With three homicides and several armed robberies occurring in the past three months, East Atlanta residents are on edge. They voiced their concerns in a public meeting in Grant Park, where passions flared.
On May 17th, Saman Balkhanian, 22, was walking home from a Braves game when he was robbed and shot in the head by two assailants in Grant Park. Balkhanian survived, but lost an eye from his injuries. The next day, May 18th, Omar Reves, 27, was shot and killed in front of his home in East Atlanta. Then on May 19th, a couple was robbed at gunpoint in Glenwood Park. On May 25th, Patrick Cotrona was walking to a pub when he was robbed and shot to death in East Atlanta.
On July 2, Camease Miller was shot and killed during an apparent home invasion on Van Vleck Avenue. There was no evidence of a burglary or robbery and police do not believe it was a random crime. Then on July 7th, a person was robbed by three people on his way home from a bar on Glenwood Ave. One of the assailants had what was described as an “AK-47” or something similar.
On July 4th, four suspects (including three juveniles) were arrested in DeKalb County. Police believe that they may be linked to the East Atlanta crime wave.
This is the most serious crime wave to strike Atlanta since 2010, when the Jack Boys crime spree lasted from Oct. 19 to Nov. 27. During the spree, there were 17 armed robberies, six carjackings, one murder, and one rape.
Citizens are suggesting that installing cameras on the streets, similar to the ones in downtown Atlanta, would go a long way to solving these crimes. Additionally, broken street lights are being fixed. Police patrols in the area have also increased.
City of Atlanta, Atlanta Police Department: http://www.atlantapd.org/home.aspx
WSB Radio, Meeting over East Atlanta Crime Gets Heated: http://www.wsbradio.com/news/news/local/meeting-over-east-atlanta-crime-gets-heated/nYmb9/
11 Alive, Atlanta Crime Map and Reports: http://www.11alive.com/news/crime/default.aspx
11 Alive, Dealing with Crime in East Atlanta Village: http://www.11alive.com/news/article/298156/40/Dealing-with-crime-in-East-Atlanta-Village
11 Alive, East Atlanta Residents Hire Additional Patrols after Recent Crimes: http://www.11alive.com/news/article/294128/40/Second-murder-case-in-East-Atlanta-Village-in-as-many-weekends
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Crime Wave in East Atlanta: http://www.ajc.com/videos/news/ajc-news-break-crime-wave-in-east-atlanta/v3nYB/
Creative Loafing, City Steps up Police Presence in East Atlanta: http://clatl.com/freshloaf/archives/2013/05/29/city-steps-up-police-presence-in-east-atlanta-grant-park-offers-up-to-25000-reward
East Atlanta Patch: East Atlanta Shooting: ‘We Will Find Who Did This’: http://eastatlanta.patch.com/groups/around-town/p/east-atlanta-shooting-we-will-find-who-did-this
Neighborhood Scout, Crime Rates for Atlanta, GA: http://www.neighborhoodscout.com/ga/atlanta/crime/
City Data, Crime Rate in Atlanta, GA: http://www.city-data.com/crime/crime-Atlanta-Georgia.html
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, DeKalb Suspects Possibly Linked to East Atlanta Crimes: http://www.ajc.com/news/news/breaking-news/police-dekalb-suspects-possibly-linked-to-east-atl/nYjNX/
Center for Problem-Oriented Policing, Dealing with Crime and Disorder in Urban Parks: http://www.popcenter.org/responses/urban_parks/
11 Alive, Assault Weapon Holdup in East Atlanta: http://www.11alive.com/news/article/298043/3/Assault-weapon-holdup-in-East-Atlanta