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Macon Police Investigating Wave of Card-Fraud Cases

Macon police say they've asked the Secret Service to help them investigate a wave of credit and debit-card fraud cases.

Sgt. Keith Woodford says they've gotten more than one hundred of reports in the past two weeks and said he reviewed 15 new cases Wednesday morning.

He said the reports are coming from people who made purchases at several downtown Macon businesses and a variety of local banks. The cases don't seem to involve any single business, he said.

Woodford suspects many of the cases may involve the use of "skimmers" -- electronic devices installed in a business's card reader that steal your personal information and transmit it to an unauthorized person.

And unlike most card-fraud cases, which involve online purchases only, Woodford said many of these recent cases may involve thieves who actually created phony cards.

He said the fraudulent purchases typically totaled $200 to $800 each.

In Some Places, Halloween Comes Early

Many Central Georgia communities, including Macon and Warner Robins, will hold trick-or-treat activities on Saturday, Oct. 30.

But depending on where you live, little ghouls and goblins could be visiting on Friday or Sunday nights.

In Forsyth, Halloween comes a little early on Friday, Oct. 29.

Children were already getting in the Halloween spirit on Wednesday at Forsyth United Methodist Church.

They dressed up in costumes, visited a 'spooky room', and made themed crafts.

And that's just the beginning for children in Forsyth.

Pre-kindergarten children in the city will have the chance to trick-or-treat with their schools at participating businesses in the downtown area Friday morning.

Elementary school kids will have the same opportunity Friday evening from 5:30-7:30.

 According to Mayor Tye Howard, all children are invited to trick-or-treat in Forsyth on Saturday, Oct. 31. 

Macon Gas Station Says Thieves Took Safe, $3,000

A Macon gas station worker says thieves took an expensive safe and $3,000 in cash early Thursday, police say.

The burglary happened at the Shell Station, 2700 Riverside Drive just
before 2 a.m, according to a police report.  That's between Lee
Road and Burrus Road.

When police arrived, they found the front entrance door
pried open, a crowbar on the floor behind the counter and a keypad cut
from the alarm system, the report said.

Rakesh Patel told police his steel safe is valued at $4,500 and was
stolen along with the $3,000 in cash that was inside the safe, the
report said. 

Patel said the safe contained two nights' of cash.

A surveillance video shows three people dressed in all black wearing
gloves taking the safe out of the store, police say.


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Woman Says M.P.D Violated Her Rights, Delayed Medical Treatment

A woman says Macon Police violated her civil rights and delayed her from getting medical treatment after pulling over her car on Sept 30.

Sheila Ross says her brother was driving her through downtown Macon when she began to feel sick. She says she had recently undergone surgery and was having chest pains.

"I called my doctor's office, I said 'my chest is hurting what can I do?' They said go to the emergency room," says Ross.

Ross says her brother ran two red lights at Mulberry and Second Streets before a police cruiser cut them off across the street from the Bibb County Courthouse.

She says about half a dozen police officers approached her car with their guns drawn, yelling at her and her brother to get their hands up.

"It was the most life-threatening situation I have ever experienced in my entire life," says Ross. "I'm thinking they're going to kill us."

Bibb School Board Names Two Finalists for Superintendent

The Bibb County Board of Education says educators from North Carolina and Minnesota are the two finalists to be their next superintendent.

The board voted unanimously Thursday to approve James Benfield, who's been a superintendent in four districts and currently is the head of Yadkin County schools in North Carolina; and Romain Dallemand, who's the superintendent in Rochester, Minnesota, as finalists for the job.

Board of Education President Gary Bechtel oversaw the vote at the board's monthly meeting.

"They're both very personable, good communicators and it's going to be a very difficult choice for the board to make because they are both very qualified," Bechtel said.

Superintendent Finalists Explain Why They Want To Lead Bibb Schools

     The Bibb County Board of Education met Saturday in Macon with two men who are in the running to become the county's next superintendent.

     They are both from out of state.

     Board members say they spent about one hour interviewing each candidate, James Benfield of Yadkin County Public Schools, N.C. and Romain Dallemand of Rochester Public Schools, Minn.

    Board President Gary Bechtel described the interviews as "conversations" between each candidate and the board, about the candidates' ideas for the district.  Board members say fellow members Susan Sipe and Tommy Barnes were not present for the interviews due to family obligations.