Atlanta police will offer free locks to cut back on car crimes in southwest Atlanta

FOX 5 Atlanta’s Alex Whittler continues a series of one-on-one interviews with the Atlanta Police Department majors to talk about how to keep your communities safe.

This week, the focus is on southwest Atlanta, Zone 4.

Police there say car crimes are on the rise and they need the community’s watchful eye to cut them down.

The seasons are changing, and police say people should not start up their cars to warm them and go back into their homes. Police say that’s the easiest way to get your car stolen.

Just this month on Bent Creek Way, a woman says she was physically thrown from her car before a man took off in it.

Atlanta Police Major Anthony Jackson says his team knows car crimes have plagued southwest Atlanta, so they’ll soon hand out steering wheel locks to try to stunt the issue.

“They’re old school devices to put on steering wheels to help prevent auto thefts,” he said. “Hopefully we’ll have those next month. We’ll issue them out to community members. We can’t give one to everyone, but we’re trying to do our part.”

He says he knows what is said about this part of the city.

“For every one bad thing you see, there are 1,000 more good ones in the community,” he said.

Major Jackson, who has been with the department for 30 years, credits the open lines of communication between the police and the people who live in Atlanta’s largest and most single-family densely populated area.

“If they see it, they’re going to call,” he said.

A group of active, mostly retired women did not hesitate to call the police when their cars were targeted at the Cascade Nature Reserve. They started walking here during the pandemic. They even invited the major to come along.

“I thought it’d be a 10-minute walk,” he said. “It ended up being 2.5 miles.

“Since that time, Zone 4 has cooperated with us in extraordinary fashion. We have cameras and patrols on a regular basis, so we feel pretty safe here in the park,” Susan Ross said. She and a group of dozens of women walk the nature trail five days a week.

Atlanta police suggested security changes to the Atlanta City Council, which ultimately installed a surveillance system last year.

Many viewers have sent messages to FOX 5 with concerns about crime happening in and around abandoned southwest Atlanta buildings.

To that, Major Jackson says the same:

“If you see something that you think doesn’t belong, no matter how small you think it is, call. I give everyone my email and cell,” he said.


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