ATLANTA – Startling new numbers Channel 2 Action News obtained show a double-digit spike in crime across dozens of Atlanta neighborhoods.
Just this week, police were seen on video chasing and arresting suspects connected to a string of break-ins in Buckhead.
The foot chase through started with the two suspects changing a flat tire along a busy road Monday. Police pulled over to check it out and quickly realized they were dealing with yet another pair of suspected thieves targeting Buckhead.
Police said they found three guns in the car — two of them stolen.
The Atlanta Police Department said car break-ins in Buckhead are up 34 percent compared to this time last year. Car thefts are up 21 percent.
Zones 1, 2 and 5 cover northwest Atlanta, downtown, midtown and Buckhead. Car break-ins are up between 21-28 percent in these areas over the past 7 days, compared to this same week stretch from last year.
We’ve worked for weeks compiling the new data, and now, a former City Council member is demanding the city take action.
“It is very, very disconcerting to our community,” former mayoral candidate Mary Norwood said. “It is happening more. There’s no question.”
Norwood said she cannot stay quiet about the rise in Buckhead property crimes anymore.
“Buckhead is under a crime increase that is dramatic and it is concerning and I want everyone in the admininstration to know that and that begins with Mayor Bottoms,” Norwood said.
While car break-ins have gone up in Buckhead, the number of break-ins has either gone down or stayed the same in southeast and southwest Atlanta.
Norwood, who chairs the Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods, hand-delivered a letter to Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ office Monday asking for public meetings about crime.
“You have to always have hope that there’s something that can be done,” said Valerie Sellers, Public Safety Chair with the Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods. “You can’t hand everything over to criminals just because they want it.”
Channel 2’s Matt Johnson reached out to the mayor’s office about the letter Tuesday afternoon, but he has not heard back as of late Tuesday night.
Norwood said she hopes that all of Atlanta is included in the discussion.
“It’s not just a Buckhead issue, but Buckhead is where the crime is up,” Norwood said.
Atlanta police did not want to comment about Norwood’s letter but responded to our request last week about Buckhead crime by saying:
“Fighting vehicle break-ins is one of our priorities. We have a number of units dedicated specifically to helping ramp up our efforts in this area.”
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