The following incidents and arrests are some but not all, of the reports filed with Sandy Springs police from Nov. 23 through Nov. 29.
The following information was provided by the Sandy Springs Police Department from its records and is presumed to be accurate. Snarky comments courtesy of Capt. Steve Rose.
2400 block of Spring Creek Trail—On Dec. 1, a resident said that when he returned home he found his front door forced open and his X-box game system and laptop missing.
4900 block of The Valley—On Dec. 1, the resident returned home and found her front door forced open. A 60-inch television, laptop, iPod, $260, blankets and jewelry were missing.
9000 block of River Run—On Dec 1, a resident called police after noticing some jewelry and other items were missing from the house. The burglary happened during the first week of August, according to the resident.
8300 block of Roswell Road—On Dec. 1, a resident said someone forced open the front door and took three laptops, $800 cash and personal documents.
8100 block of River Circle—On Dec. 2, a resident returned home and found a rear window open. She reported a number of jewelry items and an iPad were missing.
700 block of Jefferson Drive—On Dec. 2, a resident said she returned home from work and found her front door unsecured. Three televisions were missing.
3900 block of Treelodge Parkway—On Dec. 2, a resident reported someone entered through a bedroom window and took a television and other items.
8400 block of Roswell Road—On Dec. 3, a resident said jewelry, clothing, a laptop, camera, guitar and other items were missing when the residents were allowed to return. Repairs had to be made after a fire, the resident said. A second resident in a different apartment in the same complex made a burglary report, saying someone stole a 40-inch television and two laptops.
400 block of Morgan Falls Road—On Dec. 3, a resident reported someone entered through a window and took cash and jewelry.
200 block of Franklin Road—On Dec. 3, a resident reported someone forced their way into the apartment and took two televisions. A second burglary was reported in the same complex.
4700 block of Roswell Road—On Dec. 3, a resident, who was home sick, heard a noise from the front of the apartment. She called out, thinking her daughter was home, and then heard someone running away. She called police and apartment maintenance. They found damage to the front door where it had been forced open. Nothing was taken.
200 block of East Belle Isle Road—On Dec. 3, a resident reported his front door forced open and two MacBooks, a television and a watch were taken. A second burglary was reported in the area as well.
1400 block of Spring Creek Drive—On Dec 3, a resident said a front door was damaged and a television, DVD player, laptop and some jewelry were missing. A second burglary was reported in the area.
300 block of Summer Terrace—On Dec. 3, a resident returned home to find a door forced open and a laptop taken.
200 block of Hampton Drive—On Dec. 3, a resident returned home and found the front door kicked in and several pieces of jewelry missing.
Highland Park Trail—On Dec. 4, a front door was kicked in and the alarm company alerted the resident. A PS4 game system and video games were missing.
5700 block of Glenridge Drive—On Dec. 4, someone broke into a storage room of the Stratford Apartments and took HVAC tools. Other marketable items were overlooked, meaning the burglar wanted the tools, which included a Freon scale, hand grinder, oxygen tank, brazing rods, and so on.
7200 block of Riverside Drive—On Dec. 4, a resident called 911 saying someone was in her home. She could hear movement in the home and knew that no one else should be there. Responding officers found a maroon Dodge Ram pickup, not belonging to the victim, backed into the driveway. The responding officer rounded the corner of the home and came up on a man with a tote bag, who then took off running. The officer noted a second male suspect, also running. The first guy was 5’9” and about 175-180 pounds, early to mid-20s, wearing a blue skullcap, blue jacket and white pants. He was either bald or had very short hair. The officers set up a perimeter but couldn’t locate the two men. The suspects’ truck was taken for processing. All but a pair of earrings was recovered.
Capt. Rose says:
What is going on here? If you didn’t notice, the number of burglaries here are way out of whack! If you look closely, and you know the areas, you see that almost all were apartment burglaries. The most common of denominators is the method of entry. Either a pry tool, consisting of a large screwdriver or a nail puller or something similar, was used. In most cases however, the door was simply kicked in. Apartment burglars are usually in and out in a couple of minutes because they will assume that the noise made during the forced entry was overheard. You can see (above) that televisions and laptops are (always) popular as are jewelry items and other electronics such as X-Box and PlayStation video game systems.
Capt. Rose’s advice on what to do to avoid apartment burglary:
Well, first realize that as an apartment resident, you’re at a disadvantage simply because you can’t shore up your doors by building strong support for instance like reinforcing the door jambs. Deadbolts are only as good as the wood door jambs that support them. Too many are old wood. They come apart too easily. Even so, the deadbolts best for apartments have a two-inch “throw” or the piece that goes into the strike plate and into the wooden jamb. There are door stops that will keep the door shut and well worth the twenty bucks or so that they cost. They’re good however, only when you’re home unless you have a secondary way of coming in and out. It doesn’t hurt to install window locks either. You can at least make it difficult to get a window open. Some burglars won’t go to the trouble of breaking glass. Still, your weakest link is the front door.
First thing is get renter’s insurance. At least you can recover some lost funds if you have it. Secondly, record serial numbers on all your electronic items including video game systems, laptops, and anything else with a serial number. (Don’t keep them on the laptop by the way. Record and store them someplace else. You can always go “Old School” and write them down and stash them.
Nowadays, video security is affordable. For the price of a PS4, you can set up a video surveillance system in your apartment with three or more cameras. We love cameras. Good digital quality gives us a face to put out there. Some of the higher end systems are wireless. No fuss. Think about it.
My Stuff –Where do I put it?
There are laptop locks and there are ways to discreetly secure a flat-screen TV, at least to the table or entertainment center. You could keep your video game system in a drawer and lock it down before you go to bed. There are several, even creative things you can do—if you aren’t too lazy to do them. Let’s be honest, sometimes I think it’s a chore to just turn all the lights out before I go to bed. Remember though: we don’t really appreciate things until they’re gone.
What About My Really Good Stuff?
Jewelry? Unless you wear it all the time, park it off-site in a safety deposit box. If not, remember this: The burglar hasn’t a lot of time to rummage through your stuff. He works on the “Low-Hanging-Fruit” theory. Get in-see it-take it-and get out. Given that, just stash it where one would not look. Places not to stash it include under the mattress and in the freezer. How about a stash can? Some of you may not know what that is. Go to your local head shop and ask for a stash can. They come in a variety of cans including fake beer cans, fake candles, fake this and that although come to think of it, I’d stay away from the beer cans since burglars have, in the past, swiped the booze too.
Anyway, the thought is this: Make it harder and take more time to find your jewelry. Just don’t you forget where you put it.
Look folks, technology can help you based on two facts:
- Perception is reality
- The crook has endless choices of whom he wants to victimize.
What if I were to walk up on your porch with the intention of breaking into the home, and I find the following: A dirty pair of size 18 work boots, sitting next to the doormat. Secondly, I find a very large dog bowl next to the size 18 work boots. What is your thought? Well, unless you’re a total idiot, and unfortunately some of our local crooks are, you’ll assume that some really big guy is home from his construction job and his really big dog is with him. Okay, let’s say you’re really stupid or have a death wish, and you decide to try and force that door anyway. As you open the door, you hear the deep and menacing bark of what you believe to be a large dog, previously assumed by the size of the dog bowl.
I’m thinking almost all would say “Maybe I’ll move on.”
Is this far-fetched? Not at all. I know several people who have the “barking dog” recording that activates by a motion sensor either on the house near the door or on the driveway. Google or Bing it. You’ll find it because, thanks to Al Gore, everything is on the Internet. It all depends on how much effort you want to put in it. Unfortunately, most folks don’t prioritize security until after the fact. Go against the grain out there and put some funky stuff on your security list. You could record a dog or large bear, the voice of John Wayne, a series of gunshots, or just about anything that could be recorded.
Last but Not Least
Try and be proactive. Do what you can. Sometimes although you did, you still get burned, but remember that burglars are skittish and if they get bad vibes on your place, they’ll scoot.
Call the cops. Report suspicious activity. People walking along the breezeway may be checking door knobs. If you see that, call. People hanging around behind the apartment—maybe near the back patio. Suspicious people have a hard time NOT looking suspicious so don’t second guess yourself. Call.
Don’t advertise when you’re gone for a few days. If you have a courtesy officer who is a police officer, let him or her know.
Remember: Don’t make security a priority AFTER the fact. Do it now.
5600 block of Roswell Road—On Nov. 29, a man said he accidentally left his phone at the Taco Mac Restaurant. He checked with them and was told they had not found a phone. The “Find my iPhone” app showed the phone in the vicinity of Kennesaw State University.
8000 block of Roswell Road—On Nov. 30, a man reported that his car was stolen from the parking lot of the Sandy Springs Diner sometime between 8:30 and 11 p.m. The car, a 2005 Volvo, had not been repossessed.
2000 block of Jefferson Drive—On Dec. 1, a resident said that someone took her white gold wedding ring from her bedroom jewelry box. Her sister and brother-in-law were visiting over Thanksgiving. When they left, she noticed the ring missing.
8100 block of Colquitt Road—On Dec. 1, a man said that he was in the leasing office where he works and, although outside of his office, he could see that a young man was in his office and had snatched his cellphone from the desk. The man ran, but was nabbed outside the office by a staff member. The office worker got his phone back, but the juvenile was able to free himself and run off. A bicycle, believed to belong to the suspect, was recovered.
400 block of Windridge Drive—On Dec. 3, a resident said she ordered and was expecting a phone delivery through the mail. She did not receive it and, upon checking, found that it had been delivered and apparently stolen from the apartment leasing office.
1100 block of Perimeter Center West—On Dec. 4, REI employees reported that a man stole several Leatherman knives and fled the store. He was last seen running toward the Marta Station. He was described as about 6-foot-3-inches tall and wore a gray striped hoodie and a backwards black baseball cap.
Theft from Vehicles
6120 Roswell Road 30328 11/29 84 Abernathy Road (x2) on Nov. 29
7200 block of Glisten Avenue on Nov. 30
4589 Roswell Road on Dec. 1
1155 Mt. Vernon Hwy on Dec. 2
4700 block of Northside Drive on Dec. 2
8115 Colquitt Road on Dec. 3
5730 Glenridge Drive on Dec. 3
Mt. Vernon Circle on Dec. 4
151 West Belle Isle Drive on Dec. 4
8975 Roswell Road on Dec. 5
Two people filed fraud reports regarding phones purchased from a man on Instagram, a social media website. The two said they made arrangements to buy two iPhone 6 phones for a total of $400. They checked the man, whose name is “Stephen Steel,” and found him to have 5,000 Instagram followers and a record of good reviews and customer comments. They finalized the deal and purchased $400 in Green Dot MoneyPak pre-paid cards and, via text, provided Steel with the card numbers. According to the buyers, Steel was to provide codes which were for pre-orders of the phones, but they did not receive any further correspondence with him. He since blocked them from communication.
Capt. Rose says: You take a chance dealing with individuals from a long distance. After they provided the numbers, they were at the mercy of this guy—hoping that he was legit. Looks like he wasn’t.
8540 Roswell Road—On Dec. 2, a woman said that she got into an argument with her sister because the 18-year-old was dating a 33-year-old man. One sister got into her truck and drove off, striking the other with the passenger side view mirror, and knocking her down. She stopped and asked if her sister was okay, then left.
Around 3:15 a.m. on Dec. 3, a friend brought a man who was shot in the side to Northside Hospital. The man said he was shot in Brookhaven. The man called his brother who took him to the hospital. The story was conflicted because he said at one point that he was shot at the LaDona Club on Northwood Drive. Although detectives believe the victim is trying to be evasive as to who shot him, they developed leads and secured a warrant for a suspect who has not yet been arrested.
700 block of Mabry Road—On Nov. 29, a flower pot was removed from its location and rolled down a hill. The tree became dislodged and separated from the pot.
A woman and her husband were on speaker phone with the woman’s ex-husband when the conversation got nasty. The ex-husband cursed and said he would come to his job and “take care of him.” They called the police because they believe he may carry out the threat.
Michael and his boyfriend David got into an argument after David placed his hand inside of Michael’s favorite Pumpkin-Pecan Pie. The two, who have been living together since July, got into an argument over the sabotaged pie. David said Michael then assaulted him causing his ear to hurt. Michael said this was over money that David owed ($30) for bills and he got so angry that he stuck his hand in the pie. Michael had a small scratch. One of the two men left for the night in order to let things cool down.
A man got into an argument with his roommate so he decided to leave however his roommate refused to let him and yelled and screamed at him—all of which was captured on his cellphone. The roommate was arrested.
300 block of Mt. Vernon Highway—On Nov. 30, police arrested one man after the homeowner found him at the back door of the residence asleep just before 6 a.m. The man was intoxicated and unable to explain why he was there. He was arrested.
In what is another case of bad judgment, a woman on Cimarron Parkway called police after her (pay attention to this part) ex-boyfriend and now current roommate, got angry and kicked in her bedroom door where she and her male friend were. The ex-boyfriend trashed her guitar and other belongings. He admitted to the officer he had anger issues. He was arrested.
Capt. Rose says: I’ve said this before and it’s very true: If your relationship doesn’t work out, separate yourselves so that you don’t involve one another with your personal lives—with the exception of children. If your roommate is known as your “ex” then you should change your zip code or time zone or even perhaps hemisphere location. When it’s over then it’s over. That includes living accommodations.
7525 Roswell Road—On Dec. 1, Publix Store employees detained a male juvenile, who was attempting to walk out of the store after stealing several items. He was turned over to his family pending court appearances.
The Street Crimes Unit received a tip that a fugitive was staying at the Inn Town Suites on Hammond Drive. They located a man exiting the back of the hotel and confronted him. The following took place: He ran, they released the K-9, he was caught—wrong guy. They saw the suspect leave a room and they made eye contact. The suspect ran. (Everyone seems to be running away.) After a short pursuit, the man was caught (No K-9.) This turned out to be the right guy. He had on his person more than 40 grams of cocaine, another 43 vials of cocaine, more than 100 pieces of pink clear substance believed to be bath salts, two digital scales, and just under $7,000 cash. A safe was also located in the room. The man, Gary Beck, was taken to jail on a lot of drug and other charges including Trafficking Cocaine and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. The first guy was arrested for Obstruction.
500 block of Northridge Road—On Dec. 2, at around 10:30 p.m., cops responded to a suspicious person in the laundry room of the Emperian Apartments. They found a man inside the room. When confronted, the officers identified themselves, but the man reached for something out of view from the officer. The officer responded with his weapon drawn. The man had reached for, but did not grab, an open military folding knife. Looks like the man was living in the laundry room. He was later charged with Disorderly Conduct.