Editor's Note: The following information comes via the Midtown Ponce Security Alliance (MPSA), which serves the Midtown community with a singular focus on public safety and security issues affecting the neighborhood. See here to learn more about MPSA and how you can help with its mission to provide a safe environment for the Midtown community.
April MPSA Patrol Highlights
During the month of April, the MPSA Patrol made 9 arrests, intercepted 13 calls via the 911-system, took 12 direct calls from members via the patrol hotline, conducted 11 vacation checks, and logged 220 hours of patrol service. With the weather warming up things are picking up again.
We find it interesting to note, that since the patrol works most of its hours on weekdays, residential burglaries are way down from what they used to be. So far this year (Jan 1 to May 13th) there have only been two burglaries in the service area, and there is hope that one or both of those could turn out to be technicalities. We used to see 3-6 counts on average – per month! Besides car break-ins, residential burglaries posed our greatest vulnerability.
The most dangerous crime, however, is pedestrian robberies. These typically occur in the late evening and wee hours of the morning. That, however, is a different story and we are still studying some unsettling statistics for year-to-date. For now, please be cautious and stay aware of your surroundings when walking late at night.
Notables from the patrol logs
- 4/02/2012: Sgt Bill Cooper assisted an APD Auto Theft Task Force Vehicle Checkpoint at North and Argonne, where they arrested three subjects in a vehicle reported stolen.
- 4/04/2012: Sgt Cooper responded to a Neighborhood complaint regarding an abandoned car. The vehicle was towed as the tag was suspended and it had no insurance.
- 4/05/2012: The patrol arrested two men for posting handbills on vehicles on Greenwood Avenue.
- 4/06/2012: MPSA Patrol officer assisted Midtown Blue as they made two important arrests for breaking into cars in Midtown.
- 4/06/2012: Criminal Trespass arrest – the subject generates chronic reports for various nuisance activity.
- 4/09/2012: Sgt Cooper worked with the folks from FBAC (the Va-Hi security folks) regarding vagrant issues in a bamboo patch along the Beltline.
- 4/13/2012: Vagrant arrested for Disorderly Conduct (under the influence).
- 4/18/2012: Sgt Cooper responded to a member complaint regarding garbage in the alley behind Penn Avenue. The city was notified and cleaned up the garbage the next day.
- 4/18/2012: An individual generating chronic (petty) complaints in the neighborhood arrested for criminal trespass
- 4/23/2012: Sgt Cooper assisted with traffic control at a housefire on 5th Street.
- 4/27/2012: – MPSA Patrol officers responded to a vagrant complaint on Monroe.
Surge In Transgender Prostitution
We are well aware of a recent surge of aggressive transgender prostitute gangs in the southwest portion of the service area. While the numbers are nowhere near what they were ten years ago, these are the most violent that we have ever seen. Please report them to 911 and continue to tell us what you are seeing.
We will meet with Major Whitmire, the new commander of Zone 5. One major problem is that not enough residents report them to 911 when they are active, and they take advantage of this. Do not confront them because they carry blades, throw rocks, and are very quick to assault those that object to their presence.
Another Car Break-In Suspect Nabbed
On April 29th, a beat officer conducted a routine spot check in the parking area by Park Tavern due to frequent reports of car break-ins at that location. He observed a suspicious subject leaning on a vehicle with a metal object trying to place it under a door handle, as if attempting to pry it open (a common modus operandi according to the officer).
When approached by the officer, the subject initially gave a false name but careful fact-checking on the part of the officer yielded his correct name and that the name given was an alias previously used by this individual. The officer then placed the individual under arrest for giving false information, and during the pat-down, the officer also found a screwdriver, a spark plug, and a small bag of Marijuana in his possession.
Lee Arthur Kynard was placed under arrest and booked into the Fulton County jail. According to Fulton County jail records, the list of charges include giving false information to a law enforcement officer, loitering/prowling, and possession of a controlled substance. According to police sources, Kynard is a known car break-in suspect and our research turns up several bookings consistent with this statement.
As an aside, street criminals often use spark plugs to break into cars. Something about the physical qualities of the porcelain make the glass shatter easily and relatively quietly. They typically put the spark plug in a panty hose stocking so that they can easily pull it out of their pocket, strike the window, and recoil it again and stick it back into their pocket as they proceed to loot the vehicle.
On May 9, Zone 5 officers responded to a theft call in the 800 block of Peachtree Street. According to the victim, two males entered the buisiness and looked around for a little bit. Since it had just started to rain, the business manager granted their request to allow them to remain inside while they waited off the rain.
Once the rain stopped, about 15 minutes later, the two continued to hang around inside the business. The business manager then sensed that something was not right with these two individuals, especially when one of them approached the counter and wanted to shake hands. Once their hands were locked, the suspect held onto to the victim’s hand as he walked behind the counter. The victim was able to pull away from the grip, and he grabbed the store phone.
The suspect then opened the drawer just above the register and grabbed the victim’s wallet. The wallet was at the front of the drawer on top of the other papers inside. The suspect took the wallet, and both males ran from the business. According to the police report, the victim described the wallet as a black and gray Louis Vitton Damier Graphite wallet, valued at $300, and contained a debit card, driver’s license, loyalty cards and miscellaneous papers.
Only the owner has access to the footage of the security cameras, but he is out of the country at this time. Crime scene investigators dusted a rough-textured table where the suspects spent time while waiting off the rain, but found none.
A canvass of the area by several police units did not turn up any of the suspects.
A description of the suspects is as follows:
#1: Young black male, 18 to 20 years of age, very thin build, low hair, red track-style pants, white shoes, and a tight fitting tank top, with perhaps a three-day beard. It appeared to the victim that this suspect couldn’t grow very much facial hair given his age.
#2: Also a young black male, 18 to 20 years of age, low hair, wearing a faded black or gray shirt, and blue jeans.
Summer Of Possibility
We wish to give a shout-out for Summer of Possibility, a summer camp program for disadvantaged children and youth in the Boulevard area. Until the middle of the month, TEDxAtlanta is seeking to raise $100,000 for the Summer of Possibility, and $110 will sponsor one week of summer camp for one of these kids that will, as they describe it, usher in years of positive change for the Boulevard corridor by exposing these kids to new ideas, new opportunities, and new ways of seeing the world.
As we know, the Boulevard area has been ground zero for rampant drug activity and street crime. But targeting and eliminating crime is by no means enough – something needs to address the dire lack of good influences for the many children and youths living in that area.
We strongly feel that this program helps greatly to bring these kids the good influences so they will flourish later in life. Good influences like this go a long way to build healthy and thriving communities. They are the future of the Boulevard corridor.
Their goal is to have scholarships in place for the kids of Boulevard when their school year ends mid-May. We encourage support for this effort, and please mention “encouraged by MPSA” in the memo line when possible.
Community Clean-Up On Boulevard
District 2′s Boulevard corridor is the place to be this Saturday, May 19! Join Councilmember Kwanza Hall at 9 am at Fort Street United Methodist Church (562 Boulevard NE 30308) for our spring Year of Boulevard community cleanup.
We’ll start the morning with socializing over coffee, juice, and Sublime Doughnuts (Sublime’s A-Town doughnut is the official doughnut of all District 2 community cleanups!). Then, we’ll gather on Boulevard (yes, literally, on Boulevard!) so that Kwanza can administer the Year of Boulevard pledge to everyone.
Kwanza and TEDxAtlanta will present $20,000 checks to two nonprofit organizations offering summer camps for nearly 200 of the neighborhood’s underserved kids and teens: Operation P.E.A.C.E. and Truly Living Well Urban Farm. Then, we will head out along the corridor to pick up trash, wield weed whackers, and remove graffiti.