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Gotcha! Your Neighborhood Watches at Work

SafetySmart Lilburn Vice President Teresa Czyz on how neighborhood and business watches helped catch suspects recently.

Gotcha!

What does a volleyball net, a retired police dog named Zeus and two neighbors have in common?  In the Brandlwood neighborhood it all added up to the capture and arrest of two burglars by the (LPD). 

On Tuesday, December 6, two men were spotted knocking on the front door of a neighbor’s home. A neighbor saw them, knew the residents were not home and sensed something was not right. So she called her husband to see what he thought. He told her to immediately call the LPD, which she did.

By the time she went back, the two men were gone. In the time she was on the phone, they had gone to the back of the house and broken down the back door.  They were carrying a television out the door when a Lilburn Police car pulled up.  They dropped the TV and took off, running through the neighborhood in order to escape.  

And that’s when a second neighbor noticed the two men running toward her home. She picked up the phone, called the LPD, and stayed on the line with the dispatcher while keeping an eye on the burglars. As they ran through her back yard, they were met by an unkind volleyball net that flattened them and delayed their escape. After picking themselves up from off the ground, they proceeded to run through another backyard and just as they were about to hurdle a fence, Zeus, a retired K-9 police dog, who happened to be on the other side of that fence, stopped them in their tracks. They had no choice but to backtrack, and that’s when the LPD cornered them and arrested them for breaking-and-entering and attempted burglary.

Gotcha 2!

On Sunday, December 4, two men who were at the on Highway 29 called a taxi. They asked the driver to take them to the Indian Lake subdivision located near the .  As they arrived at their address, they proceeded to pull a gun on the driver and robbed him, taking his keys, cellphone and $400 in fares. By the time the LPD arrived, the robbers had taken off into the woods.  A K-9 unit was brought in and tracked them, but lost the scent. But thanks to descriptions provided by the driver and residents of the subdivision, the LPD was able to get enough details and arrested one of the men two days later. The LPD is working on locating the other suspect.

Gotcha 3!

On Friday, December 9, a group of men tried passing counterfeit $20 bills in one of the stores located in the Beaver Ruin Village Shopping Center. The employee allowed the men to leave and then immediately called the Lilburn Police. When the police car pulled up the men, having no idea that they were found out, acted casual as the police interrogated them. They were not only arrested for passing counterfeit money but also for drugs that were found in their car.

SafetySmart Lilburn, Inc. and the Lilburn Police Department would like to thank the Brandlwood Neighborhood Watch and the Indian Lake Neighborhood Watch for their efforts to help fight crime. And kudos to the Business Watch in the Beaver Ruin Village Shopping Center for being just as committed. Your actions prove that Community Watches in Lilburn are working!

Richard Ferris December 21, 2011 at 09:04 PM
Great article, Theresa! Well done to Brandlwood Neighborhood Watch, Indian Lake Neighborhood Watch, the Business Watch in the Beaver Ruin Village Shopping Center and the Lilburn Police Department! This is community! Thanks to all and Merry Christmas!
Gerald McDowell December 21, 2011 at 09:07 PM
What an incredible effort of working together. Thank you Teresa and SafetySmart for your leadership.
Susan December 22, 2011 at 12:21 AM
Take care of your neighbors during the holidays and all year round. Everyone loves the fact that our GrandPa has been sent to smoke on the front porch -best community watch guy in the whole neighborhood.
Stuart Burke December 22, 2011 at 01:53 PM
More than anything this illustrates the the importance of the Neighborhood Watch program. Since I've joined I have gotten the opportunity to know more neighbors and them know me. When we know each others general habits around the neighborhood and who should be there and who shouldn't be there; we can recognize when something is out of place, as my neighbor did. We know each other's contact info so we can contact one another in an emergency. We have an e-mail chain where we can broadcast alerts to one another. We have a website (brandlwood.com) where neighborhood info can be distributed. We have regular contact with the LPD in our monthly meetings so they can get to know us and we can get to know them (By the way, the LPD is awsome!) According to crimereports.com there have been 3 additional break-ins in my neighborhood this month. To my knowledge, none of these houses participate in our neighborhood watch. This doesn't mean our watch members don't watch out for non-members. But it's a lot more difficult to know what's out of place when you don't know the people. The best way to protect yourself and your neighborhood is to get involved in your community.
Margot Ashley December 22, 2011 at 03:02 PM
Well said, Stuart! Neighborhoods interested in starting a neighborhood watch can contact SafetySmart Lilburn at www.safetysmartlilburn.org. Click on the <Contact Us> link. We will provide coaches to help you get up and running, as well as sending on-going reports of events and alerts in the 30047 zip code.
Theresa Waldrop December 22, 2011 at 07:30 PM
Teresa just told me about cars being broken into on my street. I'm checking with the police about it.
David Binder December 23, 2011 at 12:47 AM
As a 911 dispatcher I can assure you we do appreciate neighborhood watches. They are our link to a possible witness of a crime. The best thing you can do is be observant. Race, sex, clothing from top to bottom (hat, shirt/jacket, bandana, pants, shoes, etc). Which way did they leave ? In a car or on foot ? Car color, make, model ? This is the info the dispatcher will need to pass along to the responding officers. Remain vigilent, BUT DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT, at anytime try to confront these subjects yourself. And if you have a weapon in your home make sure it's secured by the time police get on scene.
Theresa Waldrop December 23, 2011 at 01:59 AM
Great advice, David. Thanks for commenting.

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