Cobb County Government

THE PENS DISPATCH

From the Criminal Investigations Unit at PCT 4 PENS Police Email Notification System

MONTHLY EDITION - JUNE 2018

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Welcome to the June edition of THE PENS DISPATCH. This bulletin is brought to you from the Cobb County Police, Precinct 4 Criminal Investigations Unit (CIU4) and is designed to keep you aware of safety alerts and crime trends in your area and measures you can take to keep you and your family safe.

As summer kicks into full swing, the police department expects the crime rate to increase, as this is generally the trend throughout the county during the summer months. It is essential that the citizens of Cobb County assist the police department in three key areas:

  1. Please lock your cars and limit the amount of valuables and cash that is left in a car overnight. Most of these suspects are looking for guns. Please do not leave guns in your car, if possible. Keep your garage doors closed unless you are working around the home, especially overnight.
  2. If you see something, say something. This means if you see suspicious activity please call 911. We recently had a group of juvenile’s breaking into cars between 5 and 6 am. Several citizens observed the suspect’s flipping door handles, but failed to call the police. The citizens were correct in not confronting the suspects, but calling the police could have made a difference. One individual observed the suspects and posted it to the sub-division’s Facebook page rather than calling police. It is essential to call the police first. Posting to social media is fine and recommended, but only after calling 911.
  3. If you become aware of criminal activity in your neighborhood and you have a security camera system that may have captured the suspects, please alert police. Reviewing your video for suspicious activity has led to multiple leads in cases and occasionally an arrest.

 

PUBLIC SAFETY TOPIC OF THE MONTH

Hands Free Law

The Hands-Free Law was signed by Governor Nathan Deal on May 2, 2018, and will take effect July 1, 2018. Officers will be enforcing the law and the all motorist need to understand what is in it. The best resource for the law is the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (www.gahighwaysafety.org). If you have any questions there is also a dedicated web site, headsupgeorgia.com/handsfree-law that you are encouraged to visit.

Definitions:

  • Stand-alone electronic device means a device other than a wireless telecommunications device which stores audio or video data files to be retrieved on demand by a user.
  • Wireless telecommunications device means a cellular telephone, a portable telephone, a text-messaging device, a personal digital assistant, a stand-alone computer, a global positioning system receiver, or substantially similar portable wireless device that is used to initiate or receive communication, information or data.  Such term shall not include a radio, citizens band radio, citizens band radio hybrid, commercial two-way radio communication device or its functional equivalent, subscription-based emergency communication device, prescribed medical device, amateur or ham radio device, or in-vehicle security, navigation, or remote diagnostics system.

The Law: Georgia Code Section 40-6-241

(b) Wireless telecommunications device means a cellular telephone, a portable telephone, a text-messaging device, a personal digital assistant, a stand-alone computer, a global positioning system receiver, or substantially similar portable wireless device that is used to initiate or receive communication, information or data.  Such term shall not include a radio, citizens band radio, citizens band radio hybrid, commercial two-way radio communication device or its functional equivalent, subscription-based emergency communication device, prescribed medical device, amateur or ham radio device, or in-vehicle security, navigation, or remote diagnostics system.

(c) While operating a motor vehicle on any highway of this state, no individual shall:
     (1)  Physically hold or support, with any part of his or her body a:
           (A)  Wireless telecommunications device, provided that such exclusion shall not prohibit the use of an earpierce, headphone device, or device worn on a wrist to conduct a voice-based communication (Smartphone watch); or
          (B)  Stand-alone electronic device;
     (2) Write, send, or read any text-based communication, including but not limited to a text message, instant message, e-mail, or Internet data on a wireless telecommunications device or stand-alone electronic device; provided, however, that such prohibition shall not apply to:
          (A)  A voice based communication which is automatically converted by such device to be sent as a message in a written form; or
          (B)  The use of such device for navigation of such vehicle for global positioning system purposes.
     (3) Watch a video or movie on a wireless telecommunications device or stand-alone electronic device other than watching data related to the navigation of such vehicle; or 
     (4) Record or broadcast video on a wireless telecommunications device or stand-alone electronic device; provided that such prohibition shall not apply to electronic devices used for the sole purpose of continuously recording or broadcasting video within or outside of the motor vehicle.
(d) While operating a commercial motor vehicle on any highway of this state, no individual shall:
     (1) Use more than a single button on a wireless telecommunications device to initiate or terminate a voice communication; or
     (2) Reach for a wireless telecommunications device or stand-alone electronic device in such a manner that requires the driver to no longer be:
        (A) In a seated driving position; or
        (B) Properly restrained by a safety belt.

 

STAY UP TO DATE WITH CRITICAL INFORMATION

Cobb Department of Public Safety staff is working to enhance the delivery of near real-time information to residents about incidents that may have significant and/or imminent impacts on their safety or welfare. DPS has implemented the SwiftReach Swift911 notification system to distribute these types of alerts.

SwiftReach is a high-speed emergency notification system that alerts residents to emergency situations including severe weather, missing and endangered persons or significant road closures due to fatality accidents or other unplanned incidents in the local area. The program has the capability of delivering pre-recorded messages to the entire county via telephone, cell phone, email and text messaging. The system uses a publicly-available list of phone numbers that can be removed or updated by both residents and businesses.

There are two simple options to opt-in and provide contact information for this service. A sign up portal is available on the Police, Fire, EMA and Public Safety pages on the Cobb County website. Residents can also get the Swift911 Mobile App by texting the word “Swift911” to “99538.” The response text will be a link for the Swift 911 app in the app store. SwiftReach is another example of using current technology to ensure residents receive vital information from the Department of Public Safety. For more information, visit the Department of Public Safety page at www.cobbcounty.org and click on the SwiftReach icon.

 

Everyone can sign up for PENS alerts and monthly bulletins.

Send an email to our administrative specialist, Teresa Hayes, to request to be a PENS Representative. Teresa.Hayes@cobbcounty.org

PENS is now working in coordination with Nextdoor.com to reach out to more of the East Cobb Community. You will receive our monthly bulletins and other immediate crime trends with the direct communication between us and your neighborhoods. Sign up at Nextdoor.com

 

FEATURED INCIDENTS

Over the past two weeks, we had seen an increase in business burglaries and entering autos in and around Sandy Plains Road and Roswell Road. Communication with other jurisdictions, including Roswell, Dunwoody, Cherokee, Marietta, and Smyrna led us to believe we all were hit by the same crew. Officers had seen a suspicious white Lexus sedan in the area of the burglaries and attempted to stop the vehicle, but it fled. Due to restricted vehicle pursuit policies, officers were unable to pursue the vehicle. However, with the assistance of business surveillance, officer confirmed the same white Lexus was involved in more than 20 incidents around the metro-area. On June 16, 2018, Officer M.J. Zander from precinct 4 Morning Watch spotted the white Lexus and attempted a traffic stop. The vehicle fled from the officer. Officer Zander and Officer M. Abbott were able to position for a PIT Maneuver on the suspects. The PIT was successful and the occupants of the vehicle fled on foot. Officers were able to take three suspects into custody. The vehicle was stolen and one of the occupants was in possession of a stolen gun. All three occupants were juveniles and positively identified as being involved in the other incidents around the metro area.

This was an outstanding job by Officer Zander and Officer Abbott as well as the coordination with multiple agencies and investigators. The three are being charged with multiple burglaries.

On 6/1/2018, Deputy Swindler with the Cherokee County Sheriff Office conducted a traffic stop for a tag light violation (minor traffic offense) on Trickum Road. The driver was positively identified. Deputy Swindler smelled an odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. He searched the vehicle and located marijuana in a mason jar along with a stolen firearm that was reported stolen out of an entering auto incident in Cobb County (Pct. 4, 411 beat). Deputy Swindler located several purses and credit cards that did not belong to the suspect. Due to the heavy rain on that evening, he stopped searching the vehicle, completed an impound on the vehicle and placed a hold on it. He notified his criminal investigation division who then contacted Sgt. Thorp with the above information.

Sgt. Thorp requested Gabrielle Moore to compile all of the entering autos that have occurred in 410 & 411 beat. Moore provided me all of the case numbers, victim’s names, how far they lives from the suspect and items that were reported stolen.

Detective Hubauer and Penirelli went to Cherokee County Sheriff Office and she applied for a search warrant for the vehicle. They then went to Pee Wee Wrecker service where the vehicle was and executed the search warrant. They located several credit cards belonging to entering auto victims, GPS systems, sunglasses, cell phones, and other stolen items.

Detective Hubauer and Sgt. Thorp helped go through the stolen property and locate several victims who did not report their incident or were unaware their vehicle was unlawfully entered.

After a thorough investigation, most of the items were returned to their owners and Detective Penirelli obtained a warrant for Mr. Anthony Hollifield for 15 counts of Entering Auto.

Great job, Detective Penirelli and those who assisted her. A special thank you to Deputy Swindler who was engaged in pro-active police work leading to this arrest.

 

Finally, I would like to invite subscribers to visit cobbpolice.com and check out Cobb’s Budget Journey. It is an interactive summary and reflection on the Cobb County budget. With the on-going discussion on the millage rate, we thank all of our citizens who stand with the police department and support our mission.

Thanks for your participation.

Remain Safe and Vigilant!

Lieutenant McCreary
Sergeant Thorp
Sergeant Gasque