Decatur Assistant City Manager David Junger on Monday night told the city commission about the police department's efforts to stop the recent spike in street crime, including seven robberies.
Junger said police think , may have been committed by the same people, but otherwise haven't found a strong link to the other robberies.
The April 1 robbery at Wahoo! Grill on East College Avenue appears to have no connection to other incidents, he said.
Junger said police are doing everything possible to stop the robberies. "Right now this is our number one priority," he said.
The discussion took about half an hour and occurred near the end of the meeting. Though crime was the topic, no police officers attended the commission meeting.
Only one citizen spoke. Martin Conroy wondered if the police are working to increase visibility. City Manager Peggy Merriss said many of the police actions are undercover and not noticed by the public.
Junger said Decatur police:
- Have worked more than 200 hours in overtime. The chief and assistant chief have worked on the street, he said, and patrol officers have taken part in the "robbery suppression" plan.
- Sent an advisory to retail and restaurant owners April 4 urging them to be vigilant and take extra precautions while closing up.
- Spoke April 8 to the Oakhurst Neighborhood Association.
- Spoke April 10 to Wahoo! Grill employees. The restaurant was robbed after closing on April 1.
- Will meet soon with officers from DeKalb County, Agnes Scott and Atlanta police.
- Asked the GBI sketch artist to make drawings of suspects.
Junger said people should be aware of their surroundings, not walk around with a cell phone to their ear and travel in pairs at night.
"Decatur continues to be very safe but we also urge people to use common sense," he said.
The commission seemed satisfied with the report and didn't ask any sharp questions. Mayor Jim Baskett said Decatur has a reputation as a safe town, meaning the occurrence of crime stands out.
"It's a symptom of our success but that doesn't mean we're going to write it off," Baskett said. "There will be consequences."
Here are some other stories about crime in Decatur.
- Decatur police issue advisory about robberies.
- Why do robbers go after cell phones?
- Robbers hit Wahoo! Grill.
- Fifth armed robbery in Decatur.
- Four juveniles arrested after phone snatched at restaurant.