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Intown Atlanta’s #1 crime

broken van window

I moved to Euclid Avenue in Inman Park in 1998 and I have lived in Kirkwood and now Decatur.

Ever since I moved Intown, the #1 property crime has always been the “auto break in.” For the first time ever, this particular crime affects me.

It sounds like there is a coordinated wave happening too, according to an APD article about a recent arrest.

I am the victim of a car break in in the parking lot at 27 Waddell, last night around 9pm. It’s the lot at my daughter’s pre-school. It’s the lot that Yoga Samadhi and Sauced use.

I’m really angry about this, and I want this to be the last break in our lot. It sucks to have this happen. It sucks that is it probably going to happen in 30307 about once every 60 minutes almost every night of the week…it really sucks that it happened in our lot, twice in two days.

This is my first “car break in.” I’m 46. I know that this is the most frequent and quite frankly the easiest crime to commit in Zone 6. I know that enough to have always locked my car, and to have always kept valuables out of plain sight in my car, even pocket change. Tonight was no exception.

About eleven years ago, I was the Inman Park Public Safety VP – when I say I never expected this level of amateurish vandalism it is an understatement. I really haven’t heard about this particularly dirty type of break in until lately – the kind where a scavenger is obviously comfortable enough to crack a window, and then spend time in a vehicle and snoop around and look for stuff that isn’t so obvious. This guy is working our parking lot like a business.

I had nothing of value on display – he took nothing. But here’s where it gets interesting – I saw him. I saw him shortly after he broke my window.

I walked out of the school board meeting and I’m the first in the lot – I see no one else – I looked over at my Black Mazda 5 minivan from 50 feet away, and I saw someone. I hesitated for a few seconds and then he apparently scurried like a rat along the base of the eastern fence wall, and then I hear a rattle at the fence – then his feet hit the Edgewood sidewalk, and I see him and he starts walking towards the Waddell intersection, westward on Edgewood.  He sees me – I’m ten feet from him and I’m within 4-5 feet of the wall at Edgewood – he takes off sprinting, turns the corner on Waddell southward and he’s gone.

I’m flustered, so I run towards the parking lot entry at Waddell, thinking that I can photo him or something, but he fled into the night, and since I was not ready for this, I got nothing but my weak description.

He was an African American male with dark skin, 20-25 years old, he looked relatively healthy, had short hair and he was wearing a grey t shirt and probably blue jeans of some sort.

That’s what I told the police and the 911 operator.

Here’s the rest of what I can speculate about him …
He probably has a criminal record, he is a no good, low grade criminal who probably lives nearby and just works this low level vandal thing taking advantage of private parking lots that offer, I guess – room to operate, and easy escapes.

This same guy probably is the guy that broke into another school parent’s car yesterday morning, parked in nearly the same spot. Morning or night – he likes our parking lot. Is he brazen enough to return soon?

I am particularly glad that he apparently was not armed.

He is a comfortable figure in “our” comfortable world, but I have to believe that he is slightly uncomfortable in our parking lot for now -  but damn, he must know a secret way in and out and he must really, really like our area of operation…all that I was left to say was “he went that way…”

Edgewood wall near Ria's Sauced April 11, 2012

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