Frustrated, fearful: Midtown residents concerned about recent crime in area

There are serious crime concerns with less than a week to go before a large music festival in midtown Atlanta. In the last week, business owners said crowds of teens on electric scooters were terrorizing their customers and a man was beaten to death on a sidewalk outside a condo building.

Both crimes happened within two blocks of each other, and within just a few blocks of the Fox Theatre and the Margaret Mitchell House.

Daniel Mesa, who pays top dollar to live in a Midtown high-rise, said he and his girlfriend are living in fear. They are not alone. 

Several residents have called Channel 2 Action News over the last week, demanding better police presence along Peachtree Street.

"How does this happen right next to Midtown Blue?" Mesa asked.

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His concern comes after a homeless man was beaten to death as he slept along Peachtree Street on Wednesday, a block away from Midtown Blue. 

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"It's not completely unexpected. But when you account for rent, you account for multiple things -- not only having a nice building, but a location of being safe," Mesa said.

On Monday morning, undercover officers arrested Michael Johnson not too far from where investigators said he killed Moses Cooper.

[READ MORE: 21-year-old arrested in murder of homeless man beaten to death near Fox Theatre]

Police said the 21-year-old stole the victim's backpack and shoes before being caught on camera at the nearby Quick Trip, purchasing food.

"I have the same routine every day. I walk the same route every day. So when you hear about these violent stories coming out, I know I could be a target," Mesa said.

Residents said they are also worried about a group of juveniles who have been terrorizing and stealing from local businesses while on motorized scooters.

Channel 2 Action News took their concerns to Atlanta police.

"These are legitimate concerns. The concerns the community has are the same exact concerns the Atlanta Police Department has," Maj. Darin Schierbaum said.

Schierbaum said he is a Midtown resident himself, and APD is working hard to make sure residents feel safe. He said police caught Johnson days after Cooper's murder and detectives have already identified the suspects on scooters.

"We realize we can't be on every street. That's where we depend on 911 calls on anything that looks suspicious," Schierbaum said.

We also contacted Midtown Blue, which is made up of private security professionals and off-duty APD officers who patrol the Midtown district. 

A spokesperson for Midtown Blue said things aren't what they seem and released the following statement:

"While any criminal incident is unfortunate, we would take issue with two violent crimes over the past week being characterized as a crime spree: In fact, 94% of all the crime that occurs in Midtown is non-violent property crime."

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