DECATUR, Ga. -- Decatur police are on alert. And they are warning people who are downtown at night that armed robbers are on the prowl.
Four times between February 7 and March 15 in downtown Decatur, women were held up at gunpoint.
All four of the armed robberies took place at about the same time at night, between 8:45 and 9:15.
In each case the victims tell police that two men approached them, showed a gun, robbed them, then ran away.
Three of the victims were by themselves.
The other case involved two women who were walking together when the men robbed them.
The crime spree is reminding residents to sharpen their common sense, urban defense smarts.
"We have to remember to use common sense," said one woman as she and another woman left a restaurant on W. Ponce de Leon Ave Tuesday night. "We're very comfortable here in Decatur, and we don't feel like crime is necessarily in our faces. But we have to recognize that it is.... I think anything that makes someone think twice about approaching you (helps) -- making sure your purse isn't visible, making sure that you're not so loaded down that you can't run if you needed to, things that would make you an easy target."
"And pepper spray on your key ring," said her friend. "I think it's the reality of the time that we live in.... It's hard to go out by yourself these days."
"I think it's something you have to watch out for everywhere," said another woman who lives in downtown Decatur and was walking her dog up and down W. Ponce Tuesday night. The manager of her condos had just sent an email to residents informing them of the crime spree.
"I think we need to be aware," she said. "We need to not walk around with headphones in our ears. Pay attention. But, you know, it's a great place to live. There are always people in the streets, and I think if we're all looking out for each other, it will be a lot better."
Which is exactly what police are saying -- they need people to call 911 if they see anything suspicious.
Decatur police don't have much of a description of the two robbers: slender black men possibly in their late teens or early 20s. In other words, police have next to nothing to go on. They are trying to catch the robbers in the act, trying to stop it from happening again. But, they say, they need the public's eyes and ears on this one.