It happens every year about this time, but we do get spikes in the crime stats, mostly from an increase in thefts from cars. Here’s a short quiz for you:
What is the common denominator that ties all these thefts from cars together? (Like this is hard. It’s a reminder; just go with it.)
Between now and Dec. 24, when I actually shop, it gets closer and closer to crunch-time. There are more cars packed in the shopping center lots for longer periods of time. Remember: It’s like the two guys being chased by the bear. You don’t need to outrun the bear — just the other guy.
Crooks do follow the Risk vs. Opportunity formula and it is s-o-o-o-o-o easy. But you have to actually act on it and not let that little “It won’t happen to me” voice make your decision.
Is your car on this list where recent thefts from vehicles were reported?
Burglaries and attempts
6900 block of Roswell Road: At about 10:30 a.m., a man who was sleeping heard a loud bang. His dog also started barking loudly. He ran downstairs and found that someone had kicked open his front door but had apparently aborted the burglary after hearing the dog.
5100 block of Roswell Road: Officers, responding to an alarm, found a back door to an office open. Nothing was reported missing. This happened about 4:30 a.m.
7500 block of Roswell Road: Officers answered an alarm call and found that someone apparently pried a door and deadbolt. Although they damaged the door, there was nothing reported missing.
1100 block of Hammond Drive: Someone threw a brick through the glass front of a building and took several cans of charity donation money. The report indicated the alarm was not on that night.
5000 block of Northside Drive: Someone forced a door open to a house that was currently being moved into but not yet occupied. Nothing was reported missing. The burglar apparently tripped the alarm and fled.
TIP: Alarms work if you use them.
The I-ran-out-of-gas-and-need-money-for-more con man
An officer spotted a man standing next to his Toyota Camry, waving down passing cars. This was at Lenox and GA 400. The officer turned around at Lenox to head back to the city limits. Later, he saw the same man and car at Glenridge Connector and GA 400 doing the same thing, waving down cars. The officer stopped and talked with the man.
The officer knew the man and this scam he pulls because he arrested the man last year for doing the same thing: Waving down passing cars and lying to them about needing gas money for whatever critical situation he’s in. The officer started the car and the gas gauge read slightly above empty. The car ran 20 minutes before the officer shut it off. The subject said a woman drove the car and had gone to find gas. The subject, who has a long criminal history and no driver’s license, was arrested for loitering and prowling.
This is a good example of low-level cons that people do pull out there. You’d be surprised how much money they can pull in, in a day’s time. Don’t fall for them.
One of the big pushes that we’re involved in now is community-oriented problem policing. Here’s a good example:
We have community officers, as I’ve mentioned before. One is our go-to guy in the communities south of I-285 around the Northwood Drive and areas south.
He has been working with the communities in several areas, including calling in suspicious activity to our 911 center.
Following one of his community meetings, a resident did call the police on suspicious persons occupying an apartment the caller knew was vacant. This action resulted in five arrests of known gang members, four of the five being juveniles. Cops recovered a stolen gun taken from a car in Sandy Springs. One of the suspects is suspected of committing armed robberies in the area as well. Thirteen charges were levied against the five suspects.
On duty — overseas — for the holidays
Sandy Springs Police Officer Mark Johnson is currently serving in Iraq. Mark was deployed this past March and is serving for 15 months. Mark came to SSPD from Fulton County Police. He is married to Michelle Johnson and they have one son, Dean, age 5.
I know that a lot of you have friends and/or relatives serving overseas and it’s tough this time of year. But we sure as heck want them to know we’re thinking about them.
Know your cop lingo: A brief glossary