Decatur holds community meetings to address recent crimes - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Decatur holds community meetings to address recent crimes

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DECATUR, Ga. -

Decatur residents fed up with a recent crime spree met with police on Monday to express their concerns and search for answers.

The community meeting in Oakhurst Monday night was the first of two planned to address the escalating problem.

The meetings are a response to the normally quiet suburb of metro Atlanta -- known for its small town atmosphere -- suddenly reeling under a surge in local robberies and burglaries in recent weeks. Criminals appear to be targeting the city's Oakhurst, Winnona Park and South Candler Street neighborhoods. Over the past five weeks, there have been four robberies and 13 burglaries reported in those communities.

At the meeting, police said that level of crime is uncommon on the area and they need as much help as possible.

"The best thing is to be as observant as possible. I tell everybody, we don't expect citizens to be police officers, we expect them to be the best witnesses they can be," said Decatur's Deputy Police Chief Keith Lee.

The Decatur Police Department is working with investigators from the DeKalb County and Atlanta police departments to determine, among other things, if the cases are related and if they are tied to possible gang activity.

In the interim, Decatur police have stepped up their patrols.

A second meeting is set for 7 p.m. on Tuesday at the Decatur Recreational Center at 231 Sycamore Street.

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