Atlanta Holds Crime Meeting in Midtown

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Residents in Midtown Atlanta are rallying against crime. The area has seen a number of crimes both day and night in recent weeks. So, they got together to figure out what they can do about it. Many in the crowd had been victims.

David Epstein said he and his wife, Linda, had just left a restaurant.

"All of a sudden a van stopped beside us and guys jumped out with guns, and told us to give them our valuables," said Epstein.

There were many other stories of shootings, break-ins and robberies, but it was the story of a young mother who was robbed in broad daylight in front of her children that was the last straw.

The woman, Carmen, told FOX 5, "He said, ‘Where's the keys, where's the keys?’ and pointed the gun in my face, and my 7-year old daughter was in the car."

Neighbors gathered in the backyard of Martin Kemp's Midtown home to talk about what they can do as a group.

"This has gone from a few neighbors talking, to an angry village and we're now going to do something about it!" said Kemp.

Atlanta Police Major Wayne Whitmire brought good news to the meeting. He told the crowd that they will soon see a huge increase in the number of police patrolling the area.

Councilwoman Mary Norwood gave a few details.

She said, "There will be a specialty group that deals with robberies and aggravated assaults. They'll have traffic patrols and the carjacking and armed robbery division."

Mayor Kasim Reed also announced a $25,000 reward in the case of the armed robbery of Carmen.

"We're increasing the reward and going after the people faster and faster, and we're going to find them," said Reed.

Carmen's husband was at the meeting, he said, "If there's any good that came from our situation it's that our neighbors have rallied together and we can make a difference in our neighborhood."

Mayor Reed will meet with residents Tuesday night to talk about the crime problem. The meeting will be held at Grace United Methodist Church.