FBI, police arrest suspect in bank robberies
The FBI, in cooperation with the DeKalb County Police Department, arrested a Stone Mountain man and charged him with seven bank robberies committed during a 10-month period that started in July 2011.
The law enforcement agencies say that Benjamin Rivers, 33, was arrested without incident by DeKalb County Police Department officers on state charges related to a series of bank robberies in DeKalb County. Rivers was taken into custody over the weekend after numerous tips from the public through Crime Stoppers.
The series of robberies targeting banks in DeKalb County began on July 11, 2011, at the Wells Fargo Bank at 1815 Rockbridge Road in Stone Mountain.
Each of the seven robberies occurred in a similar fashion, according to police. Witnesses described a Black male suspect wearing a baseball cap entering the banks, waiting in the customer line, and then approaching an open teller window, usually while talking on a cell phone. The robber would then present the teller with a demand note, which threatens a gun. No weapon was displayed at any of these robberies.
The most recent robbery occurred on Monday, May 7, at approximately 4:07 p.m. at the SunTrust Bank located inside the Publix grocery store at 3870 North Druid Hills Road in Decatur.
Decatur man expected to plead guilty today in death of son
A Decatur man accused of killing his 5-year-old son is expected to enter a guilty plea for felony murder today, May 15, at 3:30 p.m. in Judge Mark Scott’s courtroom.
Gary DeToma, 44, was indicted by a DeKalb County grand jury for suffocating his 5-year-old son and attempting to kill his 4-year-old son in July 2010. Prosecutors initially sought the death penalty in this case.
Closing arguments begin today for leader of home invasion crew
Closing arguments for the case involving the leader of a home invasion robbery crew began in Judge Clarence Seeliger’s courtroom at 9 a.m. today, May 15, in the DeKalb County Courthouse in Decatur. Michael Blaine was indicted on 38 counts, including racketeering, malice murder, felony murder, armed robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, possession of a firearm by convicted felon and false imprisonment. Chief Assistant District Attorney Don Geary is lead prosecutor.
Blaine is accused of orchestrating the criminal activity of a home invasion crew that targeted wealthy individuals and homes of drug dealers. In some instances, Blaine would have a woman pose as a prostitute to distract victims and gain entry into their homes, according to the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office. All additional members of the home invasion crew have pleaded guilty.
Clarkston Farmers Market to open
Clarkston Community Center (CCC) celebrates local growers and the farm-to-table effort throughout the metro Atlanta with its first Clarkston Farmers Market on Sunday, May 20, 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Held on CCC’s activities field, the market features fruits, vegetables and herbs hand-picked by local growers, as well as prepared foods, craft vendors, children’s activities and live music and performances. The market is scheduled to open once a month.
Among the growers are Pearson Farms, Global Growers Network, Jolly Avenue Gardens, Ellen Htwe Farms, Paul Resser and Jubilee Neighbors. Tours of CCC’s edible forest and community gardens will be offered during market hours. The Clarkston Farmers Market continues through October on the last Sunday of each month. Families are encouraged to bring picnic blankets and spend the day getting to know neighbors and learning about the food and programs being offered locally.
CCC is located at 3701 College Ave., behind the library. For more information, visit www.clarkstoncommunitycenter.org.