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Car thieves target Walmart parking lot

Car thieves target Walmart parking lot

FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. -- Fayetteville Police are looking for two men accused of stealing at least two cars from a Walmart parking lot.

One of the men was captured on surveillance video at the Walmart at Fayette Pavilion last Thursday, Jan. 12. Police said he and at least one accomplice drove to the store in a possibly green Ford Explorer. The unidentified man went inside the store, came back out and stole a 1992 GMC Sierra.

A similar theft occurred the next day, Friday, Jan. 13. Two men arrived at Walmart in a dark-colored Chevrolet Tahoe, and one of them jumped out of the car and stole a 1989 Chevrolet Caprice.

Both incidents occurred between 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Anyone with information in these thefts is asked to call Fayetteville Police at 770-719-4224.

Man shot in face, brother arrested

Man shot in face, brother arrested

CANTON, Ga. -- Cherokee County Sheriff's deputies have arrested a Canton man after the man's brother was shot in the face.

The incident happened Wednesday night at a house in the Forest Creek subdivision off Cumming Highway. Responding officers found the homeowner, 42-year-old Jeff Coker, with a gunshot wound to the face. His wife and children were home during the shooting, but were not in the same room, according to Cherokee County Sheriff's Office spokesman Howard Baker.

Coker was flown by helicopter to Atlanta Medical Center, where he was still in critical condition Thursday morning.

The victim's brother, 37-year-old Christopher Coker, was with him when police arrived. Baker said investigators could not determine if Christopher Coker shot his brother or if the shooting was accidental; they believe alcohol played a role in the incident.

Police searching for ATM vandal

Police searching for ATM vandal

FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. -- Police in Fayetteville are looking for the person who attempted to pry open an ATM the day after Christmas.

The incident occurred just before 12:30 a.m. Monday when the unidentified suspect used some type of instrument, possibly a screwdriver, to try to enter the ATM at the Heritage Bank on North Jeff Davis Drive.

Although the suspect could not reach the ATM safe, he or she still did a considerable amount of damage to the machine.

Surveillance cameras captured images of a small man or woman wearing a hooded sweatshirt at the crime scene. Anyone with information in this case is asked to call Det. Scott Israel at 770-719-4223.

Gas station owner charged with identity theft

Gas station owner charged with identity theft

FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. -- A 34-year-old gas station owner was sentenced to federal prison last week on accusations of identity theft and weapons possession.

Sohel Lilywana pleaded guilty in June to lying to U.S. citizenship officials and being an alien in possession of a firearm.

The Fayetteville man co-owned a Citgo gas station on Jonesboro Road with his brother, where they trafficked in weapons and drugs, according to information presented in court. The brother, Firoz Lilywala, has also been imprisoned on similar charges.

Sohel Lilywala reportedly admitted to paying several hundred dollars for someone to create a forged Georgia driver's license with another person's identity for him. According to U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates, Lilywana wanted a name that would make him seem like a "real American."

Lilywana will spend six years and nine months in prison, and three years on supervised release.

Reward Increases in Animal Cruelty Case

Norred & Associates, an Atlanta-based security firm, will contribute $5,000 to a reward fund for information leading to the arrest of the individual(s) who shot a mixed breed pit bull in the head with an arrow with a metal tip. The dog was found wandering the streets in Southwest Atlanta Tuesday evening, Sept. 13. The dog, aptly named "Arrow," is expected to recover from its injuries.

To anonymously submit information related to the dog's injury, call the Help Stop Dog Fighting hotline at 877.215.2250 or submit information at www.helpstopdogfighting.com.

"We need to apprehend this person before another animal or person is injured," said CEO Greg Norred, of Norred & Associates.

The tip line was established as part of the company's overall pro-bono campaign to stop dog fighting.

Man indicted for defrauding universities

Man indicted for defrauding universities

FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. -- A Fayetteville man has been indicted for an alleged scheme to defraud colleges and universities planning overseas trips for their sports teams.

Dale Brannan, 65, owned a company called Transport Athletes that swindled several schools out of a total of $400,000.

"This defendant is charged with taking advantage of collegiate student-athletes, their parents and fans, and the universities they attend, all of which had paid and prepared for overseas trips, and allegedly cheated them of not only their money, but also the opportunity to compete abroad," said U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates.

According to information presented in court, Brannan took money from the universities to arrange airfare and hotel reservations in Brazil, China, Finland and Italy.

2 arrested for air conditioning theft

2 arrested for air conditioning theft

FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. -- Police in Fayetteville have arrested two men for stealing air conditioning units and parts.

At about 11:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug, 19, officers spotted a car dropping someone off near the Magnolia Business Center on Braxton Court.

The passenger went behind a business. Police followed the man, who ran when he saw them approaching. He was eventually caught and identified as 30-year-old Ronald Hood of East Point.

When the car returned to pick Hood up, police arrested the driver, 48-year-old Vernon Nelson of Atlanta.

Both men admitted to stealing numerous air conditioning units, according to Fayetteville police.

Hood and Nelson were charged with theft by taking. More charges are pending.