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This light fixture in the ceiling at The Inner Space and Hoot Owl Attic in Sandy Springs is not covered, which is a possible city code violation. / Staff – Everett Catts
This light fixture in the ceiling at The Inner Space and Hoot Owl Attic in Sandy Springs is not covered, which is a possible city code violation. / Staff – Everett Catts
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The wood paneling at The Inner Space and Hoot Owl Attic in Sandy Springs is damaged with wires exposed. / Staff – Everett Catts
The wood paneling at The Inner Space and Hoot Owl Attic in Sandy Springs is damaged with wires exposed. / Staff – Everett Catts
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South Fulton prosecutor helps prevent burglaries
by Ross Williams
February 11, 2016 04:35 PM | 9 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Residents of south Fulton said they know parts of the region have a problem with burglaries. “Burglaries are our No. 1 crime and they have been for several years now,” said Kenya Johnson, assistant district attorney for south Fulton and East Point. She said the crimes spiked around 2005, and in spite of efforts from the county district attorney’s office that have reduced burglaries by 30 percent, the problem remains serious. Johnson offered advice to residents at a recent meeting of the Cliftondale Community Club. She described a visit to a block in Walden Park in which every house except two had experienced break-ins. “So we physically went to that block to see what was different about those two houses that resulted in them not being burglarized,” she said. She said she found those two houses were the only ones on the block with heavy security doors. She said steps like installing security doors are part of a strategy called “peeling the onion,” providing would-be targets with additional layers of defense — like the layers of an onion — to discourage burglars from entering a home. Fulton County police officer Rod Pittman echoed Johnson’s advice, noting that most burglarized homes do not have security alarms. “One of the most important things you can do to protect yourself is to install an alarm and then have the alarm set,” he said. Pittman said residents should make sure to set their alarms and touch base with the alarm company twice a year to make sure they are working properly. He said new technology has allowed for alarm systems that are more effective and do not rely on land telephone lines. Johnson said those who cannot afford a new door or security system can take a creative approach. “Maybe go to Home Depot and get a big dog bowl and a big sign that says ‘Beware of dog,’” she said. “Anything that makes a criminal say ‘That’s too hard, I’m going to go somewhere else,’ that’s money well spent.” Pittman said another important step is to call the police and report any suspicious activity. “Most of the time when we get to a burglary, somebody says ‘You know what? I saw those guys two days ago and they just didn’t look right,’” he said. Johnson said one factor increasing burglaries is the spread of gangs into south Fulton. Gang-related crimes, including burglaries and murders, are on the rise — and gangs are recruiting younger children to carry out their crimes. “We had a middle school in the city, where a group of fifth graders — five of them — came to school in all red, representing the Bloods,” Johnson said. “They don’t know that at a certain point, the gang says ‘Well, now you have to pay us dues.’ ‘Well, I’m 13 years old; how do I pay dues to the gang?’ ‘I’ll tell you — break into that house.’” She said the gangs do this because they know juveniles will receive lesser punishments. Johnson said the DA’s office is working to reduce burglaries through efforts like working with pawnshops to trace stolen goods and creating a gang task force.
This fire extinguisher at The Inner Space and Hoot Owl Attic in Sandy Springs, photographed Wednesday morning, expired in January. / Staff – Everett Catts
This fire extinguisher at The Inner Space and Hoot Owl Attic in Sandy Springs, photographed Wednesday morning, expired in January. / Staff – Everett Catts
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These overhead lights at The Inner Space and Hoot Owl Attic in Sandy Springs are not covered, which is a possible city code violation. / Staff – Everett Catts
These overhead lights at The Inner Space and Hoot Owl Attic in Sandy Springs are not covered, which is a possible city code violation. / Staff – Everett Catts
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