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The Blotter January 06 2011

A group of women were mid-yoga class when a gun-wielding man barged in and reportedly stole their stuff. “The serene sound of music was playing as they were finishing up their usual Monday night yoga session,” an officer wrote. The yoga instructor had just told the women to turn and lie on their stomachs on their yoga mats when she heard the door open. “[The instructor] walked to the door, and a masked man emerged from behind the curtains and told the women to get down. ... The gunman approached [the instructor] as she was lying face down, and removed the remote control to the radio from her hand. The gunman’s demeanor was very calm as he asked the individuals where their purses were.”

Apparently, the gunman rifled (pun intended) through the purses and started dumping stuff out. He reportedly stuffed valuables into his pockets until he heard the sirens from a passing patrol car, freaked out and fled, dropping stolen money on his way.

The yoga women said the gunman wore gloves, a red ski mask, a heavy blue coat and clean white tennis shoes. “The male appeared to be older, maybe in his 50s, and was very clean,” according to the police report. He reportedly got away with a total of $195 in cash and a Wal-Mart gift card worth $25.

ROACH RULES: Ah, yes. The old roach in the cooler trick. A 21-year-old man working at a North Highland Avenue coffee shop said that two customers distracted him by telling him there was a roach in the cooler, and then yoinked his laptop while he looked for it. He said he chased the men, but they hopped into in a green car parked across the street in a neighboring restaurant’s parking lot. Later, the coffee-shop employee called police and said he heard the suspects were trying to sell his laptop — a 17-inch Macbook Pro worth $2,900 — at a Little Five Points record store. Officers went to the store, but the suspects were gone.

A NEW TWIST ON NIGERIA SCAM: When a 28-year-old woman was referred by a friend to a Cheshire Bridge Road travel agency, she was taken for a ride, alright. The woman said she gave them $2,400 cash for a round-trip ticket from Atlanta to Nigeria and, in return, the agency owner gave her a reservation number. Having been told over the phone by the airline that the ticket wasn’t valid, the woman gave it a shot anyway and showed up at the airport for her scheduled flight. Needless to say, the reservation still wasn’t valid. When she went back to the agency to complain, she was greeted only by a “closed” sign on the door.

FIND A BETTER HIDING SPOT: A 66-year-old woman called police about her missing Bingo money. She said someone broke into her Ford Expedition on Amal Drive and stole a brown can filled with the coins that she keeps for Bingo games.

WELCOME, NEW OWNERS: On the day before Christmas Eve, police got a theft call at the old Atlanta Journal-Constitution building on Marietta Street. (The City of Atlanta now owns the building.) The security chief told police that the city just took over the building that day, and apparently yesterday’s surveillance video showed an unknown man cutting out about 45 feet of copper pipes. The suspect allegedly did damage totaling $3,700. An officer wrote, “The property has video cameras that caught the incident ... but it’s a bit unclear.”

Items in the Blotter are taken from actual Atlanta police reports. The Blotter Diva compiles them and puts them into her own words.

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