2 arrested as police sweep Briarcliff Road area


Sunday, April 12, 2009

DeKalb County police said Sunday they are focusing “all resources” on a stretch of Briarcliff Road extending from North Druid Hills to Lavista roads, as they picked up two men in connection with recent armed robberies.

“As part of our ongoing investigation we are working to determine if they or other individuals may be linked” to three recent attacks against area women, said DeKalb Police spokeswoman Bettina Durant.

Three women have been attacked along Briarcliff in the past 26 days. The latest incident occurred early Saturday morning at the Park at Briarcliff apartment complex on Druid Valley Drive.

An unidentified woman was physically assaulted and robbed around 5:30 a.m. after returning home from a night out, Durant said.

Later Saturday, police completed a sweep of the area and arrested and charged two suspects with robbing a pizza deliveryman and a taxi cab driver.

Police on Sunday weren’t ready to connect either alleged bandit to the attacks on three women.

Investigators also have not yet determined if the women’s attacks are linked, Durant said. While the incidents share geography, a clear pattern has not emerged.

On March 17, a man wearing a mask and gloves grabbed a 54-year-old female jogger from behind on Southland Vista Court at Briarcliff and stabbed her several times. His motive is unclear.

Last Tuesday afternoon, a woman was sexually assaulted as she moved into her apartment at the Marquis at Briarcliff on Gables Way. Her masked attacker apparently was lying in wait inside the apartment, police said.

In Saturday’s incident, police say the suspect forced his victim into her apartment but did not sexually assault her. Though he wasn’t wearing a mask, his face was covered.

Residents at the Park at Briarcliff said Sunday they have noticed an uptick in crime, mostly robberies, in what had been a quiet neighborhood.

Carol Amos, 52, said a neighbor’s car was stolen recently. That neighbor and other residents have complained about the gate to the complex being left open, Amos said — as it was Sunday afternoon.

The apartment’s management office was closed Sunday.

Amos said she has noticed a security guard patrolling the apartments at night.

For a brief time Sunday afternoon, two DeKalb County police patrol cars were stationed at the entrance.

“You think of Briarcliff as a pretty crime-free area,” said longtime resident Tom Millican, 65. “I can’t remember anything like [the recent attacks] happening over here.”

Durant said DeKalb police will continue stepped-up patrols on Briarcliff Road.