Dekalb is a hot spot for burglaries and robberies in Metro Atlanta police say and the vast majority of theses crimes are committed by juveniles.
“There are a lot of kids running around with guns kicking in doors,” say Mawuli Mel Davis, a lawyer who represents juvenile criminals. Now there is a growing problem of kids crossing the Dekalb county lines to commit serious burglaries and robberies in Clayton, Fulton, Gwinnett and Rockdale counties.
Dekalb County literally dwarfs its neighbors in burglaries. Dekalb has had 50,500 burglaries between 2008 and 2012, compared with nearly 41,000 in runner-up Atlanta. Atlanta led slightly in armed robberies with nearly 2,300 in 2012. They exceeded the robberies in Dekalb by fewer than 500 incidents according to the FBI.
Police detectives say the problem is the current adoration of the “gang culture” in which young boys claim allegiance to loosely affiliated groups such as Savage The Block. This local gang has turned burglary into a high volume business. Unfortunately it’s not just the “underprivileged” kids that are fueling the crime wave, but also youths from the middle class drawn to the so called “gangsta” lifestyle which is promoted in today’s music and film industry. The American citizenry are now paying a heavy price for that popularized gang culture.
Donald Cloudt, a longtime burglary detective in Dekalb County related: “What these kids do is orchestrated. When they leave at 10 am in the morning, they know where they are going, and it is not just one house. They will be using the same stolen van all day long.”
Dekalb Detective Andre Williams, who has worked in both gang and burglary units of Dekalb County, said Savage The Block has little structure, but they currently have approximately 200 members. These gang members range in age from 11 to 18 years old. Most of them are between 13 and 16.
These juvenile gang members also have specialties such as car theft or armed robbery but the bulk of them are burglars.
These gangs have a system of operation. They are not stupid. They have made crime more lucrative for adult criminals who give the teens shopping lists of merchandise they need and then they buy the stolen goods from the teen criminals. Teen burglars unload flat screen TVs, laptop computers, jewelry, I phones and guns to middleman “fences” who are adult dealers in stolen goods. The drop offs occur throughout the day making the merchandise very hard to recover. Many times the merchandise is shipped to buyers overseas.
Dekalb detectives say that $30 to $50 is the current going rate for stolen TVs and laptop computers. The teen burglars only receive a few hundred dollars for a full day’s worth of burglaries. This fuels a high volume burglary business model for the teens.
What’s worse, say Dekalb County detectives, is that the juvenile justice system has fueled and intensified the juvenile crime wave because the teens know they have to get multiple convictions before they are committed to a juvenile prison. Also, the ones that end up in juvenile prison often come out of the prison as worse criminals.
Robert Peaco, a Dekalb detective, related “The juvenile system is teaching them to be better career criminals; “We’ll have a kid who starts out doing burglary and because the juvenile system is so lenient, he learns how the system works and he then graduates to doing armed robberies.”
Due to the ongoing dangerous crime problem throughout Georgia and Metro Atlanta, citizens are urged to take the appropriate steps to harden their defenses to protect their family and home from burglary, home invasion and armed robbery.
Homeowners should buy and install quality deadbolts on all doors and they should have installed quality monitored Atlanta security systems or Security Systems Atlanta in their home or apartment. Choose an Atlanta Security System company that offers well know monitoring with a well known security yard sign. Burglars do know the difference in Atlanta security systems monitoring and equipment.
Remember an ADT yard sign will deter 76% of all would be burglars or home invaders.
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