Ladies and Gentlemen,
Summer is drawing to a close. Children have returned to school and the days are growing noticeably shorter. I hope everyone enjoyed a safe and fun summer assuming you could escape the heat.
Our neighborhood enjoyed a relatively safe crime-free period. I use the word relativity because we did not escape completely from the desire of a very few people to take what did not belong to them. Although the numbers were few, we did have multiple events where someone entered unlocked vehicles looking for valuables. In many of those cases, a resident had left something of value in plain sight of the perpetrator. I cannot stress enough the importance of NOT LEAVING VALUABLES in your car overnight! The infamous bank robber Willie Sutton was noted for his answer when a reporter asked him why he robbed banks. His often quoted answer was “Because that’s where the money is.”
So, like Mr. Sutton, criminals target areas where they have seen or heard unlocked cars with valuables are available and easy targets. Jeff Baxter and his team spend much of their time trying to track and arrest these individuals. Please help us help you by taking anything of value in with you at night!
Additionally, we also had a home break-in. Fortunately there was no personal encounter and only replaceable items were taken. This occurred overnight and, although present, the home alarm had not been turned on. In my role as the security coordinator for PHWCA, I’ve had many opportunities to speak with Lt. Jeff Baxter as well as senior officers in the Zone 2 police district. Deterrence, of any kind, is the number one way to prevent crime. If you have an alarm system, use it-especially at night when you are sleeping and most vulnerable. Try to get in the habit of also using it even when you leave the house for a short errand. The criminals in our area are petty thieves- they prey on the lowest common denominator. Don’t be the one who forgets to bring in valuables, forgets to lock their house doors or forgets to turn on their alarm system.
Lastly, Lt. Baxter and the Atlanta Police Department have had great success with the use of footage of criminal activity filmed from personal home security cameras. These low cost, easily installed video door bells and cameras can provide almost instant evidence to be relayed to the police and our security team.
There are many brands with a variety of functions and costs available on the market. One or more will fit your needs. As a starting point you might want to visit the websites I have copied below. They are from respected consumer groups and their reviews of the products may assist you in the selection of the one that is right for you.
In addition to providing valuable footage, most of these devices allow you to monitor anyone approaching your home regardless of where you are. These and other functions can be turned on or off remotely to fit your personal schedule.
As always, in case you need to report a crime, remember to call 911 immediately and then call the PHWCA patrol number, 404-242-3321. For routine communications with our patrol regarding mail pick-up, etc., please call (404) 841-6242.
If you have any questions , please feel free to reach out to me, Nolan Leake or Lt. Jeff Baxter. We are all here to make our neighborhood the best possible place to live, raise our families and enjoy our beautiful piece of Atlanta.
Regards, Tom Watson