Crime time: Arrest reports through Oct. 2

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt October 5, 2013

All reports provided by Decatur Police Department.

Brick Jr. 

– 10/2/13-  Decatur Police arrived at the intersection of West Trinity Place and Waters Street after getting a call about someone breaking into an auto. The caller described the suspect and said he was trying to smash a car’s passenger window with a brick. The officers found the suspect, a 15-year-old, and detained him until his guardian arrived. Police filed charges in DeKalb Juvenile Court for the attempted car break-in. 

Keep checking

– 9/30/13 – Decatur Police arrived at the 100 block of Clairemont Avenue after getting a call about a forgery in progress at a local bank. When the officer arrived, the bank employee said a man was trying to cash a phony check. The account also showed some additional fraudulent charges and the bank staff contacted the owner of the account. The owner said the check was bogus. The officer confronted the suspect, who said that he received the check from a woman for “miscellaneous work.” The officer looked up the suspect’s record and discovered he had an active warrant for identity fraud. Police arrested the suspect, a 44-year old man from Atlanta, for the warrant and charged him with fourth-degree forgery. 

Leave me be

– 9/30/13 – A Decatur Police officer was on patrol near South Candler Street and East College Avenue at 2:14 a.m. when he saw a man lying on his back in the middle of a parking space in a parking lot around the 300 block of East College Avenue. The man was wearing a hoodie and was covered in leaves and “other lawn debris.” The man also had a bloody knee and smelled of alcohol. The officer identified himself to the man. No response. The officer finally woke the man up and he began swearing at the officer, slurring his words so badly the officer couldn’t understand him. The officer helped him to his feet and then arrested the 25-year-old Atlanta man on charges of public intoxication. 

Always wear your seatbelt

– 9/10/13 – A Decatur Officer was patrolling around Church Street and Commerce drive around 4:54 p.m. and saw a Hummer H2 turn in front of his patrol car. The officer noticed the driver wasn’t wearing a seat-belt. The patrol car’s automatic license plate reader alerted the officer that the Hummer’s registered owner had an active warrant. The driver turned into the parking lot behind the 100 block of East Ponce de Leon Avenue attempting to elude the officer. The officer drove around to the other side of the parking lot behind the 100 block of Clairemont Avenue. He saw the Hummer back out of a parking space. When the driver saw the officer, he pulled back into the parking space, got out of the vehicle and tried to walk away. The officer flagged the driver down, determined he was the registered owner, and arrested the 34-year-old Conyers man for a failure-to-appear warrant. He was also charged with driving on a suspended license, not wearing a seat belt and possession of less than one ounce of marijuana. The officer also found a firearm and it is being “held for safekeeping.” 

Gun run

-9/10/13 Decatur Police went to the 400 block of West Trinity Place after getting a call of a person showing a pistol from the inside of a dark-colored Chevrolet El Camino. Officers looked around the area and were talking to witnesses when one of the witnesses pointed to a car matching the description. Two men were riding in the car and were leaving the area. The officers pulled the car over. A witness told the officers he saw the El Camino pull up to a group of kids and the kids began running away yelling, “He has a gun!” The officers interviewed the kids and they said the El Camino had stopped next to them and asked them if they knew the driver of a black Honda. The kids said no and kept talking. The passenger of the El Camino allegedly pointed a gun and them and asked, “What did you say?” The officers found a semi-automatic handgun and “suspected marijuana” inside the El Camino. Officers arrested the driver, a 22-year-old man from DeKalb County, and charged him with possession of less than one ounce of marijuana. They also arrested the 18-year-old male passenger from DeKalb County and charged him with two counts of pointing a pistol at another person. Police officers also found a knife in the car. Both men denied owning the gun and the knife, officers said. 

Tools for school

– 9/17/13 Decatur Police responded to the 800 block of West Ponce De Leon Ave at 1:15 p.m. after getting a call about suspicious persons. The homeowners said they came home and when they pulled into their driveway they saw a man and woman walking up the driveway toward the back of the house. The homeowners left the driveway and drove a few houses down while watching their home. They saw the man and woman walk back down their driveway to West Ponce de Leon Avenue.

The man and woman split up and walked in two different directions. A few minutes later, the man and woman both returned to the homeowners’ driveway. The homeowners drove back to the house and when the man and women saw the homeowners, they walked back down West Ponce de Leon Avenue. At that point, the homeowners called 911 and began following the couple. They saw the two running west on West Ponce de Leon Avenue, then south on East Parkwood Road, then running into the woods that separate East Parkwood Road and West Parkwood Road.

The man and woman then turned back to East Parkwood Road when an officer spotted them. The man told the officer he was walking to the woman’s home at the 400 block of West Trinity Place and then said they were walking from the woman’s home to the gas station in the 600 block of West Howard Avenue but had gotten lost and were asking people for directions. The woman also said she was walking from her home to the gas station but had gotten lost. 

They both denied entering the homeowners’ driveway. The officers searched their book bag and found a tool kit containing several sizes of screwdriver bits, a screwdriver, a hammer and “other miscellaneous small tools.”  They also saw a pair of black gloves in the man’s rear shorts pocket. The man was sweating, even though he was wearing shorts and a t-shirt and it was 80 degrees out. When the officer asked about the gloves, the man said it was colder earlier and he has dry skin. When the officer asked about the book bag, the man, a 21-year-old resident of Conley, said he was a student. Officers arrested the man and charged him with loitering and prowling and possession of tools for commission of a crime. The police also arrested the 18-year-old woman from Decatur and charged her with loitering and prowling. 

Additional info from Sgt. Jennifer Ross, Decatur Police spokeswoman:

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 the police and the community working together to keep Decatur safe.

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of

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