Virginia-Highland Safety Report

The latest roundup chronicles robberies on the BeltLine, cellphone snatchings and thefts from cars.


The VaHi Safety Team Report, compiled by Virginia-Highland resident John Wolfinger, is intended to update residents on recent crimes. The information on reported crimes is provided by the Atlanta Police department.

The following report was sent to residents via e-mail on Wednesday, Nov. 21:

BeltLine Caution  

The new eastside BeltLine trail that is attracting hundreds of joggers/walkers/bicyclists as a wonderful, scenic place to get out for exercise is also attracting those who prey on unsuspecting and unalert folks.  There have been 3 recent incidents I need to make you aware of - on 11/19 there were two separate reports of joggers robbed in the area of the Highland Avenue bridge (no mention of weapons being used) and last week a jogger was robbed at gunpoint at the end of Greenwood Avenue at the BeltLine.  These folks all lost their cellphones - so there was a delay in contacting 911. 

As you use the BeltLine, please keep electronics hidden under your clothing, and stay aware of your surroundings, just as you would on our city streets.  As you traverse the BeltLine, keep note of where you are by noting landmarks and the dead-ends of city streets.  Until such time when location signs are placed along the trail - assume responsibility for keeping track of your location, and your own safety.  I hope that a decision-maker is reading this report and will act soon on BeltLine location ID signs and/or callboxes.    

The following reports have been gleaned from the APD Zone 6 crime stats for 10/21-11/3 with emphasis on our VaHi Beat 601, but with news from around the Zone as it applies to us.  Again, I state these reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to alert you to what happens around us everyday and to raise your awareness.

  Aggravated Assault  -  There was a domestic altercation at a Briarcliff Road apartment.  

Auto Theft  - Vehicles were stolen from PDL Avenue and Rosedale Road.  

Auto Theft Recovery  -  No reported recoveries in Beat 601  

Commercial Burglary  -  Entry to the China Dragon restaurant on PDL Avenue was gained by damaging a deadbolt lock and 2 padlocks.  A small amount of cash was taken.  

Residential Burglary  -  A Briarcliff Summit resident fell asleep with the apartment door unlocked and awoke to find 2 tv sets missing.  

Commercial Robbery  -  No reported incidents in Beat 601  

Residential Robbery  -  No reported incidents in Beat 601  

Larceny from Vehicle -  Vehicles were entered on Amsterdam Walk, Maiden Lane, North Highland Avenue (3) and PDL Place. In this two week time period there were 96 of these reports from all over Zone 6.  Near the Peachtree-Pine shelter on Pine Street a bus from the suburban Woodstock Baptist Church was broken into and a lot of purses were taken.  I would assume that these unaware suburbanites were at this location to bring food to the shelter.  A good example of biting the hand that is feeding you. As we enter the holiday season - remember the Clean Car Campaign - and make sure ALL parked cars are cleaned out at ALL times.  And - don't wait til you get to a busy parking lot to stash stealables in your trunk - think ahead.  

Larceny Other  -  A locked bicycle was taken from a Greenwood Avenue apartment building stairwell.  Take those bicycles inside when not in use!  Also on Greenwood Avenue, a front doorstep package theft was reported from someone who did not know to use Intown Hardware, CityStorage or Highland Wine and Crystal as a safe delivery address.  Check with these friendly merchants to sign up for this free program and help to stamp out front porch package thefts.   Around the Zone elsewhere cellphone snatch and grabs still persist from unalert and unaware victims.  Also - is it wise to use a cellphone case as a holding place for debit and credit cards?  An incident at the shopping area at Piedmont Avenue @ North Avenue, an attempted snatch grab resulted in the victim's debit card falling out of the case which was taken by the thief.   Electronics were taken from the sanctuary (a misnomer in this case) of the Druid Hills Baptist Church on PDL Avenue.  A chained to a tree piece of Art on the BeltLine was stolen.  

Pedestrian Robbery  -  No reported incidents in Beat 601 But a warning about meeting people on social media sites.  On Boulevard at 5:30 p.m. the male victim was at the location to meet a female he "met" on Facebook.  He was jumped by 2 males who put him in a choke hold, punched, kicked and bit him and then took his property.  They fled along with his intended "date".  

Stay alert and aware and enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

John Wolfinger November 22, 2012 at 12:20 PM
I need to point out that I made a mistake in the section about BeltLine incidents - I misread a report and there was only one incident near the Highland Avenue bridge. It involved two victims and not two separate incidents as I stated. There is now a follow-up tv report on this situation at - http://virginia-highland.11alive.com/news/news/145660-trouble-beltline with our own Zone 6 Captain Michael Giugliano being interviewed
Anna Varela November 22, 2012 at 01:47 PM
Thanks for the update, John. I know the community appreciates your efforts to keep everyone informed, and safe. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


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