Archive for September, 2012

Man tries to kidnap 3-year-old at Gwinnett thrift store

It has to be one of the scariest moments ever for parents of young children. You’re out in a public and your little one is right there beside you.

Then in a second, they’re gone.

That’s exactly what happened to a Gwinnett County family shopping in a thrift store recently, Erika Byfield with Channel 2 Action News reported Tuesday. Wearing his super hero cape, 3-year-old Erik Evans was looking at toys at Park Avenue Thrift off Lawrenceville Highway.

His father, Josh, was nearby, but wasn’t facing the child, he said.

“I had my back turned and then a customer came over to me and asked me if it was my son and I said, ‘yes.’ She said that I needed to go get my child,” Josh Evans told Byfield.

Turns out that dad had turned his back just long enough to allow a man in a bright green shirt to offer the boy cash and pick him up, and it was captured on the store’s surveillance camera. The Good Samaritan likely kept Erik from being kidnapped because she charged after the …

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Suspect sought in Cobb stabbing death

When he allegedly stabbed and killed a 29-year-old Cobb County man, Gevonte Mapp, 20, wasn’t very far from home, address records show.

Gevonte Mapp, 20, is accused of stabbing a Cobb County man to death.

Gevonte Mapp, 20, is accused of stabbing a Cobb County man to death.

Now, Atlanta police don’t know where to find Mapp. But when he’s found, he’ll face a homicide charge for the June 5 killing. A reward of up to $2,000 is being offered for the arrest and conviction of Mapp, accused of stabbing Kelvin Moss on Cairo Street in northwest Atlanta, police and Crime Stoppers said Tuesday.

Address records show Mapp has lived for several years at a Cairo Street address.

After he was stabbed, Moss, a Columbus, Ga., native, was able to get into his car and drive a short distance before he died, according to police.

Mapp, who is 5-feet-6 inches tall and weighs about 155 pounds, has medium brown skin and is believed to be wearing his hair in twists, police said.

Anyone with information in the case is asked to contact the Crime Stoppers Atlanta tip line at …

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A special ‘thank you’ to those who keep us safe

Not just anyone is cut out to work in public safety. It’s a thankless profession chosen by those with a desire to serve.

Let’s face it. No one becomes a police officer or firefighter for the great pay or schedule. Many of our local officers work second jobs in order to provide for their families.

Any given day on the job will bring its own set of challenges. It’s not just about pouring water on fires and writing speeding tickets. And it doesn’t end when the sun goes down or the weekend arrives.

As a local county sheriff told me recently, at the end of the day, his deputies have a family waiting at home, too. Keeping communities safe can mean risking their own lives for officers and firefighters.

This week’s anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks should serve as a reminder of how fortunate we are in metro Atlanta to have so many top-notch officers and firefighters a quick phone call away when they’re needed. Hopefully, you won’t have to call 911 very often in your lifetime. …

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STRUNG UP! Alleged guitar thief arrested

John Hartin was being held Friday afternoon on $22,400 bond.

John Hartin was being held Friday afternoon at the Cherokee County jail on $22,400 bond.

Thanks to a neighbor’s tip, the man accused of stealing $100,000 worth of antique guitars is now behind bars.

And it turns out stealing guitars was the swan song for 38-year-old John Hartin of Woodstock. Hartin burglarized a home in the same neighborhood, stealing household items, before he broke into the home of a guitar collector, according to Lt. Jay Baker with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office.

Hartin broke into the two homes on Sept. 1 and two families reported the crimes. On Wednesday, the pricey guitars were found about 20 miles away in Marietta, where they had been abandoned for reasons unknown.

Thanks to the serial numbers on the guitars, officers were able to return them to their owner. And thanks to a neighbor who happened to jot down the tag number of a suspicious vehicle, investigators tracked down Hartin and evidence that he had committed the burglaries, Baker …

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Man arrested for alleged armed robbery at Moe’s

Welcome to . . . an armed robbery.

The friendly greeting at a DeKalb County Moe’s Southwest Grill restaurant was followed by a man with a gun demanding cash Thursday afternoon, according to police.

A man, whose name was not released, walked into the restaurant on Hugh Howell Road between 1 and 1:30, but apparently had no interest in a Home Wrecker burrito. After receiving an undisclosed amount of cash, he walked out of the restaurant, police said.

No shots were fired and no one was injured. It was not known if the gunman got away with free chips and salsa.

Officers were already in the area and spotted a man matching the suspect’s description walking down the street, Mekka Parish, spokeswoman for DeKalb police, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The suspect was arrested, she said.

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$100K worth of stolen guitars found, returned to owner

The return of $100,000 worth of guitars was probably music to the ears for one Cherokee County man. But for investigators in two counties, the song won’t end until those responsible for the theft are found.

After a long weekend away, family members returned home Monday to find their home had been burglarized, according to a police report obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. From the looks of the home, the thieves tried to make off with many things, police said.

But the main thing missing? A collection of antique guitars worth as much as some homes.

Two days later and almost 20 miles south, Marietta police officers stumbled upon a pile of guitar cases and amplifiers and then the instruments about 100 yards off Merritt Road, near a wooded area, according to Officer David Baldwin. Officers checked, but there were no reports of missing guitars nearby, Baldwin said.

And although no one’s name was written on any cases, the guitars all carried ID of their own: a serial …

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Cops: Partying mom told girl, 5, to rest in stranger’s truck

Keyonna Grant continued socializing while her 5-year-old daughter fell asleep in a stranger's truck, according to police.

Keyonna Grant continued socializing while her 5-year-old daughter fell asleep in a stranger's truck, according to police.

While she was drinking alcohol and socializing in an apartment complex, a Cobb County mother allegedly let her 5-year-old daughter stay outside past midnight. When the girl was tired, her mom told her to get into a stranger’s vehicle and lay down.

An hour later, Keyonna Zanetta Grant couldn’t find her daughter. And the truck the girl had gotten into was gone.

Grant then waited another hour before calling police, according to an arrest warrant obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Cobb County police searched through the early-morning hours Friday to find the child.

Seven hours later, the truck returned to the complex, police said. The girl was still asleep and unharmed when she was found around 7:30 a.m. Saturday by the truck’s owner, whose name was not released.

Grant, of Mableton, was arrested and charged with contributing to the delinquency of a …

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Suspects trash 10 ’smoking’ meth labs

These items consistent with operating a meth lab were found in two Gilmer County homes.

These items consistent with operating a meth lab were found in two Gilmer County homes.

Two suspects accused of operating a methamphetamine lab in north Georgia probably thought they were clever when they dumped three bags of supplies in the trash bin behind a Dollar General.

Too bad drug agents were watching.

The bags were still smoking when agents moved in to gather more evidence against the two, who remained on the loose Tuesday, according to the Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office. A third person believed to be part of the operation was taken into custody last week at a home near Ellijay, where items used to create meth were discarded over a half acre of woods.

From there, investigators searched another home, where they found additional items and watched as the two other suspects tried to get rid of trash bags filled with bottles and chemicals.

Fires had been set inside and outside of both homes, and a total off 11 “one pot” labs were located, along with nine gas generators, …

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Gas station burglar comes up empty


He entered a gas station after hours, hoping to pump the register for cash. But this burglar left a Snellville Shell station empty-handed.

A security camera caught the man trying to open the register about 12:30 a.m. Monday, according to police. He didn’t get into the register, but it wouldn’t have mattered anyway. It was empty.

Snellville police want to find this would-be thief and need the public’s help to identify him. He had a large, stud earring in the upper part of his left ear and was wearing a large cross necklace when he entered the store on U.S. 78, according to police.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Snellville police at 770-985-3555 or Detective Laura Steele at 770-985-7213.

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