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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.

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 '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.

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.

Acworth man killed in wreck on I-75

Acworth man killed in wreck on I-75

KENNESAW, Ga. -- A 46-year-old Acworth man was killed in a single-car crash on Interstate 75 over the weekend.

The wreck happened at around 4:30 a.m. Sunday just north of Barrett Parkway.

Cobb County Police said Troy B. Endres was driving his white Nissan Titan on I-75 north when the truck collided with a guardrail and pole. It then traveled down an embankment and overturned.

Endres was partially ejected from the truck and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The accident is under investigation.

Back to school surprise: Weekend roadwork canceled

Back to school surprise: Weekend roadwork canceled

(WXIA) -- This weekend will be a holiday for Georgia families in more ways than one.

The Georgia Department of Transportation has suspended construction-related lane closures on all major interstates and highways within five miles of malls and shopping districts.

This will allow parents and students to enjoy the tax-free shopping weekend without the added stress of road delays.

"The sales tax holiday is an opportunity for Georgians to save a little money during these challenging economic times," GDOT Commissioner Keith Golden said. "The department is glad to offer some relief from lane closures as families prepare for school."

11Alive Ways to Save reporter Valerie Hoff has some of the best tax-free weekend deals. Find out how to get the most bang for your buck.

Atlanta-area unemployment jumps in June

Atlanta-area unemployment jumps in June

(WXIA) -- The unemployment rate in metro Atlanta climbed again last month.

June's rate was 7.6 percent, up from 7.2 percent in May, but much lower than last June's 8.6 percent.

Cobb County's unemployment rate was 6.9 percent in June.

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said the increase is due to end-of-summer job loss among non-contract school workers, an influx of graduates and students entering the workforce, and temporary layoffs in manufacturing.

So far, metro Atlanta has gained slightly more than 58,000 jobs in 2014 -- a good sign for those who are looking for work.

Metro Athens had Georgia's lowest June unemployment rate, at 6.3 percent. The highest was 10.4 percent, in the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region.