On the Beat with Lt. Berg

With the holiday season finally upon us, and all the joys and stresses that come with it, I’d like to take a few moments to remind everyone of one simple step they can take to reduce their chances of being a crime victim while out shopping or eating dinner.

As you can imagine, over the course of my career I’ve had the opportunity to respond to a wide variety of situations involving criminal acts. While certainly not the most important crime in the books, one common crime that has disturbed me is what the State of Georgia defines as 16-8-18, Entering Automobile (more typically known as a “vehicle break-in”). Again, while generally not a crime that endangers human life, these vehicle break-ins affect their victims in deep and disturbing ways.

I think of all the reports that I have taken or reviewed that documented the damage caused when a suspect forces their way into a vehicle. These broken windows or damaged door locks are costly to fix, both financially and in terms of the amount of time and energy it takes to get them repaired. Imagine, for a moment you are from out of town, traveling through the City on your way to visit a family member for the holidays. You come out to find your vehicle with a broken window and your belongings strewn about inside. Where do you take your car to get fixed at 9 p.m., particularly if you unfamiliar with the area?

Public-Education-Specialist-Donna-MannMore disturbingly, I think of all the reports I have read over the years that describe the items that are frequently stolen during these vehicle break-ins. One recent report I read documented a local waitress who came outside during her break to discover her vehicle with a broken window. Unfortunately, inside the trunk of her vehicle, she had left several thousand dollars in cash, intending it to be a loan to a friend in need. Sadly, the cash was missing, along with her wallet containing her driver’s license, Social Security card, and several other important documents. While most of the documents can be replaced (with much time and effort), what cannot be replaced is the stolen cash and the missed opportunity to help a friend.

Unfortunately, during the holiday season these vehicle break-ins increase, with many of us busy thinking of other things besides securing our belongings. It is imperative that we do not leave any valuable items inside our vehicles when not attended. As you can see from the example above, even placing valuables inside a trunk or glove compartment does not provide sufficient protection. I know you have heard this before, but I want to reiterate: Do not leave anything of value inside your vehicle. This includes the keys to your car. While this simple step may not guarantee your vehicle will not be “entered”, it does guarantee that nothing other than perhaps some loose change will be taken.

If you would like some additional tips on how to reduce your chances of being a victim of an Entering Automobile or other property crimes, I encourage you reach out to Tucker Precinct’s 2019 Civilian of the Year, Public Education Specialist Donna Mann. Mrs. Mann is always available to speak with you about your personal or community crime concerns. She can be reached via email at dsmann@dekalbcountyga.gov or via her direct line at (678) 937-5339. If you do reach out to her, be prepared to make a new friend! We are lucky to have her working with us at Tucker Precinct.

On behalf of Tucker Precinct Commander Major Medlin, his Command staff, and all the officers and staff members of Tucker Precinct, we would like to wish everyone a happy, safe, and crime-free holiday season.


On November 1, Tucker Precinct officers responded to a dispute call in the front parking lot of Tucker Precinct. Upon their arrival, the officers met with the driver of a Chevy Equinox, who claimed that his passenger had poured beer on him after an argument while they were driving to the Walmart. What the driver didn’t know was the Assistant Precinct Commander had been watching as the vehicle entered the parking lot, the driver poured a can of beer out his window, and then threw the can on the ground.

Officers subsequently conducted a DUI investigation on the driver, utilizing the Standardized Field Evaluations (SFEs). This was the first – and hopefully the last – recorded DUI arrest that occurred on the property of the Tucker Precinct.

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