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Resident Expresses Concern About West Village Crime at Commissioner's Town Hall

Commissioner Bob Ott, police say location is to blame.

Is crime on the rise in West Village? One resident thinks so. She brought up her concerns Tuesday night at Cobb County Commissioner Bob Ott’s town hall meeting.

The woman said what began as people stealing copper wiring from the homes and apartments under construction has grown more serious.

“It’s progressing from that to breaking in, so it’s becoming a little more known to folks involved in that. There’s a lot of easy access there,” she said.

Cobb County Police Department crime data shows that there have been nine incidents at the mixed use development in the past 30 days: three cases of burglary, forced entry; one case of burglary, no forced entry; one stolen vehicle; two entering autos and two cases of theft by taking. 

Ott said that copper theft is a problem throughout the county as the price of the metal is high. He added that what makes West Village an attractive residence for commuters is also what makes it attractive to criminals.

“We also do have an issue with crime coming across the (county) border and also your proximity to the Interstate,” he said. “It’s convenient for criminals and everything to get in and out and right back on the Interstate.”

Cobb County’s Public Information Officer Mike Bowman told Patch that the large volume of people moving through Precinct 3 on a daily basis make it one of the busiest for the department.  

“On the average there are 2 million people driving through Cobb County a day and we have the hub of the Interstate system there,” he said. “So with the wrecks and the call volume and the apartment complexes there are a lot more people in that area.”

Ott encouraged Cobb County residents who are concerned about crime to sign up for the department’s Police Email Notification System (PENS). Those signed up for the program will receive email notification of crime trends plus tips on safety and how best to avoid becoming a victim. 

Nixle Alerts are another way to stay connected. Receive text message alerts from the police in your ZIP code when you sign up.  

Freya Stark September 19, 2012 at 02:19 PM
Every time I look at West Village I think of Starrett City a huge housing development in Brooklyn.. Being just off of the highway is its biggest problem. Easy in, easy out for burglars.
BE Orthodontics September 19, 2012 at 03:20 PM
I was at the Starbucks at the West Village and this guy came over and snatched my iPhone off the table and ran across I-285. He walked right into the side of Starbucks, out the front door where I was, waited until I looked down again, snatched my phone and ran across the highway. He did not buy coffee or anything. Just walked right through. I told the management, but they were nonchalant about it. Unfortunately, I do not like to go there anymore. They really should be more aware of who just "walks" through their establishment so that they can protect their clientele from theft. Oh well...their loss!
another comment September 19, 2012 at 11:48 PM
I thought there was a time limit on how long these condo's could be rented out as Apartments. Isn't that time about up? Wasn't that approval given back in about 2006 or 2007. Those of us who lived in the area, knew that we did not want another rental complex. Then to see the police complain about the high number of Apartment Complexes. Lets admit the truth the biggest problem has been Atlanta tearing down the public housing and handing out the section 8 vouchers. They direct people to go North above the River.
Brian September 20, 2012 at 06:09 AM
These are likely not section 8 people, but instead the same people ripping out copper in the Hollywood Rd neighborhoods. There has been an increase in these guys coming over here lately - there's been a couple A/C thefts and a couple car break-ins in our single-family home neighborhood not too far away. Maybe Atlanta is cracking down and they see people have their guard down over here?
Mary Rose Barnes September 20, 2012 at 01:39 PM
In answer to Another Comments' concerns, it is correct that the project, approved in 2004, required that the apartments would have to become condominums within 5 years. However, the Board of Commissioners deleted that requirement, over my objections, when the economy tanked. I am a near neighbor of West Village and pointed out to the Planning Commission (Bob Ott was a member at the time) and the Board of Commissioners in 2004 that there were too many apartments in the area already, and expressing my concern that West Village stacked apartments would remain as apartments. I also expressed my concern that the intense density would create additional crime. I take no pleasure in having been right. I plan to remain here.
Noah September 20, 2012 at 02:13 PM
Why don't you admit that your theory of relocated public housing tenants commiting crimes at West Village is not supported by any data and is in no way "the truth".
Matt Sicignano September 21, 2012 at 12:04 AM
I'm wondering how the new apartments got zoned on the piece of land next to the 285 on-ramp. I thought it was zoned for a highrise-there seemed to be no public involvement-kind of hard to beleive, when the Vinings Main, just down the street, were denied "apartment" re-zoning. Who greenlighted the quicky apartment complex here? (also, I think the section 8 comment is ridiculous-first of all, they haven't been giving out section 8 vouchers for years, and the section 8 tenants usually have other things on their minds than selling stolen a/c units!)
H M Barrett September 21, 2012 at 03:59 AM
These apartments start at $950 and go for over $2000. I doubt these renters are the problem.
Brian September 21, 2012 at 06:02 AM
Noah, I agree. If it were, these guys would have had no issue coming over from "the bluff", Bankhead Courts, and Hollywood Courts even before they were torn down. They aren't relocating here with section 8. They are typically relocating back in the same neighborhood the projects were. If they do come over here, it's because they are looking for change in their lives, not to cause trouble. They may seem rough around the edges, but they are not the ones causing trouble. There's always exceptions, but I'm talking in general. The exceptions will get caught really fast. Nah, the ones doing things are old guys from poor neighborhoods in Atlanta and central Cobb typically coming over here because they don't want to hit too close to where they live and get recognized. They have vehicles, even if they are 30 years old vehicles :-) And I should know. I bought an investment property in one of the aforementioned poor Atlanta neighborhoods where homes were shooting up in price before the market tanked, then got stuck with it. I have been around enough to know what people are doing the damage. If you go into those poor Atlanta neighborhoods, you'll see the guys walking around peering at houses from the curb, casing them, seeing if they are occupied. If they aren't looking for handyman work, they are looking for a target. Or sometimes both. But sadly they can't be arrested on suspicion that they MAY break into a place or that glancing at it from the road the other day meant they did.
Brian September 21, 2012 at 06:08 AM
Luckily, not too many of the thieves from the poor neighborhoods of Atlanta and South-central Cobb get over here. Once the coils of shiny copper stops attracting them, the few that do come over here will stop coming. New construction is going to attract them, and it is happening not only at West Village, but there are new homes going up around too. It attracts them and they grab whatever is left on site and not protected. Then they may go after other things nearby. As I said, the rate will go down once West Village phase 2 is done. It's very prominent and going to attract raiders of construction sites. West Village could do well to hire some guards to patrol the area until the construction ends. All they need to do is yell the way of someone who doesn't seem to belong there, and they will scatter.
226 September 21, 2012 at 12:10 PM
Exactly, if you build it they will come. These same type of thefts would be happening even if the develpment was nothing but owner occupied condos or $500,000 houses. The simple fact is the LOCATION is a prime target for thieves because of its proximity to the interstate.
Peter September 21, 2012 at 02:23 PM
I agree with Brian. “West Village could do well to hire some guards to patrol the area until the construction ends.” The problem is that the West Village HOA (managed by GW & Associates and the board made up of the real estate investment company Pacific Group) don’t care about West Village and that’s evidenced by their lack of participation and can be corroborated by any homeowner. I’m just glad this article was written so potential home buyers will think twice before moving to this crime ridden neighborhood. West Village; Live, Work, Play and then get robbed.. And shame on Bob Ott for not doing more for the area..
Brian September 22, 2012 at 04:10 PM
Homeowners need to become more active. Isn't there a way for them to vote in a new board?

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