Saturday, August 21, 2010

Atlanta Crime...Its Bad

I am sad to report that I was mugged last night in Atlanta. My brand new iPad was stolen last night in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, in the hip and trendy, bustling Atlantic Station shopping area. Crime in Atlanta has gotten progressively much worse, in fact much worse than I ever remember. Last night I was walking out of a very nice restaurant, called Dolce, (which is located at 261 19th Street in Atlanta). I was right outside the front door of the restaurant, when a young guy, probably between 24-26 years old, ran up to me, bumped me and snatched my iPad out of my right hand. I tried to hold onto it, but he had the element of surprise and speed. My hand was cut from the movement of it being yanked out so fast. Instinct kicked in, and I immediately turned and chased him. I was screaming at the very top of my lungs: "STOP THAT MOTHER F***ER, HE STOKE MY IPAD!!! STOP THAT MAN, HE ROBBED ME...STOP HIM, STOP HIM!!" All the while I was chasing him on foot, running at the top speed of a forty something year old guy. I chased him for four blocks, screaming the whole time. My three dinner mates followed in pursuit, hoping to help. Amazingly, not a single local even attempted to stop the thief as he ran past. Onlookers may have just been stunned, but the thief was clearly running away having stolen something. He was gripping my poor iPad in his filthy hands as he escaped. I was running on pure adrenaline, but it was not fast enough. The thief was twenty years younger than I and simply got away.

Now, some might ask, why I was carrying my iPad around to dinner, and if I hadn't done so it wouldn't have been stolen. I suppose that is true, but later it was interesting to hear the number of other stories from locals who had their own possessions stolen in the same week! It is probably also worth mentioning here that I am not a country bumpkin. I lived and worked in New York City, Boston, Chicago, London and San Diego, so I consider myself to be street smart, a real city guy, certainly not naive to the ways of city life. Atlanta crime is bad. It is out of control for such a crime to take place in a very built up area with movie theaters, restaurants and shopping. Beware, Atlantic Station may look safe, but it is not!


above: this is the Atlantic Station area of Atlanta. In speaking with several businesses, locals and police, the city has been over-run with crime recently. A young woman told me her purse had been snatched the day before. A bartender told me his car had been broken into two days prior. Yep, Atlantic Station is not safe for visitors or locals either, for that matter. I'd certainly recommend staying away from the area if you don't have to come here. Do not dine here or be out after dark.


above: this is the fine dining restaurant where the theft occurred, right outside the front door. It is in the Atlantic Station shopping district.

above: this is the Millennium Arch, where my high speed pursuit on foot ended, to no avail. Finally the Atlanta police arrived but the thief was long gone. I was exhausted from running, hot and sweaty from chasing the bad man. Fortunately there wasn't much on my brand new iPad that wasn't backed up. So in the grand scheme of things, it was a low impact theft. I'm just out $918.59 which is what I paid for my iPad. Do I blame Atlantic Station for not having adequate security? Yes I do. Do I blame Atlanta police for not patrolling the area, while they were in one area? Yes I do. Do I blame the city of Atlanta for allowing such a high rate of crime in a shopping district that is intended to attract business visitors and tourist? Yes I do. Will I return to Atlanta anytime soon? Nope. Am I being rational? Probably not, but I have a right to be, as a new victim of this city.

So if you are planning a trip to Atlanta, BEWARE! Watch your wallet, hold onto your purse, lock up your valuables. Don't take anything out with you that you don't want stolen. Atlanta is not safe.

22 comments:

@tildatoo said...

Very sorry to hear this. We're attending the Barkworld event & it's such a nice area. Glad that it wasn't worse.

Dave Rhodes said...

Hey, you're pissed off! Totally understandable. I would be too.

I think I can speak for all of your readers though in voicing relief that you're okay, because it could have been worse. It was just a snatch-and-run when it could have been a robbery/shooting. That's not to undermine it though, but just to say we're all glad you're physically okay if not so much emotionally.

As you know, we relocated to San Francisco at the beginning of the year. It's insane here too and I'm expecting to get nailed one of these evenings walking back from the train station. I think I've come close on several occasions but have been saved by a passing cop car or my abruptly turning a corner onto a busier street (and going out of my way) if I'm approaching some unsavory looking individuals.

There are shootings here, and a very public shooting happened two weeks ago wherein a 50-year-old German woman was "accidentally" shot and killed by these two psychos having a gun fight outside a club downtown. She was just a tourist walking by with her husband. It made me sick to read about it.

A local gas-station was robbed the other night and the crooks SHOT THE CLERK after getting the money! Can you imagine that? The clerk didn't resist, he just emptied the till for them and they still shot him. He survived, by the way, but is in bad shape.

Again, I'm just pointing out that it could have been worse for you and we're all very glad it wasn't! Thank God.

Todd said...

Rick,

Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't the iPad have both a locate device and remote kill? I know people who have found their stolen iPad via the locate. Good luck!

Todd

Dave again said...

Oh, and one more thing. Get yourself one of these things for future business trips..

http://rhodester.net/smith-wesson-attack-pen

"Lois Grebowski" said...

I have no desire to go to Atlanta. It is fast becoming a bastion of crime. Like Memphis is. It's sad.

I have a cousin that lives in a VERY nice area of ATL and she says it's really bad there.

I'm sorry this happened to you. I know you worked hard for that $900+ and the iPad. I hope the guy drops it and breaks it. (Is it okay to wish bad karma like that on him?).

Come to Nashville. We'll treat you right... HUGS!

Palm Springs Savant said...

Todd- I think you are right, I just don't know who to call to track it.

Dave- you are right, it could have been much worse, and I'm glad I wasn't assaulted or hurt...

Lois- yep, the thief is bringing the bad karma on himself!

grace said...

Oh, I am so sorry. What a violating thing to happen.
And secondly, that Atlanta is getting that bad. My parents lived there, and we always used to go around Atlanta doing different things, they would be sad to hear this news too.

sorry you lost your ipad, but glad you are ok.

A Lewis said...

Oh my gosh, I am so sorry for the trouble and loss. I am reminded of how many iPhones, iPads, MacBooks and the like lying on tables, seats and out in the general public view. My honey regularly lays his on the table at dinner out.

Big hugs to you today, Rick.

kenju said...

rick, I am very sorry to read this. I haven't been in ATL in many years, but it was known for high crime downtown even then.

ATL - PSP said...

Rick - Sorry to hear this.

I live in Atlanta, but have a 2nd home in Palm Springs. Don't disagree with your view of Atlantic Station, but wouldn't necessarily apply it to all of Atlanta.

Unfortunately, Atlantic Station has become a place that many locals won't go to after dark. Your experience probably isn't uncommon. I was there yesterday afternoon shopping at Ikea and West Elm, and I've attended a few special events there in the past - but not at night. It's a beautiful development, similar to The River in Rancho Mirage - just bigger, but it's set in a very transitional part of the city and unfortunately it's an easy point for bad elements to target. The City of Atlanta needs to beef up security, especially for conventioneers, or they are going to lose the convention business.

Having said all that, I hope I don't find the same thing in Palm Springs. My experiences so far have been great - but I read the Desert Sun daily and periodically read reports of similar crimes there. And I'm sure that if those victims of the crime were tourists...they will have similar opinions about Palm Springs.

Enjoy your blog! And sorry you lost the Ipad - I would be pissed as well!

Catherine Ventura said...

Rick,
It was so nice to meet you this weekend and I'm so sorry to hear how your trip ended. That is truly a disturbing story.
Here is a link that might be helpful in tracking the ipad remotely:
http://www.macdaddynews.com/?p=1958
So glad you weren't harmed physically!
Hope to see you again soon,
Catherine

MattieDog said...

Oh dear Rick! I am so sorry to have learned of this sad event. You are a man who brings so much good to the world - I just know that good karma is coming your way!

Blessings to you and it was wonderful to meet you in Atlanta (new slogan: Going to Atlanta? Bring UR iPad & you'll be iPissed!)

Jeni said...

Oh My! Gotta say -along with most everyone else -how sorry I am to read that you met up with an incident like this but boy, what a relief to know you weren't hurt in the process too. Crime like this was the main reason -or one of a couple reasons I suppose I should say -that caused my ex-husband and I to move away from the D.C. area back in 1972! (The last three months we lived there, his car was stolen twice!) Not that where I live now is totally crime free, because we do have incidents here too from time to time, but it's a very rural area, just some small villages here and there and generally speaking, we are very fortunate that we don't see too much in this type of activity. Hope you can maybe find how how to activate the device someone mentioned that would hone in on the Ipad for you and maybe you could then cut you losses if it were retrieved. But again, just relieved you didn't get hurt!!!

Sharon said...

I can understand you're upset, being robbed doesn't feel good no matter what. I'm sorry your Ipad got stolen but, more importantly - how's your hand? Is it cut bad? Your health and safety is much more important than an Ipad! Take care.

Daniel said...

Dude! That is such a bummer. And to think I touched that very iPad a week before it was stolen. I'm so sorry to hear about it being stolen.

Come to think of it my prints are probably all over it. If they CSI that thing and exclude your prints I'm the prime suspect. Don't even try to pin this on me Rick. =)

Palm Springs Savant said...

By coincidence I just read an article that Atlanta has the second worst crime rate in the US! I am not at all surprised! Shame, as there are some really nice people in Atlanta too!

RNB said...

OMG, I was there, and I saw you chasing that guy (I thought he had stolen your wallet) I had my finance drive around the entire area for almost an hour looking for him! I saw you and your friends talking with the police on the sidewalk of 17th street while we continued to drive around because I told my fiancé that I would know the guys build and features if I saw him, and I was determined to find him! I just happened to Google "wallet snatched at Atlantic Station" because I wanted to see if there was any news about the situation that took place and if the thief was apprehended because it made me very angry and has been bothering me all weekend!

Following dinner at Nan, my fiancé and I drove through Atlantic Station to see what movie times we still available. It was overly crowded, and as we pulled in front of the movie theater I told my fiancé that I did not want to go to the movies because there were too many people out and about. My exact words were, "This is a problem waiting to happen!"

Before leaving I wanted ice cream, and because there was no where to park, he dropped me off at curbside in front of Kilwins for ice cream while he drove around and was going to wait in the Target parking lot until I called because the wait was very long. Long Story Short...as I was walking out of Kilwins I saw this thug running and you chasing him, screaming at him and to get the attention of others. You both ran right past my fiancé as he was driving over from the Target Parking Lot and I really wished we had been in close proximity to stop him for you!

I am really sorry that someone stole from you; I wish I could have tripped or tackled him for you. It makes me very angry that someone can easily steal things that belong to someone else. I am writing a letter the head of security at Atlanta Station because I did not see one security guard on that end of the property. I have personally never had an issue at Atlanta Station, but I try to avoid it on busy weekends. Crime is unfortunately everywhere not just in Atlanta, and in many different forms depending on what area of the city you are in. Karma will definitely catch up with that thug…if it has not already done so…Don’t let one sour apple ruin your weekends of being able to go out to Atlanta Station to have dinners at the restaurants you enjoy.

RNB said...

(Continued from previous post) I am really sorry this happened, and that I helplessly witnessed it. I wish I could have tripped or tackled him for you. It makes me very angry that someone can easily steal things that belong to someone else. I am writing a letter the head of security at Atlanta Station because I did not see one security guard on that end of the property. I have personally never had an issue at Atlanta Station, but I try to avoid it on busy weekends. Crime is unfortunately everywhere not just in Atlanta, and in many different forms depending on what area of the city you are in. Karma will definitely catch up with that thug…if it has not already done so…Don’t let one sour apple ruin your weekends of being able to go out to Atlanta Station to have dinners at the restaurants you enjoy.

Palm Springs Savant said...

RNB- Thanks for your comment(s), I appreciate it very much. Atlanta is generally a lovely place and knowing that there are people such as yourself who care reinforces it. Thanks very much.

KathyA said...

Part of me applauds your running after the bastard who mugged you. The other part of me wants to yell at you. If a person has enough of a moral deficit to steal, hurting you is only a short stretch. That being said, I wished you'd caught him and tackled him to the ground!

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

oh rick i am so sorry to read this! how awful! i was recently reading that there is something you can do to lock your ipad down rendering it useless to a thief. i think i'll try and find that again and do it. i pretty much take mine everywhere. it was fabulous on the cruise ship, in fact as we went along the coast of florida i had att 5 bars 3G and could use it without the ship's internet which was as slow as molasses in january. anyway i hope your homeowners insurance at least covers it. buggers to the thief.

smiles, bee
xoxoxoxoxooxxo

Desert Songbird said...

I was supposed to be in Atlanta at the end of July. There is a part of me who is very grateful I didn't go after reading this, but you and I both now it could have been much worse. And it could have happened in any city.

But it happened to you there, and that's the thing, so naturally your anger is understandable. I'm just glad the thief didn't have a gun and use it on you.

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