View from the cop: Watch your TV, laptops and game players

Notes from the Sandy Springs police blotter:
Flat-Screen TV Thieves Arrested

In what is a multi-jurisdictional investigation, several people are in jail charged with stealing flat screen televisions from bars, restaurants, and similar locations. Part of the evidence obtained was courtesy of our CSI Detective Shane Barkley. He pulled a print off of a snack bag on a case that originated in Smyrna. I often talk about how good our CSI operation is and they continue to pull a rabbit out of the hat on a number of cases.
Burglary

Someone gained entry to the home in the 200 block of Virginia Avenue by cutting the screen on a window. A flat screen and a PS3 video game system were taken.

The victim reported she returned home in the 5300 block of Peachtree Dunwoody Road and found her front and back apartment doors open, lights on, and the apartment ransacked. She listed jewelry and a camera among the stolen items.
Thefts

A woman reported that over $500 was taken from her closet in her apartment . She said the apartment maintenance worker was in recently and she believes that person took the money.

A man called the police and said he had evicted a woman from the residence on North Riverside Circle and following her moving out her property, he discovered and suspects that she moved some of his property too.

Kroger employees at 4920 Roswell Road said a man came in one afternoon. and loaded six cases of beer in a cart and pushed the cart outside and left without paying.

A man came into the Target on Roswell Road and took an Xbox-360 and a Wii game. The security person contacted EB Games nearby and gave a lookout on the suspect, a white male. The manager of the EB Games Store was familiar with the man.
Shoplifters will steal the new games from one location and then sell at pawn or other shops.

A man reported that over $600 of rent money was stolen from a jewelry box in his bathroom. His roommate said he didn’t take it. He noted that the maintenance person was in the apartment recently for a water leak. There are really no suspects.
In a lot of these reports, the victim notes that apartment maintenance employees were in the residence incident to the theft. In all fairness, in almost all cases, the maintenance employee was NOT the person who did it. Never say never but sometimes they get a bad rap.

A woman reported that someone took her purse from what is known as the “steal me” position of the shopping cart. She actually walked away from the cart for a moment or two, probably making the theft even easier. This occurred at the Kroger Store at 4920 Roswell Road.

A resident told police she put two money orders, for apartment rent, under the door of the leasing office after hours. One money order was for $250, the other for $500. Later in the week they informed her that they never received the orders. The money order company said both were cashed.
I’m told that apartment leasing people do not like residents giving them checks and money orders in person. I don’t know if that’s true or not but we see a lot of theft of money orders and such after the victim uses a drop box, deposit box, or just slipping the paper under the door. I still say give it to them in person and get a signed receipt.

Pay attention to this one:

A woman reported that she bought a laptop at the Best Buy on Hammond Drive. She left that location and drove to the Marshall’s Store on Roswell Road. She went inside the store and later, when she returned, she found that someone had popped her trunk and taken the laptop. Now, they didn’t just happen up on the car and randomly decide to pop the trunk to do a look-see. They knew the laptop was there and they followed her from the Best Buy in hopes of her stopping off, which she did, giving them time to pop the top and go.
Let’s say you invest $500-$1,500 in a new laptop. That deserves a ride home non-stop but take the long way. If you want to get all James Bond, keep an eye in the RV mirror and take notice if the same car follows you for more than a few minutes. In that case, enter “5995 Barfield Road” into your GPS. That’s our address. Come on by. That should do it. It’s doubtful, if they are bad guys, they’ll hang out here. When you get home, box-cut the laptop box and place it in the trash can, change your name, and alter your appearance by plastic surgery. After that, you’ll be fine.

14 comments Add your comment

BigJake

March 12th, 2009
12:01 pm

In these troubled times, it is even more important to be aware of your surroundings, conscious of who you let have access to your home, and so very careful of where you are. Most cars now automatically lock the doors once you start moving, but it should be something everyone does to help secure themselves against carjacking. For too many people, it is easier to steal what you have rather than earning a living. I appreciate your pointing out these items of common sense, Lt. Steve, and it amazes me to no end that so many people just don’t think! Keep up the good work!

Patrick

March 13th, 2009
2:26 am

Steve jokes about cutting up the boxes but this is a vital step. If you leave whole boxes out on the curb, then every person who drives by knows exactly what you just got. Cut the boxes into strips and put them in trash bags. If you can’t do that, cut the boxes at the seams and and turn them inside out. Or cut them up and take them to a cardboard recycling dumpster. When carrying purchases in from the car, use trash bags to conceal what you have. Don’t let someone see the nice box from the Apple store. Dress it in a Hefty. Laundry baskets work well too: put folded clothes on top of the item you are hiding. Nobody is going to think twice if they see you carry that into your house.

ATC

March 14th, 2009
8:57 am

Steve,

I am glad that I live out in the boonies (is that still a word?) We do have crime but we don’t have to be quite so frightened when we make a purchase. I guess our criminals haven’t figured that they could just follow you home, yet. I prefer the way the world was when I was young.

catlady

March 14th, 2009
12:09 pm

Officer Rose, how do you get rid of a roommate’s boyfriend who has moved in? There are drugs involved.

Lee

March 15th, 2009
9:54 am

Catlady, wait until the boyfriend is passed out, display the drugs in plain sight, call 911 and leave the house with the front door ajar.

Shouldn’t take long.

Lee

March 15th, 2009
9:58 am

Anybody else read about all the city’s taking the stop light cameras out. One of the reasons mentioned in the article was that a new state law mandated that an extra second of yellow light which reduced the number of citations.

Also cited in the article was a city manager saying that they budgeted for a certain number of citations and now that the number was reduced, they couldn’t afford the camera service.

Just what most of us already knew, a large part of the stop light camera program was about generating revenue.

reader

March 15th, 2009
2:01 pm

About being aware: My friend (in another state) heard from a guy she sort of dated in high school…back when we were in the 10th grade. When he stopped calling her, that was the end of their relationship…she did not collapse or beg for an explanation. Out of the blue, after 30 years, he contacted her, not via the internet or facebook or other social network, nor via a mutual friend, but thru the telephone – her home business, which is in her husband’s name. Her home number has caller ID, but the business does not. And, he called when her husband was at work. The guy said he needed closure and wanted to know why she did not pursue him after he stopped calling. He’s thinking this after 30 years?

He went on to say that she was a tough person to track b/c she was not on any internet registry and the home phone, etc. was listed in her husband’s name. So, he hired a private investigator. He’s in another state, hundreds of miles away, but knew pretty much everything about her, where she worked, where her kids went to school. He was wondering what happenend to “them”? It was as if he thought she would have been flattered to know that he hired a private investigator to find her. The whole thing is creeeepy. Now she is constantly looking over her shoulder and almost expects to see him waiting outside her door or at her car after work or after a swim meet or dance recital, etc. She doesn’t even know for sure that he lives where he claims to live, he could be around the block from her.

Lt Steve

March 17th, 2009
11:02 am

Hi Catlady,
Sounds like a package deal. I think the roommate has to go.

Kelly

March 18th, 2009
1:00 pm

In my renting days, I did have trouble with apartment staff physically accepting a rent check (versus leaving it in the box). I lived in several different chain complexes (e.g. Post), and this was always the case. The staff members generally refused to physically take the check, and if they did, they would refuse to sign a receipt. I had a check go missing about once every year, so it was a big concern for me. The only way I could find to get around it is to mail the check to the office certified mail with return receipt, which is like $4 a month.

PinkoNeoConLibertarian

March 18th, 2009
3:17 pm

Hmmm…regarding employees refusing to accept payment…seems to me there used to be a law that said something to the affect that if you made good faith effort to pay a debt and it was refused then that debt could be considered paid. I’m not a lawyer, it’s just something I recall reading in years gone by…

To Lee re: red lights. they were budgeted to make enough to pay for themselves, not to provide excess revenue to the city. Just like any business, if it’s costing you more than it returns it needs to go. The part you leave out is that accidents did in fact go down at those intersections. I guess it comes down to how much the city/county is willing to pay for that safety.

Lee

March 20th, 2009
7:42 am

Pinko, first of all, law enforcement is not a “business.” Also cited in the article was the fact that citations went down when lawmakers mandated an extra second of yellow light at intersections that had cameras.

Common sense stuff, add a few extra seconds of yellow light, add a few extra seconds between the time the light changes red on one side and green on the other, and you eliminate all but the most flagrant red light runners.

Fact of the matter is that these companies sold the municipalities on the red light cameras on a large part of the revenue generation.

Chris Broe

March 20th, 2009
8:03 am

Most flagrant red light runners dont know they’ve gone through a red light, they’re texting or otherwise occupied. I see very late red light runners all the time. They don’t see the read light at all. They’re fumbling around. It’s impossible to remember to scan an intersection for cars barging through red lights every time you approach one but that would be the only defense: You stopping for a green light.

Perhaps a big light that reads, CAMERAS ROLLING! whenever the light turns red.

What?

March 20th, 2009
2:01 pm

PinkoNeoConLibertarian, please recheck your facts. In most intersections the number of accidents actually went UP because of people slamming on their brakes when they noticed the light was about to turn red. This is several seconds before the other light would turn green and even more seconds before the other cars would start to move.

Sharon

March 24th, 2009
1:31 pm

Why does it matter if it’s a revenue generator or not. It’s illegal to run a red light. If you do the “crime”, pay the fine.