car. At this point she took a pistol from her purse racked the slide and pointed it at the victim, telling her to back-off. The suspects then left the area.
It is always tempting to take matters into our own hands, or to at least detain a suspect until police arrive. However, a cell phone or any other piece of property is not worth the risk. No one was injured in this incident, but the victim could have been seriously hurt. Please stay safe and gather information to assist police such as a good description of the suspect (take a photo if this can be done safely), and a good description of the vehicle include make, model, color and license plate number.
Residential Robbery None reported in beat 601. Three were reported in Zone 6.
Commercial Robbery None reported in beat 601. One was reported in Zone 6.
Throughout the city there were thirty-eight robberies of all types
Aggravated Assault None reported in beat 601. In Zone 6, there were fifteen reported and all around the city there were 136.
Residential Burglary Five reported in beat 601. Fifty-one were reported in Zone 6.
On January 3rd an apartment on Briarcliff Court was burglarized with $800 cash being taken. It is unknown what time of day this occurred or the method of entry.
On January 5th two bikes were stolen from the storage space of an apartment on N. Highland Avenue. Entry was made by removing a door from the hinges.
On January 15th during the daytime a home was entered on St. Charles Place with suspects taking jewelry, a hard drive and laptop. The victim stated that he might have left the door unlocked.
On January 15th during the evening an apartment was entered on Ponce Place via a forced door. The victim lost and Xbox, laptop, Dropcam Pro video camera, tools, accessories and change. Video of the suspect was captured
On January 16th a home was entered on Frederica via a kicked in door. Nothing was taken but this suspect was captured on video.
Commercial Burglary One reported in beat 601. Nineteen reported in Zone 6.
On December 28th during the early morning hours the Threadz store on St. Charles Ave was burglarized. A vehicle was driven through the front window of the store to make entry and suspects stole clothing and a safe. This incident is part of a larger investigation now being led citywide by the APD Gang Unit. It is believed that these smash and grab burglaries are the work of multiple groups, but that they are all connected.
All around the city there were 410 burglaries of all types.
Larceny From Vehicle Nineteen reported in beat 601. In Zone 6 there were a total of 120 and citywide there were 400.
Vehicles were entered on Amsterdam, Briarcliff Place, Cooledge, Cresthill, Hudson, N. Highland, Park Drive, Ponce de Leon Ave, St. Charles, Vance, and Virginia. Entry was made via broken windows, unlocked door (three cases) and in one case the door lock was punched out. Taken were laptops, luggage and clothing, musical equipment, back packs, and sports equipment. Three vehicles also lost all four wheels and tires with cars left up on blocks.
Note that around the zone these larcenies resulted in the theft of eight more firearms that are now in the hands of criminals. It is impossible to stress how important it is to either remove firearms from vehicles or to secure them in a locked trunk or car safe. The console, glove box (with its flimsy lock), or under the seat is no place for a firearm.
Other Larcenies Two reported in beat 601. Eighty-five reported in Zone 6, and 498 citywide.
On January 14th at a residence on Briarcliff Road, the victim had friends over who brought friends with them. These individuals were unknown to the victim. When everyone left her purse was missing.
On January 18th at a home on Crestridge a visitor left her coat with cellphone and car keys on the front porch while she briefly went back inside. The resident saw the suspect and was able to track him. Police apprehended the suspect and returned the items to the victim.
Auto Theft None reported in beat 601. Twenty-eight in Zone 6, and 287 citywide.
Two of the auto thefts in Zone 6 occurred because the vehicle was left unlocked and running.
If this report was forwarded to you and you would like to be added to the distribution, please send a message to me at VaHiSafety@gmail.com with your name, email address, and affiliation.