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Precinct 5 PENS June 2020

Pine straw in a wheelbarrow
June 30, 2020

Welcome to this month’s PENS, Police Email Notification System bulletin. This monthly bulletin is brought to you from the Cobb County Police, Precinct 5 Criminal Investigations Unit (CIU5) 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.

Public Safety Topic of the Month

The increase in the popularity of home security video systems not only helps the individual home owner with the security of their property, but it can contribute to the safety and security of the neighborhood. The Ring Neighborhood App links together participating neighbors’ systems into a network that allows that participates to post videos of suspicious activity for others to view. This helps keep the neighborhood aware of any criminal activity that is afoot. These videos can also be viewed by detectives investigating these incidents and identify suspects. The app also allows police to map clusters of criminal activity so officers can concentrate patrols in these areas.

The more homeowners that participate in the Ring Neighborhood App the greater chance we all have in deterring crime and keeping our community safe. Please see the included links for more information about the Ring Neighborhood App.

Can the Police Department log in and look at my cameras in my home?

Absolutely not. Ring has gone to great lengths to ensure their customers' privacy. The only video Law Enforcement can see are the ones you share to the Neighborhood App or share directly with them.

What is the benefit for me and my neighborhood?

Unfortunately, Police Officers don’t know who is a stranger in every neighborhood but you do! Sharing photos and video allows detectives to link suspects to crimes, but more importantly prevent a crime before it happens.

How much does the Neighborhood App cost?

Absolutely nothing! Ring saw the importance of creating a bridge between you, your neighbors and the police. They then created the app so everyone could come together and share information to build safer neighborhoods.

How do I get the Neighborhood App?

You can download the app from the Apple App Store for free or from Google Play for free.

I don’t use Ring products can I still use this app?

Yes! Once you have the app you can upload video or still photos from your handheld device. You can upload Ring video, Nest, Arlo, or Smartphone pictures and video straight from your device.

Current Crime Trends

Entering Autos

Ladies and Gentlemen, our current crime trends continue to be Entering Autos. The bulk of the Entering Autos are taking place overnight and early in the morning. The majority of all the Entering Autos have been UNLOCKED vehicles with valuables including guns left inside. PLEASE remove all valuables especially guns from your vehicles every time you park and leave the vehicle. Also, double check that ALL vehicle doors are locked.

If you observe someone breaking into vehicles do not approach them and immediately call 911. From a safe place provide 911 with an accurate description of the suspects, involved vehicles, and what direction the suspect is going. NO property is worth getting hurt over.

Pine Straw Scam

Cobb County Police Precinct 5 Criminal Investigation Unit would like to pass along some information regarding a pine straw scam that was recently reported. As of right now, this is the only incident that has been reported to police in Cobb County. We do know that this has been going on in Cherokee County for several weeks. If you have been a victim of this scam we would ask you to please call 770-499-3900 and file a report. If you have any pictures or videos, advise the officer when you file the report.

How the Scam Works:

Workers approach homeowners and explain they are in the area working, have extra pine straw, then offer to sell and spread the pine straw for approximately $4.00 per bale. Depending on the size of the yard, the agreement is to spread approximately 10-50 bales of pine straw.

At some point, the workers contact the homeowner and say that they will take more pine straw than anticipated to complete the job. The homeowner agrees with the assumption it will only take a few more bales to complete the job.

When the workers finish the job, they advise the homeowner they installed approximately 4 times the bales the homeowner anticipated. The workers then try to collect several thousands of dollars for the work they claim they did. In most of the cases, the homeowners start negotiating a rate higher than agreed upon initially, but lower than the workers are asking simply to get them to leave.

What to Do:

  • Use extreme caution when dealing with walk-up salespeople.
  • Ask them for a business card or website so that you can research the business before they start the work.
  • If possible, obtain the business name, employee names, phone numbers, and tag numbers.
  • Check for a Cobb County Business License and Better Business Bureau review.
  • If it is a verbal agreement, record the conversation, agree on the specific work that you want to be done, and agree on a specific final price before any work starts.
  • Trying to save a few dollars is not worth it. Use a local reputable company that is established, licensed, and insured.

Cobb County Camera Registry

The Cobb County Police Camera Registration program is a police/community video partnership that operates on a voluntary basis with homeowners, neighborhoods and business owners who own private video surveillance systems. We encourage both businesses and residents to register their cameras online by completing the form below.

This program is intended to let our officers know where cameras are active in the county in case a crime occurs. It is not intended for active surveillance, and officers will not have direct access to homeowners' cameras. Those who register a camera will be contacted if a crime occurs in the vicinity of that camera.

Information provided by residents and businesses will be maintained in a secure database.

Online Registration Form


If you have not already signed up to receive the monthly PENS updates, please subscribe. Feel free to forward this e-mail to your HOA members and local businesses.

PENS is also sending out bulletins and alerts through its partnership with Discover if your neighborhood is already signed up so you may join. If not, they will provide you with the necessary information.


Stay Safe,

Det. Lieutenant J.B Wade
Det. Sergeant W.R. Pettitt


Criminal Investigation Unit Pct. 5
4640 Dallas Highway
Powder Springs, GA 30127
(770) 499-4578

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