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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:

Secretary sentenced for stealing from VA

Secretary sentenced for stealing from VA

ATLANTA -- A former secretary for the Department of Veterans Affairs has been sentenced for stealing from the agency.

Zerry Feaster pleaded guilty in June to seven counts of theft of government funds and five counts of making false statements.

A federal judge sentenced Feaster, 46, of Ellenwood to one year and one month in prison followed by three years of supervised release. She must also pay $88,264.47 in restitution.

Feaster worked in Police Services at the Atlanta VA Medical Center in Decatur. Between 2010 and early 2012, she used her government-issued credit card to buy prepaid gift cards, which she used to pay for jewelry and accessories. She also used the cards for gambling.

"Rather than supporting the men and women who have served our country honorably, Ms. Feaster stole from the VA to gamble and buy herself luxury goods at Coach and Tiffany," said U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates.

Woman shot in stomach at DeKalb motel

Woman shot in stomach at DeKalb motel

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- DeKalb County Police believe a woman shot herself in the stomach inside a room at a Flat Shoals Road motel Wednesday morning.

It happened at around 12:30 a.m. at the Gulf American Inns, just north of I-285

The victim suffered a gunshot wound to the abdomen; police said the bullet passed all the way through her body. She told police an unknown man shot her, but an officer on the scene said investigators believe the injury was self-inflicted.

The woman also told police she is a few weeks pregnant. She was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.

The shooting is under investigation.

Police: Crime down this summer in DeKalb

Police: Crime down this summer in DeKalb

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- The DeKalb County Police Department's Summer Crime Initiative appears to be paying off.

Monday morning, the department announced it has seen reductions in three crime categories. Residential burglaries are down 17 percent, pedestrian robberies are down 10 percent and entering auto cases are down nine percent this summer.

New strategies used to prevent and reduce crime in DeKalb County include 24-hour specialized operations, bike patrols and curfew enforcement.

"The reduction in crime statistics proves that the investments we are making in police and fire personnel pay dividends," DeKalb County interim CEO Lee May said in a release.

May said the police department plans to add 160 more sworn officers and 100 patrol cars by the end of 2014.

Man found shot to death inside car in DeKalb

Man found shot to death inside car in DeKalb

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- DeKalb County Police have made an arrest in the death of a man whose body was found inside a car Thursday morning.

Joseph Arnold, 24, has been charged with murder.

Dispatchers said the shooting happened at around 4:15 a.m. in the 3500 block of Misty Valley Road.

DeKalb County Police Capt. Steven Fore said investigators believe the victim, 27-year-old Gerald Osborne, got into an argument with Arnold and was shot.

The investigation is ongoing.

Man shot dead in DeKalb, suspect in custody

Man shot dead in DeKalb, suspect in custody

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- DeKalb County Police have made an arrest in a fatal shooting at the Wesley Club Apartments.

The victim was shot dead shortly before 10 p.m. Tuesday at the apartment complex on Wesley Club Drive, just off Wesley Chapel Road and south of Interstate 20.

DeKalb County Police Sgt. Steven Dean said neighbors called 911 after hearing five or six gunshots. The victim, a man in his late teens, was unresponsive when police arrived. He was later pronounced dead.

Dean said the teen was shot by a suspect in a black Chevrolet Avalanche full of people. The SUV drove away, but was later spotted by police, and a chase began.

DeKalb County Police Lt. John Medina said the chase ended at Browns Mill and Macedonia roads in southeast Atlanta, when the SUV crashed in a wooded area. One suspect was taken into custody; that person's name was not released.

14-year-old shot, killed in NW Atlanta

14-year-old shot, killed in NW Atlanta

ATLANTA – A 14-year-old boy was shot and killed in northwest Atlanta on Monday afternoon, according to police.

Atlanta Police Officer John Chafee says that authorities are investigating after Mi'Tavius Smith, of Decatur, was shot inside of an apartment building in the 400 block of Sunset Avenue NW.

Police say the teen didn't live at the apartment, but had family members who did.

No arrests had been made as of Monday night.