Two More Armed Robberies in Downtown Decatur

Decatur police urge residents to be alert. Four armed robberies of women occurred in downtown Decatur between Feb. 7 and March 15.


Two more women were robbed in downtown Decatur last week: a  woman walking with her 5-year-old grandson and an Agnes Scott College student. This makes four holdups in the area since Feb. 7.

Decatur police said all the victims were robbed of cellphones and other items between 8:45 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. The suspects work in a team, with one man showing a black handgun. Nobody has been injured.

Police said the lastest robbery took place about 8:45 p.m. Friday, March 15, in the 900 block of Commerce Drive. A woman was walking away from Kroger with her grandson when a voice behind her said, "Excuse me, miss."

One male pointed a pistol at her and took the phone and her housekeys. One ran west on Commerce and one ran north on Clairemont.

The other robbery occured about 9 p.m. Wednesday, March 13, in the 100 block of Church Street. An Agnes Scott student told police she was walking south when two males, one with a handgun, approached from behind. They took her phone and ran away.

Police issued a community advisory, urging all residents to call 911 or 404-373-6551 if they see anything that looks suspicious or out of the ordinary.

Police have "instituted targeted activities designed to prevent future problems and to identify and arrest those involved in this type of behavior," a department press release said.

The earlier robberies occurred:

  • At Ponce de Leon Place and Montgomery Street on Feb. 7, when two women were robbed of their purses.
  • At the Wells Fargo drive-thru at 315 W. Ponce de Leon Ave. on Feb. 26, when a man pointed a pistol at a woman trying to deposit checks at an ATM. She drove off without her ATM card.

In the March 15 robbery, the victim said both men were black males in their early twenties and about 5-foot-6. One suspect had a medium build with "a low hair cut" and was wearing a black hooded sweat shirt with dark jeans. The other suspect had a slim build and wore a light blue zippered jacket with dark jeans and a cap with red coloring.

In the Feb. 26 robbery at the ATM, the victim described the suspects as black with slim frames. One was 5-foot-5 to 5-foot-7 wearing a white hoodie. The second was 5-foot-5 and may have been wearing a green top. She saw a white compact vehicle driving away from the area but didn't know if it was connected to the robbery.

In the Feb. 7 robbery, both suspects were described as black males with medium/dark complexions. The suspect with the pistol was in his late teens to early twenties with no facial hair.  He was 5-foot-9 to 6 feet with a lean build and wore a black hooded jacket and jeans. The other suspect was in his mid to late teens, about 5-foot-5 and wearing a dark gray jacket and a black skull cap.

Police did not have a detailed description of the suspects in the March 13 robbery.

CT March 20, 2013 at 02:07 PM
Totally agree- the next time one breaks into my house- I hope I am at home to confront them
bulldogger March 20, 2013 at 02:28 PM
OK, guys, if you're really serious about stopping all this crime we are seeing increasing in our city, let's do this........Let's form a citizens watch and patrol all of the areas that are deemed likely to be a crime area. We can do four hour shifts from six at night until eight the next morning. It'll take a few of us to make it work, but after awhile we won't have any crime in Decatur. Chief, I'm volunteering, this is getting too close to home and it's not right not to feel safe walking in the evening, enjoying yourself. We need to nip it in the bud......put these thugs where they belong.
Tomathy March 20, 2013 at 02:30 PM
CT. Go downtown and talk on your smartphone at 8:15-9:30 on a weekday and act drunk if you want to confront them. Make your dreams a reality!
Brett March 20, 2013 at 02:34 PM
Bull - I like the idea but not all of us can do this. I work and raise a child on my own. I also pay a lot of property tax and don't feel we should have to do this. This is a nationwide issue and what's currently being done isn't working. There has to be a solution that prevents the worst in society from controlling good, law abiding people in any way.
Tomathy March 20, 2013 at 02:49 PM
All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing – Edmund Burke
Stephen March 20, 2013 at 03:03 PM
FBI reports that human suspicions or bad vibes we feel are overwhelmingly correct. They theorize this ability is embedded deep in our DNA over thousands of years of experience. They tell their people "go with your first instinct." So like the police say...".call us if ANYTHING looks suspicious." Don't be shy.They need our hundreds of extra eyes on the streets.
bulldogger March 20, 2013 at 03:20 PM
Brett, just because we pay a lot of taxes, doesn't mean we're gonna be safe. I know this is a nationwide issue, but I for one don't want the inept federal bureaucracy coming to Decatur. This is what Stephen posted below..... So like the police say...".call us if ANYTHING looks suspicious." Don't be shy.They need our hundreds of extra eyes on the streets. All we need are cell phones, not guns. Just walk around or drive around in you vehicle and if you spot anything suspicious, let the DPD know.....they'll be there in an instant. You know, sometimes you have to take responsibility if you want a solution to a particular problem. I don't like crime in my city.
Brett March 20, 2013 at 04:41 PM
It appears I've given the impression I don't think citizens should take action and that isn't what I intended. I'm the one that said I'd he happy to hear these thugs were shot and killed and I meant that. But I don't even know anyone that doesn't already have a cell phone and they obviously aren't a great crime prevention tool. They're pretty good for reporting crimes after the fact though (unless it was your phone that was actually stolen of course). I was not aware the police were asking us to call them if we see anything suspicious, and I don't believe that's the case. Who defines what's suspicious? Most of these crimes are committed by young black men. Should we call the cops every time we see a young black male? Do you think the cops want that? Do you think these thugs stand around looking suspicious? Nope. They're in, they're out, and your cell phone doesn't mean a damn thing to them aside from another thing to steal and sell. I wish I had a solution but I don't. Our cities are being systematically destroyed by thugs, inept leaders, and others that offer nothing worthwhile to society. People have become used to the fact that ever widening areas are unsafe "bad areas", and it's going to take more than driving around with your cell phone to change this.
Tomathy March 20, 2013 at 05:47 PM
Hi Tom Meyer. You blame the victims for the thefts because they dared to use a cellphone in a public place? Should we run and hide when we need to make a call? I don't know what your life is like, but in the world I live in, the person who STOLE the phone is responsible for the theft, whether the victim was using it, or waving it around in the air, or whatever they felt like doing with it. Your excuse for the perpetrators is also an excuse for your own inaction. This is typical of the legions of emasculated males living in the Decatur area. That's why they keep coming back.... because YOU AINT GONNA DO NOTHING!
bulldogger March 20, 2013 at 06:00 PM
Perfectly put, Tomathy......I'd be willing to bet those emasculated males living in the Decatur area don't even own a gun and even if they did, wouldn't say a thing when those FEMA thugs come to confiscate them. We've got a great police dept. here in Decatur; however, they can't be everywhere. If we just sit in our houses with our doors locked with the alarm system on, we're doing nothing to protect our city from these, and let's call 'em exactly what they are, THUGS, plainly and simply. You know, we should not have to be afraid here in Decatur of walking down our street after dark. This craps gotta stop.
Stephen March 21, 2013 at 02:44 AM
Yes the police do want you to call when you see something suspicious. They have told me so. And when I have called them a police car usually comes within 2 to 10 minutes. Forget about color and being politically correct. Want to feel worse than being judgmental? Don't call....and have your neighbor robbed. That will make you feel real guilty. Been there....but never again,
Rachel Brandt March 21, 2013 at 08:44 AM
I was held up at gun point on East Lake near Decatur last night. I was talking on the phone. You know I had been told that as a young woman it would actually make my walk home from work a lot safer to be talking to someone on the phone but the detective on my case said that it makes us an easier target as we seem distracted. It wasn't anything fancy either, just a pay as you go phone.
Joe March 21, 2013 at 09:26 AM
Downtown Decatur is full of cops. What are you talking about?
Joe March 21, 2013 at 09:29 AM
Also remember folks, it is never too late to get your concealed carry permit. They are $90 and available at the court house. Feel free to get robbed in broad day light or put in a hole in some fool's face then head on over to Brick Store and tell the tale.
Joe March 21, 2013 at 10:32 AM
Yikes! I hope that you are doing OK today. I am sorry that this happened to you.
Brett March 21, 2013 at 11:18 AM
Stephen - I'd be curious to know some examples of what made you suspicious enough to call the cops. If it took from 2 to 10 minutes for them to show up was that enough time to prevent something?
Steve March 21, 2013 at 12:36 PM
It might not prevent something on that occasion, but it may tie into other things the police are investigating. I call if anything looks out of sorts, like the fellow in a large sweater carrying a shopping-style bag who was just criss-crossing the street in my neighborhood a few weeks back.
Decaturette March 21, 2013 at 01:10 PM
So sorry. You called police? Did the perpetrator(s) meet the description of those in these Decatur incidents? Hopefully our police depts. can get those responsible off the street.
Decaturette March 21, 2013 at 01:14 PM
Also, exactly where on East Lake?
Rachel Brandt March 21, 2013 at 01:15 PM
But what would that really help? When there is a gun pressed up against you it doesn't seem like it would be all that easy or safe to draw a weapon.
tamicee March 21, 2013 at 01:23 PM
Bulldogger, that is a great idea. We have to be careful, though...we don't want another Sanford, Florida incident.
tamicee March 21, 2013 at 01:27 PM
Rachel, I hope you are ok. I'm sorry that happened to you.
Brett March 21, 2013 at 01:32 PM
Calling the police when you see something suspicious may or may not help, and it's the same thing when carrying a gun. We have too many people incapable or unwilling to take care of themselves. Too many people lacking morals of any kind. We have too many babies born without involved fathers. We have segments of cultures that hold disdain for education. We have too many people going in and out of prison. Too many that have been living off of productive, law abiding citizens for generations. Too many content to live off of food stamps and sell drugs, their bodies, or steal on the side. Too many taxpaying voters are content to accept the above as part of life. Until that changes, it will only get worse.
tamicee March 21, 2013 at 01:34 PM
We have to be careful as to what we deem "suspicious..." What Steve described above, yes, that is out of sorts and I would call the police as a precaution. However, as a mother of a wonderful, law abiding, musician who attends DHS, who also happens to be a black male, I am afraid if the community starts thinking like Joe, CT and the like (sorry to call you out), it will result in an innocent person being hurt or killed-possibly my son. There are other ways to deal with this. As mentioned, we have to all take part in a community watch. The definition of community is as follows: "a group of people with a common characteristic or interest living together within a larger society." We all want our community to be safe. We all share the responsibility of making that happen.
Decaturette March 21, 2013 at 02:24 PM
Good point. As the mother of a white teen male, I get afraid of him blundering into a situation where he is falsely assumed to be a perpetrator just based on his age, height, and sex. I would be even more afraid of mistaken identity if he were black. Please, no matter what your views on gun ownership, let's be very, very careful to avoid vigilante thinking. For every two young black males who meet these perpetrators' descriptions and are criminals, there are hundreds of great teens and young men who also meet those descriptions.
Decaturette March 21, 2013 at 02:25 PM
Thank you, Rachel, for saying that. You have real life experience with this as opposed to those of us who just have conjecture.
Rachel Brandt March 22, 2013 at 09:49 PM
To Decatur Mom, it was on the corner of East Lake and Johnston. The perpetrators did kind of match the description given by the other victims I suppose except that I believe they were a little older. I called the police immediately from a neighbors house and the police said that women on cell phones are being targeted because there are new kiosks being installed in Walmarts that allow you to drop a phone and receive cash.
Decaturette March 23, 2013 at 02:38 PM
Rachel B: Thanks. Very helpful tip re being on cell phone.
CT March 29, 2013 at 03:34 PM
tamicee- I am the single mom of a black male- I don't care what color the perpertrator presents- if they bust into my house again (and steal all the items I have worked so hard to provide for my son & myself)- I promise I will bust a cap into them
Jenny Richards April 07, 2013 at 07:01 AM
I grew up in Decatur, born in '52, moved out in '75. "Back then" the cops and our parents knew each other. The cops lived(could afford to) in Decatur. If I had ever gotten in trouble with the law I was more afraid of my father than the cops.. We could walk to school, walk home after school. Was back in Decatur from 2009-2012, still walked thru the Great lakes, Glenlake area, rarely saw any cops. Saw plenty of cars running red lights, esp by Glenlake pool. When I mentioned this to a cop who was sitting back near the old little league field, he said Decatur was not a "revenue driven" force. What the heck does that mean? That it is okay to run a red light? Maybe these crimes against mostly women aren't serious enough for the cops to bother dropping their donuts for. What are they going to do when the weekly music at the square starts up again?....Lots of people walk from all sides of Decatur to these events.


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