Property Manager Jonathan Chen, who oversees the complex for a Marietta business, replaces locks and assesses the perimeter for future fencing.
At 1 a.m. Wednesday, two black male suspects held the two residents at gunpoint, taking cash, electronics and credit cards after threatening to kill the victims. Police believe the suspects made entry through a rear window that was pried open with a butcher knife.
Chen said teenagers from surrounding properties are believed to be the culprits.
“These are teenagers that have been causing problems in this neighborhood. ... We call the police and they come out, and right after the police left, they left,” he said.
Until Wednesday, the complex of six townhouses had experienced problems mainly with trespassing and “smoking marijuana.”
“... Summertime gets bad. [We call police] once a week,” Chen said. “There’s not much we can do. Some of the kids, they come and they are friends [with residents], so we can’t choose and pick which kid to kick out. But, if certain kids cause problems, they can talk to them and send them home, talk to their parents.”
A neighbor on Wednesday called The Daily Tribune News to express concern over the home invasion. The woman asked not to be named out of fear for her safety.
The woman said the males, ages 16 to 22, walked up to the property with hooded shirts and scarves. According to her account, a teenaged female began yelling that the suspects had robbed the residents before one of the suspects chased the girl back into the house.
“[I was] so scared to go in the house,” the woman said of going into the victims’ home.
The woman agreed with Chen, saying problems have persisted with teenagers in the area.
According to crimemapping.com, since Jan. 27 the area has experienced three burglaries, one vehicle theft and a theft/larceny case. Those incidents occurred within an area of about two blocks covering Fairview and Opal streets, which run parallel to each other off Tennessee Street.
“These kids are destructive. ... Some of [the residents], they are afraid to come out,” Chen said.
The property manager said fencing will be installed around the property with no trespassing signs posted. But, he hesitated when asked how much of a deterrent the boundary will be.
“[By improving security measures,] I hope [to keep trespassers out]. This way, if they walk in this way, they have no other outlets to go, so we will call the police, yes,” he said. “Honestly, I don’t really know if the fence is secure.”
Extra patrols had been requested for the area in the past, and residents now are being encouraged to call police to report suspicious activity, Chen said.
“It’s disappointing,” Chen said of the home invasion. “It’s a good neighborhood, good working people over here and good families.
“There are a few people who saw it and I’m kind of disappointed in them for not calling police. So, going forward, I will put signs up too that this is a neighborhood watch residence. I will talk to them, if they see something, they should call right away and not wait until something happens and then call. You have to be a little more proactive now.”
Cartersville Police Department Capt. Mark Camp said the agency has no leads at this time.