Shocking surveillance video captured the moment a suspect burst into an Atlanta hotel and earlier robbed a front desk clerk with an Uzi to steal just $100.
Quick-acting officers caught up with the suspect shortly after the robbery, recovered the money and the gun while placing handcuffs on him. The suspect is 37-year-old Ramone Rivers.
The incident took place on September 15 around 7:40 am.
A video released by the Atlanta Police Department shows an officer arriving at the Sonesta Select Hotel shortly after the robbery. A worker tells the officer that a man he recognized came in, pointed the gun and then ran off with the money.
Another employee was able to show the officer some surveillance. When the officer saw the caliber of gun used in the crime, he exclaimed, “Oh wow!” The weapon used was a Walther Uzi .22 caliber firearm.
Footage released by Atlanta police showed the suspect pointing a gun at a hotel employee
The suspect then searches a drawer at the reception before finding some cash and leaving
The officer begins searching the area on foot. Two good Samaritans were able to point him in the direction of the suspect.
The chase turned into a car chase, with the officer eventually catching his man with the help of the Georgia Tech Police Department.
Rivers is charged with armed robbery, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, theft by receiving and theft by taking. He is being held in the Fulton County Jail.
The incident occurred just north of the part of Atlanta that tried to secede from the state due to rising crime rates and resorted to paying off-duty officers to provide extra security.
In May, business owners in the Buckhead area paid officers to conduct patrols in commercial areas, especially shopping centers. To help them in their efforts, the Atlanta Police Foundation also contributed three police cruisers.
In 2020, Buckhead was one of the hardest hit areas in Atlanta due to the rioting and looting that occurred following the murder of George Floyd.
Off-duty officers have full power to arrest suspects, according to Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum. The announcement came just months after Buckhead failed to secede from Atlanta.
The plan is administered by the Buckhead Safety Alliance. The group’s coordinator, Debra Wathen, said at a news conference Monday that the $500,000 will cover security costs for 12 months — and that they will continue to raise money.
The new officers will focus on car and shoplifters, who activists say have targeted the area. Each Buckhead police car will have a special cell phone number given to local business owners. Those in need of assistance are asked to first call 911 and then local police.
After a short chase, the officer caught up with the suspect, who was standing on a nearby street corner
The suspect, identified as Ramone Rivers, 37, was arrested
Rivers faces charges including armed robbery and aggravated assault
Crime in Atlanta has been increasing for several years – comparable to many major metropolitan areas – and control has not yet been effectively seized by law enforcement
In 2020, Buckhead was one of the hardest hit areas in Atlanta due to the rioting and looting that occurred following the death of George Floyd
Atlanta City Councilwoman Mary Norwood said at a press event in May that private security protection in more residential areas of Buckhead has proven successful in reducing crime in recent years.
“Buckhead neighborhoods have had safety patrols for the past 20 years and that has been an effective deterrent to crime,” Norwood said.
“These safety patrols will make us safer in Buckhead, for our residents and our visitors,” she added the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Another activist, Jim Durrett, shared it Axios that one of the most common crimes in the area involves criminals breaking into cars in search of weapons.
“I think it will be a success,” said one resident, Mimi Maslia Fox Atlanta.
At the same news conference, Chief Schierbaum said the city’s homicide rate is approaching low levels seen before the Covid-19 pandemic, down 40 percent so far this year.
In 2022, the department opened a new police station in the area. This year, Georgia House Speaker Jon Burns put money in the state budget so the Georgia State Patrol could open an office in Buckhead.