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Man steals enough property to fill a moving van

Man steals enough property to fill a moving van

LILBURN, Ga. -- Lilburn police have charged a man with stealing a range of items -- everything from electronics to crucifixes -- from units at a storage facility.

Matthew Dean Jones, 50, faces three counts of burglary and one count of firearm possession by a convicted felon. More charges are pending.

Jones is one of two suspects in a rash of burglaries at Extra Space Storage in the 4400 block of Lawrenceville Highway. The on-site property manager called police after noticing that Jones and an associate frequently visited the facility and spent a considerable amount of time there.

Surveillance cameras on the property captured images of Jones entering the facility with an empty flatbed trailer, then leaving with the trailer loaded with items. The video also showed Jones removing the locks on storage units, stealing the contents and then swapping the old locks for new ones.

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:

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.

Vacant house fire may be arson

Vacant house fire may be arson

LILBURN, Ga. -- Firefighters believe a fire at an empty Gwinnett County house was intentionally set.

The fire broke out Wednesday afternoon at a split-level house in the 4800 block of Kellys Mill Drive in Lilburn.

Gwinnett County Fire Capt. Tommy Rutledge said responding crews found smoke pouring from the house and flames on the first floor. Several items inside the home were damaged.

Neighbors told fire officials no one had lived in the house for a while. Rutledge said investigators found evidence the fire was intentionally set; there were no utilities in the house that could've sparked a blaze.

Arson is a felony in Georgia. Anyone with information in this case is asked to call Georgia Arson Control at 1-800-282-5804. Tipsters are eligible for a reward of up to $10,000.

Woman charged with DUI after almost hitting cop

Woman charged with DUI after almost hitting cop

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -- A Gwinnett County mother has been charged with DUI and child endangerment after she nearly drove into a police cruiser while her two children were in her car.

Rashanda Horsley, 29, of Lilburn almost caused an accident with a Gwinnett County police car on River Drive near Royal Estates at around 1 a.m. Saturday.

According to the police report, the officer had to swerve in order to avoid colliding with Horsley's Hyundai Elantra. The officer pulled Horsley's car over on nearby Lester Road and noticed she smelled of alcohol, and had watery bloodshot eyes. The officer also spotted two small children, one of whom was not properly restrained, in the backseat.

Mercer law grad murder trial to start in April

Mercer law grad murder trial to start in April

MACON, Ga. -- Bibb Superior Court Judge Howard Simms says he's scheduled Stephen McDaniel's murder trial for April 28.

McDaniel is accused of killing his Mercer Law classmate and neighbor Lauren Giddings in June 2011.

His lawyers filed a change of venue request last month, and prosecutors agreed to it. However, Simms says he has not made a decision on moving the trial to a courthouse outside of Bibb. Another option would be to bring in jurors from another county in Georgia.

6 vehicles involved in deadly rush hour wreck

6 vehicles involved in deadly rush hour wreck

NORCROSS, Ga. -- One driver was killed and and two others were hurt in a six-vehicle accident at Jimmy Carter Boulevard and Singleton Road Thursday morning.

Gwinnett County police said it appears 22-year-old Jacob Nicholson of Gainesville was driving his blue Honda Odyssey too fast and in the wrong lane when he crashed into several cars stopped at the light.

Witnesses told 11Alive's Jennifer Leslie that the minivan went flying into the air and landed on a tan Honda Accord, killing its driver, 59-year-old Cynthia Thornton of Norcross.

"I think the little old lady, she didn't see it coming," said witness Mike Alvarado. "It was pretty bad."

Nicholson was ejected from his minivan. He is still in critical condition at Gwinnett Medical Center Friday morning.