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Buckhead Benihana robbery could be inside job

Buckhead Benihana robbery could be inside job

ATLANTA -- Authorities believe the armed robbery of a Benihana restaurant in Buckhead was an inside job.

The store was robbed by three men on Aug. 10 at around 11:30 p.m., as the location was closing for the evening.

Atlanta Police Capt. Adam Lee III said a handful of Benihana employees were smoking cigarettes behind the restaurant at 2143 Peachtree Road when they were approached by the suspects.

Two suspects held the employees at gunpoint while the third person entered the restaurant, shoved the manager to the ground and forced him to open the safe. Lee said the location's general manager believes the suspects stole about $10,000 in cash.

The suspects were wearing masks, but Lee said police reviewed surveillance video from inside the restaurant. Authorities say the suspects knew exactly where to go during the heist, indicating they have worked at the location before.

Atlanta Public Schools cheating trial begins

Atlanta Public Schools cheating trial begins

ATLANTA -- Jury selection began Monday for a dozen defendants in the Atlanta Public Schools cheating trial.

The teachers and administrators have been indicted on mobster-like charges, including racketeering and theft by taking. Prosecutors say they cheated students and pocketed big bonuses.

Four hundred potential jurors have been called. Jury selection is expected to take two to three weeks. The trial itself could last as long as eight months and may be one of the most expensive in state history, with six prosecutors and 12 defense attorneys, hundreds of witnesses and a million documents.

WATCH | What to expect during the APS trial

Fulton County Fire Rescue promotes vehicle arson prevention during Arson Awareness Week

Fulton County Fire Rescue promotes vehicle arson prevention during Arson Awareness Week

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- Each year during the first full week in May, the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) work to raise awareness of arson and provide individuals with strategies to combat it in their community. This year, Arson Awareness Week is May 4-10 and focuses on vehicle arson.

“Vehicle arson is a very serious matter,” said Chief Larry Few, Director of the Fulton County Fire Rescue Department. “The motivations behind the burning of vehicles are similar to those of other types of arson crimes. Fulton residents should learn ways they can prevent vehicle arson from happening to them.”

Motivations behind vehicle arson include, revenge, concealing another crime, excitement, insurance fraud/arson for profit and vandalism.

Tips to prevent vehicle arson

Elif Fine Jewelry in Buckhead burglarized

Elif Fine Jewelry in Buckhead burglarized


ATLANTA -- A Buckhead jewelry store was hit by burglars Tuesday morning.

Someone smashed a front window at Elif Fine Jewelry on West Paces Ferry Place at around 1 a.m.

There was no immediate word of how much merchandise was taken. No suspects have been named.

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Smash and grab at Buckhead AT&T store

Smash and grab at Buckhead AT&T store


ATLANTA -- Several suspects are on the run after burglarizing an Atlanta AT&T store Tuesday morning.

The smash and grab burglary happened at around 4 a.m. at the store in the 2500 block of Piedmont Road NE.

Atlanta Police Capt. Jack Snowden said three or four suspects used a hammer to break the store's front window. They took about 10 cell phones before running.

The suspects abandoned their Ford F-150 at the Buford Highway Connector and Sidney Marcus Boulevard, according to Snowden. No one has been arrested yet.

Police dispatchers said two iPhones wrapped in paper were found inside the abandoned truck.

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Driver flips car on Northside Parkway

Driver flips car on Northside Parkway


ATLANTA -- A man faces charges after driving down an embankment and flipping his car near a busy Buckhead intersection Friday morning.

The accident happened at around 12:45 a.m. on Northside Parkway near West Paces Ferry Road.

Atlanta Police Capt. Jack Snowden said the driver, whose name was not released, left the road and traveled down the embankment. The car overturned upon reaching the bottom.

After flipping his car, the driver got out and tried to run. Because of this, he will be charged with leaving the scene of an accident, according to Snowden.

The driver suffered minor injuries and was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital. Snowden said the driver will be tested to decide if he will also be charged with driving under the influence.

No one else was hurt in the wreck.


Doctor sentenced for Medicare fraud

Doctor sentenced for Medicare fraud

ROSWELL, Ga. -- An Atlanta doctor has been sentenced to 50 months in prison for defrauding Medicare and the IRS.

Lawrence Eppelbaum, 54, of Roswell must also pay a $3.5 million fine after being convicted of 27 counts of healthcare fraud, tax fraud and money laundering.

Eppelbaum operated the Atlanta Institute of Medicine and Rehabilitation (AIMR) and the Pain Clinic of AIMR. In 2004, he created a program called the Back Pain Fund, which transported patients between his Buckhead clinic and a hot spring in Florida. Despite labeling the fund a charity, Eppelbaum paid the vast majority of its operating expenses.

According to information presented in federal court, Eppelbaum entered into an arrangement with the Torah Day School in northeast Atlanta, where the parents of students would make their tuition checks payable to the Back Pain Fund instead of the school. In return, Eppelbaum repaid the school for the amount of the tuition plus 25 percent.