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DeKalb solicitor-general to honor crime victims

DeKalb solicitor-general to honor crime victims

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- DeKalb County Solicitor-General Sherry Boston will honor and remember local crime victims during Crime Victims' Rights Week.

Boston will hold a public event on Tuesday, Apr. 21 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. at the Gazebo on the Square in Decatur. Two crime victims -- Charmagne Helton and Nichole Villafane -- will also be in attendance and will share their stories of survival.

For seven weeks, Helton and her two young children lived in a shelter after escaping their abusive husband and father.

"Being a victim of violence is a horrible thing, but it isn't the end of the story," Helton said. "With the right support, victims can become victors."

Villafane's 21-year-old son, Xavier "X" Arnold, was fatally shot during an attempted robbery. X, who attended the Savannah College of Art and Design, was taking photographs of graffiti on Kirkwood warehouses when he was killed. The suspect was only 14 years old.

Ex-DeKalb official pleads guilty to fraud

Ex-DeKalb official pleads guilty to fraud

ATLANTA -- A former janitorial services manager has pleaded guilty in federal court to accepting bribes in exchange for government contracts.

Patrick Jackson, 56, of Loganville was indicted last September. He was investigated by both the FBI and GBI.

Jackson worked simultaneously for two government entities -- DeKalb County and Atlanta's Georgia World Congress Center -- between 2006 and 2012. Before then, he worked for a company referred to in the indictment as Company A.

According to information presented in court, Jackson used his position and influence to secure government contracts for Company A with both DeKalb County and the GWCC. He also lived in a luxury Atlanta apartment paid for and furnished by Company A. Jackson did not tell his employers about each other or about his ties to Company A.

Man imprisoned for $100M surety bond fraud

Man imprisoned for $100M surety bond fraud

ATLANTA -- An Orange Park, Fla., man was sentenced to time in federal prison for operating a multimillion dollar surety bond fraud scheme.

DeKalb County and the city of McDonough received some of Eric Campbell's false bonds for construction projects.

"Mr. Campbell orchestrated a scheme whereby he defrauded numerous individuals, businesses, and state and local government of money based on false representations and promises," Veronica Hyman-Pillot, Special Agent in Charge with IRS Criminal Investigation, said in a release.

From August 2012 to July 2013, Campbell used a number of corporations to sell the bonds. He convinced contractors and government agencies to work with him by saying he had the authority to execute or issue surety bonds on behalf of affiliates of insurance company Chubb. Prosecutors said Campbell embossed the fake bonds with counterfeit seals and forged Chubb officials' signatures on them.

18-year-old arrested for shooting and killing girlfriend

18-year-old arrested for shooting and killing girlfriend

TUCKER, Ga. -- Gwinnett County Police arrested an 18-year-old man after they said he shot his girlfriend, then called 911 for help.

Gwinnett County police went to a home on Arlington Drive in Tucker Saturday night on a call of shots fired. When they arrived, they found 18-year-old Jessica Moreno with a gunshot wound. Her boyfriend, Omar Ezzikouri, called 911 to report the shooting and waiting at the scene until police arrived.

She was transported to an area hospital where she died from her injuries.

After serving a search warrant, processing evidence, and questioning Ezzikouri, police determined he shot Moreno while the two were participating in the distribution of Xanax. He was arrested and charged with Conspiracy to Distribute a Schedule IV Controlled Substance and Felony Murder.

Thieves steal gumball machine from bakery

Thieves steal gumball machine from bakery

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -- Thieves stole an unusual item from a Gwinnett County bakery Wednesday morning.

The burglary happened at La Promesa Bakery in the Norcross Center shopping center on South Norcross Tucker Road. Police said the suspects smashed a glass door to gain access to the building.

The bakery owner told police the suspects stole the business's gumball machine. No other items were immediately reported missing.

The incident is under investigation.

Former armored car service employee charged with theft

Former armored car service employee charged with theft

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -- Investigators believe a theft suspect dressed as an employee of an armored car company in order to steal a deposit.

The suspect is accused of taking more than $63,000. Gwinnett County Police said he dressed in a Dunbar uniform and claimed a deposit from Dineros Envios on South Norcross Tucker Road on Feb. 23.

Dunbar employees reviewed security footage from the business and identified the suspect as 35-year-old Marcus Trombetta, a former employee who left the company in 2008. Employees also recognized the vehicle Trombetta drove to and from the scene -- a black 2001 Mercedes passenger car that he used when employed at Dunbar. A victim identified Trombetta in a photo lineup.

Gwinnett County Police Cpl. Jake Smith said the suspect knew Dunbar's appropriate pick-up schedule, and even signed a logbook for the deposit.

Personal Safety Tips

Personal Safety Tips

By Greg Norred, CEO, Norred & Associates

Over the course of your life, the chances of being the victim of a crime are at least one in three, higher if you live in a large city, and higher still if you’re a woman. The criminal’s objective is to maximize gain and minimize risk, and he’ll usually pick the easiest target with the most to offer. Given these odds, it pays to take precautions by following some basic safety rules: