Decatur Police Alert: Recent Daytime Burglaries in Winnona Park/Oakhurst Appear To Be Related

Decatur PD’s Jennifer Ross sends along this alert…

The Decatur Police Department is currently investigating a series of day time burglaries in the Winnona Park/South Candler Street/Oakhurst areas that appear to be related.  The burglaries have occurred as follows:

  • May 30th – 500 block of South Candler Street
  • June 2nd – 600 block of South Candler Street
  • June 3rd – 500 block of Oakview Road
  • June 7th – 300 block of Mimosa Drive
  • June 9th – 2500 block of Midway Road
  • June 17th – 200 block of East Davis Street
  • June 18th – 300 block of Kirk Road & 200 block of Avery Street
  • June 19th – 100 block of West Hill Street

All homes were unoccupied at the time of the burglary and entry was made by forcing doors and windows.   The majority of the homes targeted have notable foliage, driveways with inclines or driveways that continue behind the home or rear alleys which all provide concealment for suspect vehicles.  The suspects are taking electronics such as large flat screen televisions, laptops and jewelry.  Many of the televisions would require the use of a vehicle to transport.  Three of the nine homes targeted had alarm systems.  One alarm was bypassed by cutting the power to the home, one alarm was activated and nothing was taken from the home and one alarm was activated and only items in the room that was initially entered were taken and the rest of the home was undisturbed.

In one case, a witness reported seeing a black male flee the scene in a white van.  In one case, a witness reported seeing four or five young black males flee the scene in what was later determined to be a vehicle stolen out of Dekalb County.  In one case, a neighbor later reported seeing an unknown vehicle at the victim’s home, but police were not called until much later.

We are working with the Dekalb County Police Department on related cases and thus far, have recovered stolen property from one case.  Dekalb County Police made multiple arrests on June 18th and are still working to identify additional suspects.  We have evidence in many of the Decatur cases and are conducting targeted patrols in the area.

Homeowners are encouraged to trim excess foliage that would limit visibility of their homes and driveways and to park unused vehicles visible in their driveways.  Also, utilize alarm systems that are in place and have battery back-ups on the system so it will activate if power is disconnected.  All community members are encouraged to look out for your neighbors and call police immediately if you see persons or vehicles that you do not recognize on your neighbor’s property or circling your neighborhood.  Pay particular attention to unknown vans, minivans and SUVs as they are the most commonly used.  It is believed suspects are utilizing stolen, older model minivans and Jeep Cherokees in many of the recent cases.

Also, please be aware it is common practice for daytime burglary suspects to knock on a door before making entry to make certain the home is unoccupied.  It is recommended to verbally acknowledge your presence but DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR for unknown persons if you receive an unexpected knock on your door.  Having on a television, music or simply calling out “Who is it?” will signify the home is occupied.

If you believe you are witnessing a crime, please dial 911.  The non-emergency number is 404/373-6551.

9 thoughts on “Decatur Police Alert: Recent Daytime Burglaries in Winnona Park/Oakhurst Appear To Be Related”

  1. They break down which of the homes had security systems, but I’d be curious to know which homes had dogs and what the outcomes were there.

    1. ours had a security system which was set (with an additional external siren) but we have no dog….working to remedy that ASAP…

      1. I’d say skip the alarm system and go with a Caucasian Ovcharka. Best guard dogs out there.
        I can’t imagine any burglar trying to kick one into submission and living.

    2. Sadly dogs don’t always deter- someone I know had a pit mix, and the burglars just kicked it into submission, more upsetting than the items stolen. This was not in Decatur, but could happen anywhere.

      1. I’m not suggesting dogs always prevent a break in, but I’ve talked to enough police officers and security professionals to know that they are major deterrent, statistically perhaps more so than any other factor, including security systems.

        And it’s not the size or ferociousness of the dog that makes the difference. It”s not that the perps are afraid of the dog necessarily. Most dogs, even large ferocious ones, can be dealt with if the thieves are armed and/or sufficiently determined to get in. It’s simply the noise/disturbance created. It complicates things. It draws attention. Plus, any sort of action taken against the dog (short of giving him a bone or something to distract him, which I must admit, is a pretty good idea) elevates the nature of the crime and adds to the charges. Easier to take off, hit the quiet, empty house.

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