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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.

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:

Man shot outside DeKalb house

Man shot outside DeKalb house

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- A man was shot twice while smoking outside a DeKalb County house Wednesday morning.

It happened at around 2 a.m. in the 3500 block of Pleasant Brook Village Lane.

DeKalb County Police said the victim stepped outside for a cigarette. The victim's friend, who was still in the house, heard gunshots and ran outside, where he found the injured victim.

Police said the victim was shot once each in the shoulder and head. He was alert and conscious when he was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital.

The shooter got away in a gray Pontiac. A similar car was later found abandoned on the Interstate 285 exit ramp to Lavista Road; police are investigating to determine if it was the same Pontiac seen leaving the crime scene.

Investigators have not yet named a suspect or given a motive for the shooting.

Police: Crime down this summer in DeKalb

Police: Crime down this summer in DeKalb

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- The DeKalb County Police Department's Summer Crime Initiative appears to be paying off.

Monday morning, the department announced it has seen reductions in three crime categories. Residential burglaries are down 17 percent, pedestrian robberies are down 10 percent and entering auto cases are down nine percent this summer.

New strategies used to prevent and reduce crime in DeKalb County include 24-hour specialized operations, bike patrols and curfew enforcement.

"The reduction in crime statistics proves that the investments we are making in police and fire personnel pay dividends," DeKalb County interim CEO Lee May said in a release.

May said the police department plans to add 160 more sworn officers and 100 patrol cars by the end of 2014.

2 arrested in Dunwoody home burglary

2 arrested in Dunwoody home burglary

DUNWOODY, Ga. -- Dunwoody Police have arrested two people for a home burglary this week.

It happened at around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday in the 2700 block of Fontainebleau Drive.

The homeowner discovered the burglary in progress while checking his home security system, according to police. He called 911 and officers were dispatched to the house, where they found a silver Chevrolet Tahoe parked outside.

When the car's driver, 34-year-old Chantel Dione Fontaine of Stone Mountain, spotted police, she drove away. Investigators chased the car until it crashed into a fence in the 2300 block of Spalding Drive. Fontaine was arrested at the scene.

A second suspect, 23-year-old Christopher Rashad Thomas of Doraville, was discovered inside the house. He tried to run from police, but was captured and taken into custody.