In addition to providing a sample of arrests Decatur officers have made over the past few weeks, I am also providing a comparison of our suspicious person/vehicle/activity call volume and the raw numbers of burglaries and entering autos we have had reported for the past six months.
Suspicious Person/Vehicle/Activity Calls:
- April – 226
- May – 200
- June – 248
- July – 416
- August – 213
- September – 207
Reported Burglaries Reported Entering Autos
April: 10 18
May: 15 14
June: 20 12
July: 9 11
August: 11 9
September: 17 33
(These numbers include cases that have been cleared, unfounded and that are still under investigation.)
When you look over some of the arrests officers have made in the past few weeks, you will see several cases where a concerned citizen or homeowner called police to report something suspicious which resulted in arrests being made. Suspects looking to break into a house or car are not going to do so when they see the police. They are going to wait until an officer passes by or they will simply go to another location to commit their crime. Having the eyes of the 20,000 plus residents of Decatur watching out along with the officers makes a difference. Please do not hesitate to call when you see something or someone suspicious. Your call could result in an officer simply checking out a situation, thanking someone for their time and going about their way. Your call could also result in an officer stopping a crime before it happens, motivating a would-be thief to leave the area or lead to an arrest if a crime has occurred. It also announces to potential suspects that our community pays attention and calls the police.
We have received many questions directly to the police department and in community meetings regarding what is a suspicious person. Suspicious indicates behavior, not what a person looks like. What is the person doing that has drawn your attention? Is someone simply walking down the street or are they looking into vehicles, walking up into driveways or loitering/circling the area? Is there a vehicle in your neighbor’s driveway that you do not recognize? Is there a vehicle that you do not recognize circling your neighborhood? Is someone knocking on your door and surprised when you answer or are they trying to solicit something from you? All of these are reasons to call the police and let the officers check out the situation.
As the holiday season approaches, reports of burglaries and entering autos typically increase. Please look out for your neighbors and call police immediately when you see something or someone suspicious. Practice basic safety habits like making sure doors and windows are secure when you go to bed at night or leave your residence and making sure your vehicle is secured and valuable property is out of sight. Also, if you have an alarm system please test it to make certain everything is working and that your monitoring company is calling the correct police department in a timely manner. An alarm may not prevent a break-in but it limits the time a burglar can spend in your home and draws the attention of neighbors or people passing in the area.
We want to thank everyone who has called to report suspicious activity. As you will see when reading over some of our recent arrests, calls from the community MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Stay aware and please do not hesitate to call us. It takes thepolice and the community working together to keep Decatur safe.
- On 09/10/13 at approximately 4:54 pm, a Decatur Officer was patrolling in the area of Church Street and Commerce Drive when he observed a Hummer H2 turn in front of his patrol car and saw that the driver was not wearing his seatbelt. As the vehicle passed the officer, the Automatic License Plate Reader (ALPR) equipped on the officer’s vehicle notified the officer that the registered owner of the Hummer had an active warrant. The driver abruptly turned into a parking lot behind the 100 block of East Ponce de Leon Avenue, appearing to try to avoid the officer. The officer proceeded to the 100 block of Clairemont Avenue on the other side of the parking lot. The officer located the Hummer backing out of a parking space and upon seeing the officer, the driver immediately pulled back into the parking space, exited the vehicle and attempted to walk away quickly. The officer made contact with the driver and verified he was the registered owner of the Hummer with an active warrant for failure to appear out of the Riverdale Police Department. The driver, identified as 34-year-old Latif Winbush of Conyers, was taken into custody for the warrant. Winbush was also charged with driving on a suspended license, seatbelt requirement and possession of marijuana less than an ounce. A firearm was also located in the vehicle and held for safekeeping.
- On 09/10/13 at approximately 8:45 pm, Decatur Police responded to the 400 block of West Trinity Place in reference to a person brandishing a pistol from inside of a dark colored Chevrolet El Camino. Officers arrived and canvassed the area and were speaking to witnesses who then pointed out a dark colored El Camino occupied by two males leaving the area, as the vehicle involved. A traffic top was conducted and an adult witness approached officers and reported seeing the El Camino pull up to a group of juveniles and the juveniles began running away and yelling “He has a gun!”. Officers spoke to two juveniles who stated the El Camino stopped next to them and asked if they knew the guy who drove "the black Honda". They stated they did not and kept talking amongst themselves and the passenger of the El Camino pointed a gun at them and asked, "What did you say?." The two juveniles began running away and yelling. Officers located a semi-automatic handgun and suspected marijuana inside of the vehicle. The driver, identified as 22-year-old Nachez Boyd of DeKalb County, was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana less than an ounce. The passenger, identified as 18-year-old DeMarcus Dukes of DeKalb County, was arrested and charged with two counts of pointing a pistol or gun at another. A knife was also located in the El Camino. Both occupants denied ownership of the firearm and knife.
- On 09/17/13 at 1:15 pm, Decatur Police responded to the 800 block of West Ponce De Leon Avenue in reference to suspicious persons. Homeowners reported arriving home and upon entering their driveway, observing a male and a female walking up their driveway toward the rear of the residence. The homeowners exited the driveway and drove a few house away and maintained a visual on their residence. The homeowners then observed the male and female walk back down the driveway to West Ponce de Leon Avenue and split up walking in two different directions. Moments later, the male and female both returned to their driveway. The homeowners drove back to their residence and when the male and female saw the homeowners, they quickly walked back down to West Ponce De Leon Avenue. The complainants called 911 and began to follow the male and female in their vehicle. The male and female were then observed running west on West Ponce De Leon Avenue, then south on East Parkwood Road and then entering the woods that separate East Parkwood Road and West Parkwood Road. The male and female then turned back toward East Parkwood Road where they were located by an officer. The male at first claimed to be walking to the female’s residence in the 400 block of West Trinity Place then stated they were walking from the residence to the gas station in the 600 block of West Howard Avenue but had gotten lost and were trying to ask people for directions. The female also stated they were walking from her residence to the gas station in the 600 block of West Howard Avenue but had gotten lost. However, she claimed to have lived at her address for the past nine years. They denied entering the driveway of any house on West Ponce de Leon Avenue. A search of the book bag being carried by the male revealed a tool kit that contained several sizes of screwdriver bits, a screwdriver, hammer, and other miscellaneous small tools. Also located within the book bag was a separate larger screwdriver. Officers also observed a pair of black gloves hanging out of the male’s rear shorts pocket. The male was wearing shorts and a t-shirt and was sweating. The temperature outside was approximately 80 degrees. When asked why he had gloves with him, the male replied that it was cold outside that morning and he has dry skin. When asked why he was carrying a book bag, the male replied he was a student. However, there were no school related items in the book bag. The male, identified as 21-year-old Patrick Davis of Conley, was arrested and charged with loitering and prowling and possession of tools for the commission of a crime. The female, identified as 18-year-old Shakira Farmer ofDecatur, was arrested and charged with loitering and prowling.
- On 09/19/13 at approximately 1:40 pm, Decatur Police were dispatched to the 100 block of Superior Avenue in reference to a suspicious person. The complainant reported seeing a male and female approach a residence and knock at the door and then look into the windows. The caller stated they were unfamiliar with the male and female and indicated they did not live at the address. A male and female fitting the description given by the complainant were located by an officer at the intersection of Michigan Avenue and Erie Avenue. A warrant check revealed the male had an active warrant for probation violation (robbery) out of the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office. While the officer was conducting the warrant check, the male took flight running northbound on Erie Avenue. Additional officers located the male in 400 block of Clairemont Avenue. The male, identified as 27-year-old Andre Thomas of Covington, was taken into custody for the warrant and obstruction of an officer. Thomas complained of an injury to his right eye and revealed he received a gunshot to his right eye seven years prior and appeared to have agitated it. Thomas was transported to an area hospital for treatment and then to the DeKalb County Jail.
- On 09/25/13 at approximately 5:32 am, Decatur Police were dispatched to a residence in the 700 block of Sycamore Street in reference to an unknown, suspicious male loitering behind a residence. Officers arrived and located a male sitting on the rear porch. A warrant check revealed the male had an active warrant for probation violation (traffic charges) out of the LaGrange Police Department. The male, identified as 30-year-old David Banister of DeKalb County, was taken into custody for the warrant.
- On 09/30/13 at approximately 2:14 am, a Decatur officer was patrolling near South Candler Street and East College Avenue when he observed a male lying on his back in the middle of a parking space in a parking lot located in the 300 block of East College Avenue. The male’s head was covered with a hood from his sweatshirt and the hood was partially covered with dried leaves and other lawn debris. The officer further observed the male to have a bleeding abrasion to one of his knees. The officer approached the male and smelled alcohol. The officer identified himself as a police officer and the male initially did not respond. The officer eventually woke the male up and again identified himself as a police officer. The male screamed obscenities at the officer and attempted to make a few more statements but due to extremely slurred speech, the officer was unable to comprehend the male. The male had to be assisted with sitting up and walking. The male, identified as 25-year-old Eric Keith of Atlanta, was arrested and charged with public intoxication.
- On 09/30/13 at approximately 3:03 pm, Decatur Police responded to the 100 block of Clairemont Avenue in reference to a forgery in progress. An officer arrived and was advised by a bank employee that a male suspect was attempting to cash a fraudulent check. There were recent fraudulent transactions reported on the same account so bank staff contacted the account holder who verified the check was fraudulent. The officer made contact with the male, who stated he received the check as payment for miscellaneous work from a female he only knew by first name. A warrant revealed the male had an active warrant for identify fraud out of DeKalb County. The male, identified as 44-year-old Rufus Scott of Atlanta, was taken into custody for the warrant and additionally charged with forgery in the fourth degree.
- On 10/02/13 at approximately 3:23 pm, Decatur Police responded to the intersection of West Trinity Place and Waters Street in reference to an entering auto in progress. The complainant provided a description of the suspect and stated the suspect was attempting to break into a vehicle using a brick to smash through the passenger side window. The complainant then advised the suspect was leaving the scene and provided directional information for officers. Officers in the area located the suspect who was identified by the witness as the male seen attempting to gain entry into the vehicle. The suspect, a 15-year-old male, was detained and later released to a guardian. Charges for criminal attempt to commit entering auto were filed in DeKalb Juvenile Court.