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Clever shoplifters use unique tools

Clever shoplifters use unique tools

ACWORTH, Ga -- Police believe they may have stopped a string of thefts when they arrested some pretty clever shoplifters. Acworth Police said they had all the tools, including one they have never seen before.

It all came about because of a very observant retired Cobb County Police officer. He noticed a man and woman inside the Best Buy on Cobb Parkway in Acworth who looked suspicious.

Captain Mark Cheatham said the retired police officer followed the couple into the parking lot where they got into a van with a driver. "He followed them outside and then followed them in their car and called police," Capt. Cheatham said.

3 charged with shoplifting from Best Buy

3 charged with shoplifting from Best Buy

ACWORTH, Ga. -- Three people were arrested last Thursday for shoplifting from an Acworth Best Buy.

The incident began when a retired police officer noticed a man and woman acting suspicious inside the store in the 3300 block of Cobb Parkway.

Investigators said the former police officer watched the man and woman climb into a tagless Dodge van driven by a second man. The officer followed the van down Cobb Parkway and noticed it suddenly began sporting an Illinois license plate.

The officer called Cobb County Police, who caught up with the van at a gas station. Several items were recovered from inside the vehicle, including electronic merchandise and about $7,000 in cash.

Acworth Police Capt. Mark Cheatham said police found a mechanism attached to the van's console; when activated, it would hide the vehicle's license plate. Investigators also discovered a small device used to block the frequency of alarm systems at retail store exits.

GDOT: Avoid I-285 this weekend

GDOT: Avoid I-285 this weekend

(WXIA) -- The Georgia Department of Transportation has a strong word of warning for Atlanta-area drivers this weekend: avoid the Perimeter.

Crews will work on several I-285 projects, causing lane closures and heavy delays. Motorists are encouraged to take alternate routes where possible.

Some of the scheduled Perimeter work includes:

* 2 northbound right lanes will be closed between South Atlanta and Paces Ferry roads from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for concrete slab replacement and interchange construction

* 2 southbound outside lanes will be closed between Washington Road and Old National Highway from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 p.m. Saturday for bridge joint repairs

* 3 southbound left lanes near Flat Shoals Road will be closed Saturday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. for paving

Work will continue in other parts of metro Atlanta as well.

Cobb Chamber mentoring program accepting applications

Cobb Chamber mentoring program accepting applications

COBB COUNTY, Ga. -- The Cobb County Chamber of Commerce is now accepting applications for its Next Generation Mentoring Program.

The program is designed to build relationships between current and future business leaders in the county. Mentors will provide professionals in their 20's and 30's with the skills they need to grow their careers and achieve their business goals.

Applications must be submitted no later than Tuesday, Sept. 2.

More information, including an application link and a list of participating mentors, can be found at cobbchamber.org.

Cobb 'Santa Claus' gets 15 years probation for theft

Cobb 'Santa Claus' gets 15 years probation for theft

ACWORTH, Ga. -- An Acworth man who played Santa Claus during a Shop with a Cop event will now spend 15 years on probation from stealing money from his company.

Ronald Joseph Papaleoni, 70, pleaded guilty Wednesday to five counts of theft. He admitted to taking thousands of dollars from the Lake Allatoona Preservation Authority (LAPA). Papaleoni's company, Premier Management, handled the authority's funds.

Prosecutors said that between 2007 and 2009, Papaleoni wrote multiple checks to himself from LAPA while working as its general manager. Cobb County Assistant District Attorney Jason Marbutt said he believes Papaleoni took $150,000, but the defense argued the total amount was much less.

Clark Creek ES principal presents at education conference

Clark Creek ES principal presents at education conference

ACWORTH, Ga. -- The principal of Acworth's Clark Creek Elementary School STEM Academy was invited to present at this year's Georgia Association of Educational Leaders Conference.

Dr. Jennifer Scrivner talked about the importance of incorporating STEM-based lessons in the classroom. Her presentation focused on how such courses create student engagement and build a culture of inquiry-based learning.

Learn more about Clark Creek and how it uses STEM lessons at cherokee.k12.ga.

Major roadwork resumes this weekend

Major roadwork resumes this weekend

(WXIA) -- Last weekend, drivers got a bit of a reprieve when several major road projects were postponed. But all that work will resume this weekend.

Some of the problem areas include Interstate 20 in Rockdale and Newton counties, and I-285 in Cobb County.

As always, all roadwork is weather permitting. Rain could halt or postpone projects.

Weekend drivers should use caution and look for crews in these areas:

Bartow County
* One right southbound lane of I-75 will be closed four miles before Cass White Road from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for concrete slab removal and bridge raising.
* One left northbound lane of I-75 will be closed four miles after Cass White Road from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for concrete slab removal and bridge raising.