Georgia : Safety by City
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- Peachtree City
- Peachtree Corners
- Sandy Springs
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- Tybee Island
- Warner Robins
Stonecrest, Georgia is a big suburban region still becoming stable on its legs as the newest city in Georgia.
This is a predominantly African American community with some incredible outdoor attractions and big business opportunities.
For travel purposes, Stonecrest and Lithonia are sometimes interchangeable terms.
Lithonia is the city that existed before Stonecrest was incorporated.
Before incorporation, the area now known as Stonecrest had Lithonia addresses.
Some might still when you are searching.
Lithonia is still there.
It’s a small town of about 2,000 people surrounded on three sides by Stonecrest.
Believe me, that’s the shortest way to sum it up.
The only hotels you’ll find in Stonecrest (or Lithonia) are along I-20, with most of them near Stonecrest Mall.
If it has a Stonecrest, Lithonia, or Stone Mountain in its title, you’re in the right place.
The city was created to build a better business, tourism, and commerce district.
Its first fumble came when the founding mayor of the city pleaded guilty to stealing money from the pandemic-relief funds.
As of this writing, the city is without a mayor, but still moving forward with development plans.
None of those political or city boundary issues will affect the average tourist, but it’s good to know what kind of climate you’re in when you visit here.
Warnings & Dangers in Stonecrest
OVERALL RISK: MEDIUM
Here's another challenge to this city. I honestly cannot tell you the real answer to this, so I'm going with medium risk. Let me explain why. There isn't a Stonecrest Police force. DeKalb County provides data for the entire county, so to judge a city of 50,000 on a county with 750,000 people doesn't mesh. Lithonia police just cover the 2,000 people of that city. What I've done is look at the crime maps from the past 6 months, which aren't a perfect sample of the exact city limits. What I can tell you is that in a two-mile span from the center of the city, there were 420 assaults in 6 months, from November 2021 through April 2022. If I can't tell you 100% that all the data shows a city is a low risk, I'm going to err on the side of caution with a medium risk assessment.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
The MARTA bus line does go to the Stonecrest Mall, so that is a bonus. Other than that, you rely on taxis and rideshares, which are available. There's low risk with all of the options, but having a car here would be helpful.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW
There's a pretty low risk of being pickpocketed here, although, there are great big gathering spaces where you'd be at risk. There were almost as many vehicle break-ins as other thefts. Your best bet is to protect what's in your car more than worry about getting your wallet snagged.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM
You're going to face the risk of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes from spring through late fall. Winters can bring an occasional snowfall that seizes the city for days. People here aren't accustomed to snow and can't drive it, nor are the city street crews filled with snowplows. There's a medium risk because the storms that do happen can be severe, but all forms of wicked weather come with plenty of warning.
MUGGING RISK: MEDIUM
There were 37 robberies in the six months I measure, which is much higher than many nearby cities have in a year. There's a medium risk due to that higher number and the incredibly high violent crime rates.
TERRORISM RISK: LOW
There's low risk with Stonecrest being further outside the perimeter. The city is 22 miles from downtown Atlanta, which would be considered a hard target. There might be concerns here about how the shipping industries would be impacted, so while it's getting closer to that medium risk of Atlanta, there's nothing that directly makes Stonecrest a target.
SCAMS RISK: LOW
The biggest scam in town was made by the mayor in the theft of critical relief funds. However, the Better Business Bureau has some warnings about hotel scams. First, scammers might leave fake food delivery menus at hotels, hoping a hungry traveler will call and make an order with a credit card. Be sure to only use food delivery the front desk recommends. If the front desk ever calls asking for credit card information, go to the front desk instead of offering it over the phone. It's likely a scammer calling you. Finally, when you're using that "free" WiFi, make sure you aren't paying with your personal information. Scammers like to "surf" free WiFi connections looking to get into people's personal information.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
Women should feel relatively safe here, especially when visiting during the day. The sexual assault rates from the past six months are actually lower than the national average. I wouldn't walk around here at night looking for something to do. There are not a lot of evening activities and a lost tourist could end up in trouble.
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
DeKalb County provides the water and takes great pride in distributing water that meets or exceeds all state and federal recommendations.
Safest Places to Visit in Stonecrest
Stonecrest Mall is the central gathering spot of the city.
It’s your traditional American mall with popular brands, a food court, and more retail and dining options in the surrounding area.
You’ll get a mix of locally owned and operated businesses in Stonecrest along with traditional nationally-recognized brands.
As this city is trying to grow its local business climate, it would be great if you chose local food options instead of familiar brands.
Plus, the South has some of the best food on the planet.
SeaQuest is located right near the mall and it’s a unique interactive zoo-like experience.
You can meet a sloth, porcupine, or otter, and get real fish kisses.
There’s a mermaid on top of all that to talk with the kiddies.
The most expensive ticket is just $15.
Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area is a great outdoor adventure for the whole family.
I’m trying to find a better way to explain it than the website, but their phrase of “otherworldly rock” seems to really summarize what it looks like.
The park has several geological anomalies that are worth the price of parking and admission to see.
There are also exciting adventures like an adult tree climb going 60 feet in the air.
You can also go for a kayak ride, fish, or practice archery while you’re here.
Stone Mountain Park is another great spot to see, but it’s about 15 minutes north of Stonecrest.
There is a gondola ride to the top of the mountain, hiking for days, campsites, and even a resort if you want to stay there.
Don’t miss the laser light show at night.
Places to Avoid in Stonecrest
I can tell you from looking at the interactive crime map that the highest number of crimes are along I-20, especially on the south side of the interstate.
There are entire pockets of the community in the southeast that had little to no crime in the six-month span I searched for, but that is also a very remote area.
I wouldn’t tell you to avoid Stonecrest, because it’s a city that really wants to encourage people to visit.
However, if you’re looking for a city that just happens to be close enough to Atlanta but far enough away from the city chaos, there might be better options for you than Stonecrest.
One with more hotels and more amenities and a guaranteed known crime rate.
Also, avoid bringing up (much less joking about) the situation with the mayor, fraud, and resignation.
It was just early 2022 when the mayor resigned and pleaded guilty.
He’s connected to hundreds of thousands of dollars that should have gone to help local businesses and instead he did things like pay off the mortgage on his lake house and funding his own son’s college.
It’s a very sore subject in the city and does not reflect the integrity of anyone else.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Stonecrest
- Careful on the roads here. One of the biggest complaints is the number of potholes, another challenge for a new city once in an unincorporated area. It has to clean up the mess that wasn’t addressed by DeKalb County before. There is an online form on the city’s website to file a complaint about potholes if you see a rather big one.
- When visiting Arabia Mountain, it’s important to watch where you walk. You need to “stay on the gray” and don’t walk into any puddles or sandy spots. These areas have a rare and delicate ecosystem and a footprint could lead to killing important species. Walk only on dry rock areas.
- If you are fishing at any of the local spots, you’ll need a Georgia fishing license. This can be obtained online at the Georgia Department of Natural Resources website. Be sure to get a “non-resident” license.
- There are plans to get a local police department, but that’s part of an extended plan, so no certain date is set for that police force being created. Until then, you can reach the DeKalb County Police East Precinct at (770)482-0300 if you have crime questions beyond what I can answer here.
- The DeKalb County website does have an interactive crime map that is more useful for your travels than it is for me to summarize the entire crime rate. You can add the location of your hotel, and search around that area for any crime you’d like. This will be more relevant to your time traveling anyway.
- Download the CodeRED app to get alerts throughout DeKalb County, including road closures, weather emergencies, or any criminal situations that would impact the public. It’s a free app.
- When you get to your hotel, ask where the safe space is in case of a tornado. They won’t think you are odd for asking that. It’s a common question and good information to know in case a storm rolls through in the middle of the night. You don’t want to be around any windows and want to be at the lowest location possible in the hotel.
- In the six-month span I measured, there were 73 reports of fraud in the area. It’s important when traveling to realize credit cards come with the best fraud protection possible. Be sure to alert your bank to your travel plans and set spending limits that would trigger an alert to you while on vacation. Debit cards don’t offer as much protection.
- You can’t text and drive in Georgia and police are enforcing it across the Atlanta metro area. You can only touch a mobile device if you are using it for GPS. With the way people drive in Atlanta, and the sheer amount of traffic, you shouldn’t be distracted in any way.
- At times it might be hard to know if you are in Stonecrests or not. The city is still working with the country to define the city limits line in accordance with the charter. Some streets are literally split down the middle between county and city.
So... How Safe Is Stonecrest Really?
The unfortunate part is that, right now, nobody really knows.
Even most of the websites you’ll find that offer similar information based on government data can’t report the information because it doesn’t exist.
You’ll find crime statistics for Lithonia which aren’t reflective of Stonecrest as a whole.
The interactive crime map is really your best bet for getting an updated local look at crime.
I can tell you this much. In the past six months there have been at least:
- 420 Assaults
- 144 Vehicle Break-ins
- 195 Vehicle Thefts
- 37 Robberies
- 14 Sex Crimes
I don’t think it’s a city that is unsafe to stay in, but there is just currently a lot of disorganization while trying to get this newly incorporated city onto the map (literally and figuratively).
You can read the city’s comprehensive plan through 2038 on the city website to learn about where the city is going and it might make you feel more comfortable staying there.
How Does Stonecrest Compare?
|La Paz (Bolivia)||52|
|Sao Paulo (Brazil)||45|
|Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)||43|
|Siem Reap (Cambodia)||63|
|Phnom Penh (Cambodia)||61|
There aren't any local Visa requirements. You will only need a Visa when entering the United States.
You can only use the U.S. Dollar here and there's no need to carry cash around. If you do like to have cash on hand, don't carry it in a large wad or pull it out each time you use your wallet.
Winter is going to be different day-to-day, so start with a jacket and jeans and layer from there. There are just a few times a year that a thick winter coat might be needed. Summer is going to be muggy and hot. You can expect to sweat a lot, so linen might not be the best choice if you don't want sweat stains. Bring good walking shoes for all the outdoor mountain parks here.
The Atlanta airport is 26 miles away and plans for at least a half-hour, if not a full hour, to get there. It's the closest choice and one of the largest in the world, so you don't need to look at other options.
Be sure travel insurance covers delays, cancellations, and lost baggage. See if there is any coverage for minor accidents that happen while you travel. Having travel insurance is a great way to be able to relax on your vacation.
Stonecrest Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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Georgia - Safety by City