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See Something Suspicious? Call 9-1-1

The first step in fighting crimes big or small is reporting them

A few years ago, we had an auto detailing shop in East Atlanta that had parties in the garage bays. They blasted music so loud on a nightly basis, that I could feel the bass reverberating through my floors.

It was surprising given that I'm in a second-story condo across the street.

After weeks of parties lasting into the wee hours of the morning 24/7, one of my neighbors sent an e-mail encouraging us to call the Atlanta Police Department with each incident.

Her thinking: relentless pressure would lead to multiple visits from Atlanta police and in time, the party shop — er, detailing shop — would stop. We called with the start of each party and eventually, those guys got the message: It ceased.

I'm reminded of that success after several recent incidents that have occurred in our little corner of the ATL — some big, some small.

But what bothers me, and it should bother you, too, is that no one called 9-1-1.

Earlier this month, someone tried to break into my neighbors' home at around 2 a.m. on a Sunday. They were home at the time, heard the would-be invader and raised such a ruckus that they scared him away.

But they didn't call the police.

About a month before that, another neighbor woke up one morning and found that someone had stolen the battery from his Jeep. I advised him to file a report with APD

But he didn't call the police.

Last week, some kids were spotted looking inside the homes along Faith Avenue in the Glenwood Park neighborhood.

But no one called police.

"They were obviously casing our neighborhood, but there was no 911 call made," Glenwood Park resident Terry-Stephanie Carmon wrote on East Atlanta Patch's Facebook page. "We talked about the importance of calling 911 at our recent HOA meeting. Everyone must be willing to alert the police to suspicious activity.

"We cannot stress enough the importance of calling 911 whenever you see something that just doesn't look right."

Unfortunately, those kids who were "window shopping" on Faith Avenue ended up , the neighborhood coffee shop, later that same morning, at gunpoint.

Carmon hit it on the head: We all need to call 911 or the non-emergency police line to report anything that seems suspect.

Calling lets would-be burglars and robbers know that people in the neighborhood are paying attention.

Calling helps because when APD looks at which zones need more officers assigned to them, one of the factors studied is the log of calls for service made to 911.

If a crime occurs but victims or witnesses don't report it, then from a statistical standpoint as far as APD is concerned, it didn't happen.

Most importantly, calling helps police detect patterns and link crimes that could be the result of the same person or persons.

If you have an emergency or see something that rises to emergency status, dial 911. If it's a non-emergency the number is 404-614-6544 if you live in Atlanta and 678.937.2852 if you live in DeKalb County.

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