On the Beat with Lt. Smith

LT. Smith

On January 27, we had several people mention on social media that police had Lavista Road closed at Oak Avenue (between Lawrenceville Hwy. and Main Street) and were curious as to what was going on. Unfortunately, we were on the scene of a pedestrian that had been struck by a vehicle as she attempted to cross the street. She was rushed to the hospital for treatment, but tragically her wounds proved to be too severe and she did not survive.

As heartbreaking as this is, we hope by discussing it we can prevent this from happening to someone else in the future.

Last year DeKalb police officers responded to 438 pedestrians that had been struck by vehicles. Of those, 363 resulted in injuries and 22 of them were fatal. Many of these could have been prevented had pedestrians obeyed the laws or simply followed some basic safety practices.

First and foremost, if you need to cross the street you should ALWAYS use a crosswalk. Additionally, most of the new crosswalks have signals for pedestrians. You need to push the walk button where you’re at and wait for the signal to indicate that it is safe to walk. If you cross without having the walk signal, you are still in violation and could be walking in front of traffic that has the legal right of way.

In the event that there isn’t a crosswalk in your area, you should cross at an intersection and, if it is after dark, you should use one that is well lit. The pedestrian is still required to yield to all vehicular traffic in this case. If you know you are going to be crossing the street at night, you should wear reflective, or bright clothing and bring a flashlight with you if you have one.

Finally, when walking adjacent to the street, you must use the sidewalk if one is present. When there isn’t one, you should walk along the shoulder as far away from the roadway as possible. In the event that neither is available and you have to walk along the street, you should ALWAYS walk on the left side of the road, against traffic. This is so that you can see approaching traffic and can quickly react, if necessary.By following these simple rules, you will be safer in your walking journeys.


CAMERAS SEE EVERYTHING: On February 13th, an astute business owner on Mountain Industrial Blvd. observed a suspicious vehicle in his parking lot on his surveillance system. After watching the thieves break into his vehicle, he jumped into another vehicle and followed the suspects’ truck while calling 911. He was able to give a good description and location to the dispatcher and maintain a visual until police stopped the vehicle. Officers were able to take three occupants into custody and recover more than $6,000 in cash from the suspects that had been stolen. Through additional investigation by our detectives, it was discovered that the suspects all had multiple arrests for entering autos and are most likely related to at least 6-10 additional thefts in the area.

UNMARKED POLICE CARS: On February 17th, due to a high number of entering autos in the area, officers were utilizing an unmarked vehicle in an attempt to locate criminals in the act. While patrolling business and apartment parking lots, an officer witnessed a juvenile male breaking into a vehicle. He immediately requested assistance and, once uniformed officers arrived on the scene, he was able to direct them to the suspect’s location, where he was promptly arrested. During the course of the investigation, it was discovered that the suspect already had an active warrant for his arrest and had property on him from several other entering autos. His arrest is expected to clear an additional 5-8 entering autos in the area.

DON’T MESS WITH MOM: On February 3rd, officers responded to a burglary call off of Jeri Lynn Court. When they arrived, the homeowner stated they had interrupted a burglary at their house and had obtained the tag number from the suspects’ car. A quick check of the tag led officers to a nearby location where they found the vehicle and its registered owner. The owner stated that her son had borrowed her car earlier in the day but was now at a friend’s house. She quickly called her son and demanded that he return home at once. He arrived soon thereafter and, once officers confirmed he was the culprit, he was arrested and charged with the burglary. The victim’s stolen merchandise was also recovered and returned.

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