Our network

Weekend crime surge in Midtown unnerves residents | News

Title (Max 100 Characters)

Weekend crime surge in Midtown unnerves residents

ATLANTA -- Two armed robberies capped another rough couple of days of crime in Midtown this weekend. And this, after Atlanta police and city officials made high profile efforts last week to bring down crime that has plagued the area since midsummer.

On Penn Avenue Sunday, three cars parked adjacent to each other had windows replaced with plastic and tape. Residents said thieves broke into eight cars overnight on the street.

Just blocks away, Anna Nelson was the victim of an armed robbery. 2am Saturday, she was just a few steps from her front door when two men pulled guns on her and her boyfriend.

"They both had handguns," Nelson said Sunday. "And they just started yelling at us telling us to give them everything we had." Nelson said they got wallets, phones and a watch. They were unhurt in the robbery.

It was one of two armed robberies at homes in midtown this weekend. "My dad... does not like me living here," said Nelson, originally from Knoxville Tennessee. She moved to Midtown this year, and her car was stolen within weeks.

Despite the crime, Nelson said she loves living in Midtown. "You pick your battles. You want stuff to do? Or do you want to be safe?" she asked, adding that she has no plans to leave Midtown.

The crime surge came just days after a fiery meeting between midtown residents and city officials – who vowed to redouble their efforts to tamp down on crime issues that have persisted since midsummer.

"We're going to have our vehicles drive and patrol the neighborhoods more to give you a greater sense of physical visibility," Mayor Kasim Reed told residents during the meeting Tuesday.

Residents say the Atlanta police presence in their neighborhood shot up last week – making this weekend's crime spree all the harder to explain.

"Midtown residents were realty energized last week," said Guy Drexinger, president of the Midtown Ponce Security Alliance. "We saw increased patrolling. We had fewer incidents occurring. And then suddenly this weekend – the door opened back up."