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Published on July 26th, 2016 |

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Rash of Buckhead crimes has Facebook, neighborhood online chat sites abuzz

(Editor’s Note: The following story was re-edited July 27 to remove the names of several people who reported crimes on the Nextdoor neighborhood online chat network for Garden Hills, after BuckheadView received complaints about the use of their names. BuckheadView assumed these people posted their experiences to warn their Buckhead neighbors of potential crime hazards and used the information to provide broader distribution in the Buckhead community.)

A rash of auto thefts, thefts from autos, a beating of a man in front of his home, local robberies, shootings and a series of other public safety issues has the Garden Hills neighborhood abuzz with online chatter and formation of a new group, Fighting Crime in Buckhead and Beyond.

Atlanta Police Chief George Turner at a recent Buckhead 50 Club meeting.

Atlanta Police Chief George Turner at a recent Buckhead 50 Club meeting.

Mayor Kasim Reed and the Atlanta Police Department can tell these residents over and over that crime is down, but they see and hear something quite different—almost nightly occurrences of crimes in their neighborhood that previously seemed relatively immune, at least to them.

They are aware of the bigger crimes going on in Buckhead: the killing of a 25-year-old woman who just happened to step in the line of fire between two groups in a shootout; the late afternoon robbery of a clothing store in the West Village; the smash-and-grab theft of $23,000 worth of cameras from a shop on Piedmont Road, and many more reported.

Not all the incidents being talked about are taking place in Garden Hills, but they are close enough—like in the Peachtree Hills and Peachtree Heights neighborhoods—to raise the anxiety level of those who live in the area.

Some incidents didn’t even happen in these neighborhoods, but directly affected people who live there and thus have them on edge.

All this when the already-understaffed APD had 35 or so of its officers in Cleveland last week providing security for the Republican National Convention and will have a similar amount or more in Philadelphia this week providing security for the Democrats.

Here are just a few of the reports that have been posted within the past several days on either Facebook or the Garden Hills Nextdoor community online network:

Early during the week of July 18, a male resident who lives on East Wesley in Garden Hills was attacked about five feet in front of his house by three men as he approached his front door.

APD Zone 2 Commander Maj. Vann Hobbs talks to members of the Buckhead Condo Alliance on March 15.

APD Zone 2 Commander Maj. Vann Hobbs talks to members of the Buckhead Condo Alliance on March 15.

The three men came up from behind him and he described the attack that followed as about 45 seconds “of what I can only describe as pure rage by these guys. If it weren’t for my motion detector flood lights that scared them off I probably wouldn’t be here to write this.”

The victim said he can’t say for certain, but can only assume it was the same group that broke into six cars and stole a Chevy Tahoe about an hour and a half after the attack.

The incident the man referred to involved at least three individuals in a white van who were videotaped checking out cars parked on Eureka Drive in Peachtree Hills on that Tuesday night (July 19) to see what they could steal by breaking into the cars. One car was stolen that night in Peachtree Hills, presumably by the same group.

Another resident on Kenlock in Peachtree Heights East neighborhood reported that their car was broken into that same night and it appears they attempted to steal it.

“It is beyond belief what is happening in our community,” wrote the victim of the physical attack on East Wesley. “Ironically, I had just left a fundraiser at the St. Regis for Richard Lankford who is running for Fulton County sheriff when this happened.”

The attacked individual’s advice to all: “Be diligent and pay attention to your surroundings, because if this can happen to me at my front door on a Tuesday evening on East Wesley, it can happen to anyone anywhere in Buckhead.”

The main photo above shows the two robbers entering the Labels clothing store in the west Village (one at right brandishing a pistol)) during a recent armed robbery.

The main photo above shows the two robbers entering the Labels clothing store in the west Village (one at right brandishing a pistol) during a recent armed robbery.

Another Garden Hills resident reported on Nextdoor, “Exact same thing happened to my car last night on East Wesley. Not sure how they got into my car since the doors were locked but they rummaged through the glove box and center console. Seems typical these days…just wanted to make everyone aware.”

“We should raise money for neighborhood street cameras,” wrote another Garden Hills resident. “This is getting ridiculous. It’s an every night occurrence.”

Not all of the incidents involve crimes of stealing cars, thefts from autos or physical attacks on individuals. One Garden Hills resident wrote on Nextdoor, “I was dropping some stuff at Garden Hills Elementary school when three boys were doing doughnuts in the field on a small dune buggy type vehicle. They looked to be high school aged.”

She added, “The principal and assistant vice principal came outside to politely ask them to stop, but they sped off. From the looks of the way they took off at top speed and running, they obviously knew it was wrong.”

The woman explained in her online post, “The school is aggressively trying to grow grass in the middle of the field so they were particularly disappointed. I just thought the parents out there would want to know. Just a reminder I think that’s considered trespassing if not vandalism of school property.”

A couple of incidents were reported by neighborhood folk about crimes that occurred outside the neighborhood, but were cited as examples to be watchful of.

“Heads up to anyone living or working in Buckhead or nearby,” one neighbor wrote. “This is becoming more prevalent around here,” he warned.

Photo shows the The Cachet Jewelry store on Piedmont Road in Buckhead where a recent attempted robbery took place. A store employee shot and killed the would-be armed robber.

Photo shows the The Cachet Jewelry store on Piedmont Road in Buckhead where a recent attempted robbery took place. A store employee shot and killed the would-be armed robber.

“One of my employees cashed his paycheck at the B of A on Wieuca Rd at Roswell this morning (7/23) around 11am. It was a fairly substantial amount of money that also included reimbursements for materials he paid for out of pocket expenses,” the employer wrote.

“He left the bank and proceeded to a check on a couple of construction sites in Brookhaven and Buckhead. At one of them, he pulled in the site, walked around the back of the house (five minutes max) and when he returned his passenger side window was busted, the inside was strewn around and the money was gone,” the employer reported.

“We can all agree not to leave money in your vehicle and he knows this as well. He was only to be there five minutes.”

The employer said the police came and told his employee “he was followed from the bank and this is happening more frequently.” They said the thieves are targeting construction workers, late model premium cars and seniors.

“Please, whether you are at an ATM or go inside the bank, be aware of the people and the cars in the lot. Watch to see if someone pulls out behind you and follows you,” the employer cautioned.

A neighborhood woman reported online at Nextdoor a similar incident that took place at Phipps Plaza.  She and her family went into Phipps and left in the car a brand new computer they had just purchased. They returned to find the car window busted out and the brand new computer stolen. The woman posted that the police officer the perpetrator(s) likely watched the purchase at the Apple store and followed them to Phipps and then stole it.

Atlanta police officers investigate the recent shooting of a woman at Lenox Square and check the car she was in here at the Benihana restaurant in south Buckead.

Atlanta police officers investigate the recent shooting of a woman at Lenox Square and check the car she was in here at the Benihana restaurant in south Buckhead. Her male companion drove to the restaurant trying to get the wounded woman to Piedmont Hospital.

The police officer told the family they were lucky to have left it in the car because they likely would have used a gun had we tried to carry it in.  The perpetrator(s) could have followed the family home as well.

Some online writers have talked about taking actions to personally protect themselves.

“The heartbreaking post from my Garden Hills neighbor, who was attacked Tuesday gave me the incentive to purchase mace,” wrote one woman. “…One for my key chain and one to be attached to my house key which I take when I walk my dog,” she added. “Silly. But in the dark, I plan to have the whistle around my neck.” She said all were purchased at Ace Hardware.

A new resident to the area asked on Facebook if anyone in the group has a concealed weapons permit. She said she had never been interested in getting a gun anywhere she had lived all over the world, but after being in Atlanta for six weeks she thinks she may need one and a license to carry it at all times.

 

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    12 Responses to Rash of Buckhead crimes has Facebook, neighborhood online chat sites abuzz

    1. Amber says:

      I’m not sure you had permission to post quotes from these individuals.

    2. Concerned neighbor of Buckhead says:

      Did you ask these people if you could quote them? I know for a fact that a few did not give their permission. It isn’t right to use a quote from someone without getting their permission first. Please consider reaching out to the individuals you quoted as they may not feel safe now that you have publicized this info.

    3. Anon says:

      Facebook not Nextdoor, get your basic facts straight.

    4. 1234 says:

      I believe you are deleting comments from those who have commented regarding their names AND quotes being used without there permission. What a hack job at journalism. A disgrace to the profession.

    5. Jake says:

      If you want something kept private don’t post it on Facebook. There is nothing protecting you from people using anything they can access on there.

    6. Cate Jones says:

      a PRIVATE group, where the rules are clear that no information is to be shared. Posting peoples names without their permission and quoting them is unethical and certainly violating any journalistic standards. In doing so, Mr. Schaffner has violated these individuals privacy and victimized them again. He has been removed as a member of the group, and if he had any decency at all, he would apologize. As it stands, he has added a note to the beginning of this article and included further erroneous information. Not much of a journalist.

    7. Karl says:

      Buckhead needs to incorporate as a separate city like Brookhaven & Sandy Springs. Then it can keep its tax money in Buckhead and build its own police force, etc. Otherwise the city of Atlanta just says, “yeah thanks for your tax money Bulkhead, enjoy the crime!”

      • Jake says:

        As appealing as that sounds real estate prices would most likely drop right after. The millennials that will be buying up everyone’s homes don’t want to live in the suburbs – they want to live in Atlanta. All over the Country the move is into the cities. At least for now. Once people start fleeing cities because they realize there really are just terrible people that commit crimes no matter how many hugs you give them then we should talk about separating Buckhead from Atlanta.

    8. Anonymous says:

      As a licensed real estate agent and homeowner, real estate values would NOT drop should Buckhead form its own city. In fact, values will continue to rise, due to demand, the “Buckhead” name, location, plus the benefit of having a well paid and staffed, police force.

      Look at Brookhaven. Since forming its own city, real estate values continue to rise and new construction abounds at a torrid pace.

    9. Anonymous says:

      Buckhead, the time has come to separate from Atlanta. Long overdue, really.

      • John Reynolds says:

        It would be better for Buckhead if they left the City of Atlanta….probably not so good for the City of Atlanta and Atlanta as we know it.

        In addition to all of the prevention measures that are mentioned a little good old fashioned #vigilantejustice is in order here. How about the next criminal caught in the act gets crucified or hung on Peachtree Rd as a deterrent? I feel pretty confident that this would decrease the number of crimes.

        When these animals and low class people choose to commit crimes like this and make good citizens unsafe in their own neighborhoods they don’t deserve basic human rights…nor do they deserve to go to jail at tax payers expense.

    10. Gary Baldwin says:

      Buckhead would be well served by becoming its own city . Our tax paying citizens are not being protected from serious criminals and their dangerous acts . I encourage everyone to have a GA. carry permit and be prepared to defend yourself and your family at all times . Also leave on outside and garage lights at night and always lock your cars and remove all valuables , etc . Be aware of your surroundings and those around you , especially when shopping or banking alone.
      Most of the criminal perpetrators are from outside of the Buckhead area but choose to come here due to the affluence . If more of them get caught or like a recent robber , shot dead by a clerk, it will send a clear message that we are not going to put up with criminal activity in Buckhead , period !

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