Friends of Refugees

A U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program Watchdog Group

Police tell Clarkston New American residents to watch out & call 911

Posted by Christopher Coen on October 13, 2011

The small, inner-ring Atlanta suburb of Clarkston has become somewhat of a magnet to criminals who wish to prey on New Americans. Police are warning residents that criminals usually wait and watch before honing in on their targets. In return, residents must be watchful of their neighborhoods and report what they see. The Champion has more:

Refugees and immigrants living in Clarkston are considered easy prey by criminals, said the city’s police chief during a recent meeting about crime prevention.

All of our violent crimes that we’ve dealt with in the past five years have been [by people] from southwest and southeast Atlanta,” said Clarkston Police Chief Tony Scipio…

What we’re finding out from interviewing these suspects and perpetrators is that all eyes are on Clarkston because of the large influx of refugees and immigrants,” Scipio said. “They are easily preyed [upon].”

Scipio said that 69 percent of the crimes within the city limits are committed by nonresidents, many of whom live in the city of Atlanta.

Many criminals “plan their crime; they look at the area, they watch what you do every day,” Scipio said. “If you are not aware of your surroundings and your environment, and if you are not taking the necessary precautions, then eventually you’re going to become a victim, especially late at night.”

Scipio said many of the victims in Clarkston during the past three months were out late at night, small in stature and carrying large sums of money…

…Tonaya Moss, a public education specialist with the DeKalb Police Department, said communication is a key to preventing crimes.Communicate with the police,” Moss said… The communication starts with the residents.”

Because most neighborhoods do not have police officers living in them, residents must take on the responsibility of monitoring their own communities, Moss said.

The residents see the incidents first,” Moss said. “They hear it. They see it. But the next step is to call 911.”

October is Crime Prevention Month in DeKalb County and Moss encouraged the group to set up neighborhood watch programs.

You need a team of people to be nosy neighbors with you,” Moss said. “We know there’s crime. Without your help it’s not going away.”… Read more here

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