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Phone scam reported in Gwinnett County

Phone scam reported in Gwinnett County

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -- At least three Gwinnett County women have fallen victim to a recent phone scam, and now police are hoping to pass along information that could help prevent future cases.

Four people have come forward, saying they received calls from someone claiming to be Lt. Pierson with the Gwinnett County Sheriff's Office Warrants Division.

The suspect told the victims they had outstanding warrants for failure to appear for a jury summons. They were asked to use pre-paid debit cards to pay the associated fines and avoid arrest. All four victims told police the caller sounded professional and was very convincing.

Three victims purchased Green Dot MoneyPak cards over the phone in the amounts of $525, $810 and $962. The fourth victim did not make a purchase.

Suspects steal luxury cars from Gwinnett dealership

Suspects steal luxury cars from Gwinnett dealership

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -- Police are looking for two people suspected of stealing expensive cars from United BMW Gwinnett.

The first incident happened May 21, when a white woman in her early 30's used a fake identity to buy a $76,000 Audi S7.

Gwinnett County Police Cpl. Jake Smith said United BMW did not discover the deception until after the woman left the dealership in the car. Atlanta Police eventually recovered the Audi, but the suspect is at large.

In the second incident, which happened May 27, a black man in his late 30's or early 40's bought a $98,000 BMW 650i under a fake name. The car was later found in Chicago.

A United BMW employee took a picture of the male suspect after the man fraudulently purchased the car. Smith said in the first case, the female suspect used a photo of herself on the fake ID, but was much heavier in person.

Gwinnett hotel shooting victim dies, suspect ID'd

Gwinnett hotel shooting victim dies, suspect ID'd

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -- The man who was shot during a party at a Duluth hotel last week has died, and police believe they have identified his killer.

The shooting happened June 11 at around 2 a.m. at the Quality Inn at Pleasant Hill Road and Venture Drive, just off Interstate 85.

Gwinnett County Police Cpl. Jake Smith said 23-year-old Paris Brown was struck in the chest by a bullet after shots rang out during the party. Friends drove Brown to a nearby hospital, where he later passed away.

Police collected a number of shell casings in the hotel's parking lot and roped off a whole section of cars. Investigators executed a search warrant on the hotel room where the party occurred; they said the room was trashed. They also said party guests did not cooperate with the investigation.

Woman charged in fatal I-85 wreck

Woman charged in fatal I-85 wreck

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -- A woman has been arrested after a fatal accident that tied up traffic on Interstate 85 for hours Thursday morning.

Maria Catalina Zelaya Torres, 44, of Norcross has been charged with second-degree vehicular homicide, failure to maintain lane and driving without a license. She is in the Gwinnett County Jail on an immigration hold.

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The wreck happened shortly after 7 a.m. on northbound I-85 at Steve Reynolds Boulevard in unincorporated Duluth.

Jewelry store owner scares off would-be robbers

Jewelry store owner scares off would-be robbers

DULUTH, Ga. -- Gwinnett Police are searching for two men who tried to rob a Duluth jewelry store last Thursday.

Surveillance video shows the suspects entering Armen and Joseph Jewelers, smash the cases and try to steal the jewelry. The store's owner stopped the would-be thieves dead in their tracks.

Police say it takes a bold person to try to rob a jewelry store - that's because jewelry stores usually have security guards, surveillance cameras, and, as in this case, the staff is usually prepared.

Surveillance video shows the suspects trying to smash the jewelry display case with a hammer, but then the two drop the hammer and run - that's because the store's owner pulls out a gun. The two take-off running out the store, straight into the view of another surveillance camera, leaving clear images of their faces.

3 MS-13 members sentenced to life in prison

3 MS-13 members sentenced to life in prison

ATLANTA -- Three members of the MS-13 gang have been sentenced to life in prison for committing murders in two counties.

Ernesto Escobar, 30, of Norcross was sentenced Thursday in federal court. He goes by the street names "Flaco" and "Pink Panther."

Two co-defendants -- 25-year-old Miguel "Joker" Alvarado-Linares of Norcross and 30-year-old Dimas "Toro" Alfaro-Granados of Duluth -- were sentenced in October.

U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said the three men were charged with murder, attempted murder and armed robbery for several incidents in DeKalb and Gwinnett counties.

Evidence presented in court showed Alvarado-Linares and Alfaro-Granados killed a fellow MS-13 member in October 2006 because they believed the victim was cooperating with police.

Car break-in suspects arrested in Ala.

Car break-in suspects arrested in Ala.

PELHAM, Ala. -- Investigators believe two men arrested in Alabama last month are responsible for multiple car break-ins in metro Atlanta.

Oscar Moses Badger, 37, and Bobby Hanna, 24, were arrested Nov. 14 in Pelham, Ala. Police said they were caught trying to break into a car in a daycare center parking lot. They led Alabama authorities on a brief chase, but were soon captured.

Cherokee County (Ga.) Sheriff's Lt. Jay Baker said investigators believe Badger and Hanna are behind at least six car break-ins at local parks and daycare centers in early November.

They may also be responsible for thefts in Gwinnett County and Peachtree City, Baker said.

Badger and Hanna are both from south Florida. At their time of their Alabama arrest, they were out of jail on bond for similar crimes in Pennsylvania and Texas. Because of this, they are being held on $2 million bond.