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DeKalb police step up patrols in response to crime wave

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DECATUR, Ga. -

DeKalb County police are stepping up efforts to stop a recent crime wave. Police believe some recent crimes may be the work of the same criminals targeting east Atlanta and Decatur.

DeKalb County Police Chief Cedric Alexander said that police have arrested 26 people arrested on various charges in the past few days.

"Those have had warrants on them, and those that have been suspected of some other activities as well, too," Alexander said.

The arrests follow a spike in crime plaguing parts of south DeKalb County. Alexander said that authorities have responded to the rise in burglaries and robberies by increasing the number of officers patrolling the area.

"We put more personnel, more patrol cars, more enforcement down in that area," Alexander said. "Try to do some proactive work, and we've had some great success. "

At the same time, the DeKalb PD is working with the Atlanta Police Department and Decatur Police Department.

Decatur has experienced a sharp rise in crime since June. Atlanta's Zone 6 encompasses portions of east Atlanta.

Authorities say many of the crimes are being committed by juveniles, and some of the teens arrested are suspected gang members.

"We just have a large number of kids that are out there right now that are creating a lot of these issues for us in and around the county, and particularly what we're seeing in southeast," Alexander said. "So if we have a presence, a patrol presence, and we're able to intervene and hopefully circumvent many of these burglaries and robberies, we are seeing some success with that. "

The chief said he understands residents' crime concerns and frustrations, and says his department, working in partnership with neighboring jurisdictions, is determined to get those behind the recent crime wave off the streets.

"But it's an ongoing challenge…day after day after day," Alexander said.  "It's one day at a time, because as they move around different locations, the bad guys, if you will, we have to make adjustments, as well, too. But for us what we're trying to do is get out ahead of the problem as much as we can to try to circumvent from some of these crimes from taking place in the first place."

Alexander said he is attending community meetings and meeting with concerned residents. He says he cannot stress enough the importance of encouraging residents to call police if they see anything suspicious. He said that the public is a big part of the success they hope to see in putting an end to this recent crime wave.

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