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Fulton County Fire Rescue promotes vehicle arson prevention during Arson Awareness Week

Fulton County Fire Rescue promotes vehicle arson prevention during Arson Awareness Week

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- Each year during the first full week in May, the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) work to raise awareness of arson and provide individuals with strategies to combat it in their community. This year, Arson Awareness Week is May 4-10 and focuses on vehicle arson.

“Vehicle arson is a very serious matter,” said Chief Larry Few, Director of the Fulton County Fire Rescue Department. “The motivations behind the burning of vehicles are similar to those of other types of arson crimes. Fulton residents should learn ways they can prevent vehicle arson from happening to them.”

Motivations behind vehicle arson include, revenge, concealing another crime, excitement, insurance fraud/arson for profit and vandalism.

Tips to prevent vehicle arson

Man convicted of killing Black Gay Pride attendee

Man convicted of killing Black Gay Pride attendee

ATLANTA -- A Decatur man will spend the rest of his life in prison after being convicted of killing two people in 2010.

Derrick Burden, 24, was sentenced Friday to two life sentences without the possibility of parole.

He was found guilty of shooting 21-year-old Samuel Blizzard, Jr. and 26-year-old Calvin Streater to death inside a southeast Atlanta townhouse on Sept. 5, 2010.

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Police said the townhouse belonged to Blizzard's cousin. Blizzard's body was found slumped over the living room sofa; police said Burden forced the victim to kneel before shooting him in the back of the head. He also stole Blizzard's laptop.

Consultant pleads guilty in APS kickback scheme

Consultant pleads guilty in APS kickback scheme

ATLANTA -- A Kennesaw man has pleaded guilty to being part of a kickback scheme involving Atlanta Public Schools.

Mahendra Patel admitted in federal court that he conspired with APS chief information officer Jerome Oberlton to benefit from a certain firm receiving a $780,000 computer project from the school district.

"Patel subverted the fairness of the contracting process for his own benefit and ultimately undermined the trust taxpayers place in APS to provide high-quality educational services," U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said in a statement.

Oberlton pleaded not guilty in federal court in June. His trial date has not yet been set.

Armed robbery spree ends with teen's arrest

Armed robbery spree ends with teen's arrest

ATLANTA -- Atlanta Police have arrested a 15 year old accused of at least three armed robbery attempts in southeast Atlanta Monday evening.

The crime spree began at around 10 p.m., when two people robbed someone at gunpoint at the intersection of Woodland and Eden avenues, according to Atlanta Police Officer Kim Jones.

About 15 minutes later, a second armed robbery took place on nearly Memorial Drive.

The two suspects, who were riding a motorized scooter, attempted a third robbery on Kent Street when they were spotted by police, Jones said.

The suspects began a chase but quickly crashed the scooter, which was stolen, according to Jones. They ran, but cops managed to catch one of them. His name was not released because of his age.

Police found three cell phones and a revolver on the teen, Jones said. A second gun was found at the crash site.

No one was hurt in any of the robberies.

1 shot during home invasion

1 shot during home invasion

ATLANTA -- One person was shot during a home invasion in southeast Atlanta Tuesday morning.

The shooting happened at around 12:30 a.m. at a house on Farrington Place.

No details about the home invasion were immediately available. The victim's condition is not known.

Man charged with shooting girlfriend in head

Man charged with shooting girlfriend in head

ATLANTA -- An Atlanta man was arrested Tuesday for shooting his girlfriend in the head.

Jason Thompson was charged with aggravated assault and firearm possession, and is being held without bond in the Fulton County Jail. He will have his first court appearance Wednesday at 11 a.m.

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The shooting happened at around 3:40 p.m. Tuesday on Bryan Street SE in southeast Atlanta. Atlanta Police said Thompson shot the victim, whose name was not released, in the head.

The victim is in stable condition at Grady Memorial Hospital.

Thompson was arrested at the scene. There was no immediate word on why he shot his girlfriend.

Ex-APS official faces kickback charges

Ex-APS official faces kickback charges

ATLANTA (AP) - A former chief information officer for Atlanta's school system accused of accepting bribes in exchange for his influence in awarding a technology contract has pleaded not guilty.

Jerome Oberlton entered his plea in federal court in Atlanta Tuesday. A federal grand jury handed down a seven-count indictment last week naming Oberlton and another man, Mahendra Patel, in the bribery scheme. Patel also pleaded not guilty.

The indictment says the two accepted $60,000 in kickbacks from an information technology company that won a contract worth more than $700,000 from the school district.

Oberlton served as chief information officer for Atlanta schools from 2004 to 2007. Oberlton joined the Dallas school district in January and was working as chief of staff. He resigned last week after informing the superintendent of the investigation.