Decatur Police Report iPhone Snatch, 2 Burglaries

Posted by August 28, 2013

Sgt. Jennifer Ross, public information officer for the Decatur Police Department, sent two community alerts on Wednesday about recent crimes.

One involved the “robbery by snatch” of an iPhone 5 from a Renfroe Middle School student on Wednesday afternoon. The other community alert told about two residential burglaries, one on Sunday on Superior Avenue and the other on Monday on Oldfield Road.

Here’s the first community alert.

On 08/28/13 at approximately 4:09 pm, Decatur police responded to a robbery by snatch in the 200 block of Greenwood Circle. The victim reported he was walking home from Renfroe Middle School and noticed a high-school aged male walking behind him near the upper lot of Decatur High School on West Howard Avenue. The high-school aged male called out to another juvenile male walking across the railroad tracks near Commerce Drive and the two met up and continued following behind the victim to Greenwood Avenue.

The high-school aged male then suddenly ran up behind the victim, wrapped his arms around the victim’s chest and stated “Give it to me! Give it to me!”. The second juvenile male hung back in the roadway. The victim wiggled out of the hold and initially tried to keep the suspect from taking his iPhone out his pocket but quickly thought better of it and let the suspect grab the phone. The suspect and the second juvenile male fled back the way they came on Greenwood Circle toward Patillo Way.

A witness reported seeing two juvenile males fitting the description of the suspect and second juvenile male running in the roadway and thought they were playing around. The victim was not injured. No weapon was displayed or mentioned. An iPhone 5 was stolen.

The suspect who took the phone was described as a black male, high-school aged (14-17), approximately 5’8, slender but muscular build, medium-dark brown skin with a 1.5-2 inch afro with spikey dreds/twists sticking up at the top, wearing an orange/red shirt. The second juvenile male was described as a black male who appeared younger than the suspect who took the phone, possibly middle-school aged.

If you have any information, please contact Sgt. Jennifer S. Ross at or 678/553-6613.

Here’s the second community alert:

On 08/25/13 between 12:15 pm and 3:15 pm, there was a burglary in the 100 block of Superior Avenue. Entry was made by breaking a Plexiglas pane in the front door and utilizing a key left in the lock. A laptop, iPod, cell phone, purses, backpacks, jewelry boxes/chest and cash were stolen. Some of the items were recovered near the intersection of Scott Boulevard and Superior Avenue.

A witness reported hearing a noise in the intersection around 2:00 pm and seeing a jewelry chest had fallen from an unknown vehicle.” In addition to this burglary, there was a report of damage to the front door knob/latch of a neighboring house that occurred during the same time frame. No entrance was gained into that residence.

While following up on potential leads regarding the burglary case, investigators have crossed paths with a juvenile from DeKalb County suspected to have been involved with the series of related burglaries in the Winnona Park/South Candler/Oakhurst areas of Decatur and south DeKalb County back in June-early July.

In addition, there was a similar burglary reported on 08/26/13 in the 1100 block of Oldfield Road that occurred between 8:15 am-6:15 pm. The front door was forced open and a large flat screen television and laptop computer were taken.

DeKalb County Police are also investigating similar burglaries that occurred in the adjacent Midway Woods neighborhood over the weekend.

The series of related burglaries in the Winnona Park/South Candler Street/Oakhurst neighborhoods throughout June-early July came to a halt the first week of July due to operations conducted by Decatur Police, DeKalb County Police and most importantly, the increase in awareness and reporting on behalf of the community as we watched out for our neighbors and called police for suspicious persons and vehicles. When members of the community and police are diligent, that makes our community less attractive to would-be thieves.

Please watch out for your neighbors and call police immediately if you see unknown vehicles or persons in and around your neighbor’s property. In prior cases, the suspects were using stolen vehicles (most often mini-vans, pick-up trucks and SUVs that would hold large flat panel televisions) and suspect vehicles were seen backed into the victim’s driveways.

Another common ploy is for a suspect to knock on the front door to make sure nobody is home before making entry. Please do not open the door for anyone you do not know, but verbally answering “Who is it?” will make it known that your home is occupied.

*Remember when calling from a cell phone near the city limits, you may reach a cell tower that is located in DeKalb County or City of Atlanta and then have to wait for a transfer. The non-emergency number for the Decatur Police Department is 404/373-6551.


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