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CRIMINAL FAIL | Shoplifter tries to escape on powered wheelchair


DUNWOOODY, Ga. -- A shoplifter tried to evade police on a motorized wheelchair outside of Walmart. The not-so-high-speed chase ended because the man didn't notice police officers were already parked right outside the store.

Officer Joe Tomalka has been on the Dunwoody Police force since it was formed in 2009. He's made more than a few shoplifting arrests. This one will stick in his memory as unique. "This is the first one of these I've seen," he chuckled when telling 11Alive's Julie Wolfe about the arrest.

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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.

GDOT to limit roadwork for 2 weekends

GDOT to limit roadwork for 2 weekends

(WXIA) -- Here's some good news for spring breakers and Atlanta Braves fans: road construction will be limited for the next two weekends.

The Georgia Department of Transportation announced Wednesday it will close fewer interstate lanes than usual from midnight on Friday, Apr. 3 to 5 a.m. on Monday, Apr. 6. The construction break is meant to accommodate drivers who are heading into or out of Atlanta for spring break and Easter weekend.

Lane closures will also be limited from 10 p.m. on Friday, Apr. 10 to 5 a.m. on Monday, Apr. 13, for the Braves' opening weekend at Turner Field.

Traffic throughout Georgia is expected to be heavy both weekends, and drivers are asked to be cautious.

"Also, incident management or emergency maintenance-related lane closures could become necessary on any time on any route," GDOT director of construction Jeff Baker said.

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Victim whose car was used in fatal police chase talks

Victim whose car was used in fatal police chase talks

DUNWOODY, Ga -- The victim whose carjacked car was used in a burglary and police chase said he was almost killed by the suspect. Anthony Stokes, 17, of Decatur was killed while driving the stolen car when he slammed the vehicle into a metal pole.

It ended a crime spree that started at Perimeter Mall in Dunwoody Tuesday afternoon. Shortly after 2PM Quintin Malone was walking to his car, a 1996 Honda Accord, which was parked in the lower level of the mall. Malone works at the mall.

What happened next started a chain of events that changed not only Malone's life, but at least three others. Malone said he was confronted by Stokes as he got into his car. "Once I tried to get into the car he came out of nowhere and slammed my head against the car door and threw me down," Malone said.

T.MAC raises money for Christopher Sparkman

T.MAC raises money for Christopher Sparkman

(WXIA) -- All 22 Atlanta-area T.MAC restaurants will raise money for Christopher Sparkman this week.

Sparkman was working as a security guard at a Kennesaw FedEx facility last April when he was shot in the abdomen. Since the shooting, Sparkman has undergone more than 30 surgeries. His wife Jamie Lynn quit her job to help take care of him.

Read more about Chris Sparkman's recovery

The Sparkman family faces enormous medical bills; Jamie Lynn has spoken publicly about the need for financial assistance.

T.MAC customers who want to help Sparkman pay for his treatment can do so on Thursday, Apr. 2. Diners can drop their receipts in designated collection boxes; 10 percent of their bills will be donated to the Sparkman family.

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.