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VaHi Safety Team Report

November 30, 2021

Table of Contents

Significant Incidents

ARMED ROBBERY – 700-Block Ponce de Leon Pl

On October 27 at approximately 6:45 AM, police were dispatched to the 700-block of Ponce de Leon Place concerning a pedestrian robbery. The victim stated he had been out for a jog around 6:00 AM. As he was walking west on Ponce de Leon Terrace toward his home, a gray SUV passed him and came to a sudden stop 20 or 30 feet ahead of him. A black male wearing dark clothing exited the passenger side front door and walked toward the victim, pointing a grayish handgun at him and ordering the victim to "give it up". The victim said he only had a phone and handed over his iPhone to the perpetrator. The victim then ran east on Ponce de Leon Terrace, while being pursued on foot by the black male. An anonymous passerby witnessed the chase. The suspects caught up to him in their vehicle, a white SUV possibly a Jeep or Honda with a "tag applied for" drive-out tag in place of a license plate. The male suspect approached the victim for the second time and demanded the iPhone unlock code. The victim stated that the suspect was unkempt in his appearance with a green jacket covering a dark t-shirt with writing on it, and he noted that the male was "herky-jerky" with the pointing of his gun which caused him to fear for his life though he was not physically injured. The victim advised that the driver of the suspect vehicle may possibly have been a black female, but he could not be certain of the suspect's gender from when the vehicle passed. Robbery unit detectives came to interview the victim. The victim's cell phone was traced near a location where a stolen vehicle was recovered from a possibly-related robbery, but the victim's cell phone was not located.


AGGRAVATED ASSAULT – 1100-Block Briarcliff Ct (Arrest Made)
On November 1 just before midnight, police responded to a call regarding a fight involving a weapon on the 1100-Block of Briarcliff Ct. Upon arrival, an officer encountered a male standing in the middle of the street pointing a handgun at another man. The responding officer ordered the suspect to put the gun on the ground. The suspect complied and the officer placed the suspect in handcuffs and retrieved the weapon from the ground. Upon questioning, the suspect said the other male had called him gay and was repeatedly knocking on his door. The officer explained to the suspect that he could not be pointing a gun at people for something like that. The victim and two witnesses who were with him said the dispute began over a parking spot at the victim's apartment complex. According to the victim and witnesses, the suspect had blown his horn and screamed and shouted at the victim to move his vehicle. When he did not move, the suspect pulled around the victim's car and parked, then went into his apartment and returned with a handgun which he pointed at the victim and two witnesses. The victim recorded part of the interaction on a tablet. The officer reviewed the video footage and observed the suspect pointing the gun in the direction of the victim while cursing and shouting that he was going to shoot him. Upon inspection of the weapon, the officer determined that it was actually a pellet / BB gun. The suspect was arrested for aggravated assault.

COMMERCIAL BURGLARY – 730 Barnett St
On November 19 at 4:34 AM, police were dispatched to 730 Barnett St (Welcome Food Mart) in response to a damage to property call. Upon arrival, the first responding officer noticed the front door of the business open and requested backup. A second officer arrived and together they searched the building and determined no one was inside. Police dispatchers were able to contact the business owner / key-holder, who came on scene and confirmed that unlawful entry had been made. Officers reviewed security  camera footage with the business owner and observed a heavy set black male (wearing all black, hoodie, mask, and gloves) come in front of the store and use bolt cutters to cut a chain off the door. Two other black males then came in front of the store, also wearing all black with masks and gloves, and all three suspects ran into the store. They all went straight to the location to get behind the counter, which is closed in with a glass enclosure. The suspects tried to break the door to the enclosure with a sledgehammer, but could not get it open. After about two minutes of trying to get the door open, they all stopped and ran out of the store, not taking anything.

COMMERCIAL BURGLARY – 992 Virginia Ave NE 
On November 20 at approximately 9:02 AM, police responded to a burglary call from a business (La Tavola Restaurant). The victim stated that the restaurant closed the night prior around midnight. She stated that the business alarm sounded that morning around 3:30 AM and she later was informed that the rear patio door had been broken open. The building was checked by officers and nothing appeared out of place in the main area of the restaurant. Subsequently the business owner reported that a safe was taken in the burglary, containing approximately $2000 in cash. There were no witnesses or recording devices inside the restaurant, but the business owner was contacting the building manager to check for footage of the incident.

ROBBERY (DOMESTIC RELATED) – 800-Block Briarcliff Terrace
On November 20 at approximately 4:28 AM, police responded to a call about a fight on the 800- Block of Briarcliff Terrace. The victim stated that she had been in a relationship with the suspect for about 7 years but they had been separated for the past 3 months. The victim stated that since the relationship ended, the suspect has been constantly harassing her and on today's date he followed her to her residence, pushed her, and took her vehicle keys which she dropped on the street. The victim provided a description of the suspect's vehicle and said she had submitted the necessary paperwork for a protective order. The victim was advised to immediately contact law enforcement if she observed the suspect in the area again and was given a case number and instructions for how to obtain a copy of the police report.

Don't Forget the Toy Drive!

You can drop unwrapped toys on the front porch of John Wolfinger's home at 1054 Vance Avenue until December 9th for kids aged 10 and younger. APD's Eman Hart tells us that donations are lagging this year, so please consider purchasing some toys to make the holidays bright for these children in Zone 6.

COVID-19 Update 

  Confirmed Cases   Cases/100K   Deaths   Population
               
United States 48,160,971   14,506   776,703   331,996,199
Georgia 1,659,491   15,630   30,358   10,617,423
Fulton County 113,514   10,327   1,678   1,063,937
City of Atlanta Data Not Publicly Available
               
Current Statements from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
Everyone ages 18 and older should get a booster shot.
Statement on new Omicron Variant.
Find all CDC guidance on the virus here


Resources for more information and assistance:
State of Georgia Department of Public Health
Fulton County Board of Health COVID-19 Information Hub
Atlanta Strong - COVID-19 Dashboard

The City of Atlanta has activated a text message service for COVID-19 updates. Sign up by texting “ATLCOVID19” to 88877. We are current in Phase 2 (yellow) of our reopening plan. A face mask mandate is in place when in public places.

Quick Notes

Fire Station 19 Renovation is Underway
Crews and equipment have been temporarily relocated, and this effort, which has been so well supported by VaHi and Morningside residents and businesses, is expected to take about nine months. Find more information in this article in the VHCA VOICE

Checking on Those Who Live Alone
We recently discovered the sad news that long time Virginia-Highland resident Wilber Harold Crawford passed away at his home on St. Augustine. Mr. Crawford lived alone and was discovered because a caring neighbor noticed mail piling up and asked APD to do a welfare check. Sadly the medical examiner has been unable to identify next of kin and because he was not well known to neighbors, the street captain had no idea who to call about securing the home and other matters.

In our community we have many residents who live alone and due to age, family circumstance, or other reason may not be in regular contact with someone who would know something was amiss. If you know such a person on your street, please make an effort to get to know them and to keep information about emergency contacts, just in case. Don't hesitate to check on these neighbors if anything seems the least bit off, such as mail piling up, a pet barking more than usual, lights staying on all night, when they normally do not, etc. 

Crime Statistics

November 2021 Beat      
    601   602   613   614
Aggravated Assault 1 1 1 1
Auto Theft 3 3 2 3
Burglary Non-Residential
& Residential
2 4 2 --
Larceny From Vehicle 22 40 18 7
Larceny Non-Vehicle 1 7 1 1
Homicide -- -- -- --
Rape -- -- -- --
Robbery Commercial,
Pedestrian & Residential
1 1 -- 1
Beat 601 = all of Virginia-Highland

Beat 602 = Poncey-Highland and Inman Park

Beat 613 = Morningside and parts of Piedmont Heights and Lindridge Martin Manor

Beat 614 = Part of Midtown East including the Garden District
November 2021    
  Beat 601 Zone 6
Aggravated Assault 1 18
Auto Theft 3 50
Burglary Non-Residential
& Residential
2 28
Larceny From Vehicle 22 195
Larceny Non-Vehicle 1 54
Homicide -- 2
Rape -- --
Robbery Commercial,
Pedestrian & Residential
1 14
   
Vehicles were entered on Amsterdam, Drewry, Glen Arden, Kanuga, Maiden Lane, N. Highland (4), Ponce De Leon Avenue (8), and Virginia (5)

Note: five of the thefts were from vehicles in the parking lot of The Local. These lots along Ponce continue to be a prime hunting ground for thieves. 
If you are a resident and not connected with your street captain, please send a message to safety@vahi.org to be introduced.

If you are not a resident but would like to be added to the distribution for these reports, please send a message to me at VaHiSafety@gmail.com with your name, email address, and affiliation. Thanks.
 
Stay Safe!
 
Kay Stephenson
Copyright © 2021 Virginia-Highland Safety Team, All rights reserved.


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