Crime is up and people in the Druid Hills neighborhood are worried and frustrated. Louis Edwards said he has lived here his entire life, and has watched his once-quiet and safe neighborhood change.
“I’ve lived here 48 years, it didn’t used to be like this. It started as smash and grabs with cars, and now they’re getting more brazen,” said Edwards.
Just in the past few days, a basketball goal was stolen out of a driveway, there have been car break-ins, and a catalytic converter was cut from a car. Last week, Emory students were robbed by a man with a shotgun on two separate nights.
Residents met with DeKalb, Atlanta and Emory police Tuesday night in the Druid Hills High School auditorium. DeKalb Police Major Tim Voss said they’re seeing a trend of groups of young males committing crimes.
“You get a group of young kids, typically four or five of them, and they go around and steal cars and then commit more crimes in your neighborhood and that’s why your crime rate is going up,” said Voss.
Residents were also concerned about response times. Some complaining they’ve had to wait 20 minutes or more for an officer to show up. Police said they have a shortage of manpower and they have to prioritize the calls.
Police said they work together, sharing information and following crime trends, but they urge residents to do their part too. Residents realize that and are working on strengthening the Druid Hills patrol and revitalizing the neighborhood watch program.
“Point is, we’re all in this together and will try to tackle the problem,” said resident Steven Chance.