ATLANTA — A resident at an Atlanta luxury apartment complex said a broken gate has led to a rise in crime. 11Alive found a significant rise in robberies and car thefts at the MAA Centennial Park Apartments over the past year.
Earlier this week, one of those break-ins almost turned deadly for one resident.
“As I approach the vehicle I stepped over here on the passenger side and he points a gun at me. I did a spin to get away and get around this car,” Asar El said.
He described the scary moments – when he confronted someone attempting to steal his car early Monday morning. The car was parked inside the garage at MAA Centennial Park Apartments, but the gate at the location is broken.
“The gate hasn’t been fixed and it’s just opened as if we’re on a public street, so intruders can come in at any moment and mess with whatever vehicles. There have been constant break-ins and they [management] haven’t done anything,” El added.
He showed police reports, which document he has reported someone breaking into his car four different times in the last year. El said this all happened after the gate broke.
“They attempted to break into this vehicle as well but this has a double glass, so now the glass on the outside is cracked,” he said.
He also showed damage from a previous burglary attempt. He said the break-ins have resulted in him paying out thousands to repair the damage. El added management hasn't done anything to help.
According to APD crime data, El is not alone. Since May 2022, there have been more than 27 other crimes reported at the property, mostly robberies, motor vehicle thefts and burglaries.
A spokesperson for MAA Centennial Park Apartments told 11Alive they're frustrated too that it's taken so long to fix the gate as the vendor struggled to get the parts. They are now working to replace the gate completely. According to the apartment's spokesperson, it'll take about six weeks.
For El, the fix can't come soon enough.
"One time I get it, two times, three times, four times. It’s a little crazy to where I had a standoff with this dude. Either one of us could’ve gotten shot," El said.
In addition to the gate, we were told some of the cameras on the property – including the camera right above the attempted burglary site are not working. MAA Centennial Park officials said those cameras are new and they are in the process of connecting them.