Public Safety

Published on September 1st, 2015 |


Buckhead theft in school, neighborhood reports suggest crime is up

Home invasions, smash-and-grab burglaries, a car-jacking and a robbery in the parking lot of a Whole Foods market are the Buckhead crimes that grab the big headlines, because they involve more violent criminal activities and sometimes injuries to victims.

But every week, there are less violent, but just as personally invasive and damaging crimes reported by the Atlanta Police and various Buckhead neighborhood safety committees. Together they create a public perception that crime is on the increase in Buckhead’s Zone 2.

Video image of suspect in the theft of teacher's wallet from classroom at Sarah Smith Elementary School in north Buckhead.

Video image of suspect in the theft of teacher’s wallet from classroom at Sarah Smith Elementary School in north Buckhead.

Last week, the APD announced officers are looking for a man suspected of stealing a teacher’s wallet Aug. 26 from a classroom at Sarah Smith Elementary School in north Buckhead.

Assistant Principal Freda Hamilton told police a man entered the school sometime between 4:08 and 4:11 p.m. through an unsecured door leading to the cafeteria. The man then walked up the stairs to a hallway where classrooms are located and entered classroom 14. Shortly after he left and went back down the stairs and out of the building.

APD spokesperson Kim Jones’ statement said Lindsay Boulding, the teacher of classroom 14, was not in the room when the man walked in. When Boulding returned, she realized her wallet was missing from her purse.

The video surveillance was reviewed and the suspect was seen entering the classroom.

Any information on the case can be submitted anonymously to the Crime Stoppers Atlanta tip line at 404-577-TIPS (8477), online or by texting CSA and the tip to CRIMES (274637). Persons do not have to give their name or any identifying information to be eligible for the reward of up to $2,000 for the arrest and indictment of the suspects.

Also this week, the Crier newsletter of the Garden Hills Civic Association carried the following crime report:

“In the last five weeks we have had four car break-ins. One on Sharondale, two on North Hills, and one on Pinetree. In each incident, property was left generally visible in the vehicle. Be a member of the Clean Car Club–do not leave items in your car. If you are having overnight guest(s), advise them not to leave items in their car.”

The Crier crime report also noted another incident on East Wesley where the car was broken into, “we think in an effort to steal the radio (standard factory equipment) but were not successful in obtaining the radio. However, they did eat a pack of peanut butter crackers that were left in the car.”

The Crier also reported that on Sunday a neighbor on Bolling Way awoke to find all four wheels (tires and rims) taken from his 2011 Chevy Camaro.

“You may have read about the car-jacking from Whole Foods on West Paces Ferry on Friday August 28,” the Crier wrote. “If you feel uncomfortable in a parking lot, go back into the store and request that someone escort you to your car. This is especially critical at the grocery store when your attention is focused on loading items into your car and not on what is going on around.”

Outside of Garden Hills, but in Buckhead, the Crier informed its readers, “there have been several incidents of persons going door-to-door selling magazines, and have led to several break-ins. One arrest was made last Friday. However, there have been additional cases of magazine salesmen/women in our community,” the Crier reported.

“All this activity means that the perpetrators are coming through the neighborhood looking for an opportunity to take something. What can we do? Remove the opportunity and they will go to another community,” the Crier advised.

The chair of the public safety committee of the Mt. Paran-Northside Citizens Association expressed a bit of joy in her email report this week. “Whoo-hoo! We have no crimes to report in our Mt. Paran Northside neighborhood this week!”

However, the report goes on to state: “We have had activity near our area that you need to be aware of. So, please read the following crimes that occurred outside of our neighborhood.”

1. Burglary at 4900 block of Lake Forrest Dr. on Monday, Aug. 24. According to the homeowner, “access was gained through a bedroom window in the back of the house, using a crowbar to overcome the locks, according to the officer.” All of the rooms, drawers, and closets were gone through. A TV, game console, a container of change, and two firearms were stolen.

2. Burglary at 4500 block of Jett Road in Sandy Springs on Friday, Aug. 28. The entry point was the garage door and the interior garage door. Silver, i-Phones, containers of spare change, jewelry, lawn equipment, and a computer were stolen.

3. Burglary in the Brookhaven Heights neighborhood on Sunday, Aug. 23 at 3pm. Four men kicked in the front door; Apple products, computers, and hard drives were taken. They were driving a gold, older-model Toyota Camry.

“Please be on the lookout for an older gold or tan Toyota Camry. It has been involved in several burglaries in Brookhaven and around Wieuca Road,” the report urged. “It could have a Pennsylvania tag. However, the tag could have been changed at this point.”

(For the earlier story about the car-jacking in the parking lot of the Buckhead Whole Foods market, click here.)

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