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Hundreds of personal items recovered in theft ring targeting storage units

Atlanta police say they busted a major theft ring that led to the recovery of hundreds of personal items.

Channel 2's Matt Johnson got a look at five different people connected to multiple storage facility break-ins dating back as many as eight months.

Police say one person is still on the run.

They believe this crew would take advantage of minimal security at multiple storage facilities in the Midtown and Buckhead areas.

They would then steal personal items, sensitive information and valuables from units.

Police also believe five people worked together to steal mail and people's identities.

Now police are working to return hundreds of pieces of property to at least a dozen victims.

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Police said surveillance video showed two of the thieves stealing a motorcycle out of someone's unit at a facility on Collier Road.

Another video from September shows a door propped open at U.S.A Storage centers while police said the same thieves leisurely loaded more stolen items.

"We were able to stop a vehicle a U-Haul-type truck which we discovered contained much of the property involved or taken," said Capt. James Patterson.

The alleged ring leader, Randall Brown, is in jail along with three other suspects but one remains on the run.

"We've attributed four crimes within Cobb County, and five additional crimes in DeKalb County, Peachtree, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs," Patterson said.

Investigators say it was important to make these arrests before the holiday season.

"Utilized some detective experience along with old-fashioned boots on ground, technology right before the holidays," Patterson said.

Just earlier this month, Johnson covered a series of break-ins at a public storage on Monroe Drive and that property has been linked to these suspects arrested.

Warrants issued in slaying of woman whose body was found in burned car

Johns Creek police have issued warrants for the arrest of three men in the slaying of a Lawrenceville woman whose burned body was found in a car.

Police told Channel 2’s Mike Petchenik that Adelisa Muratovic, 21, accompanied her boyfriend, Michael Smith, 20, and DeShaun Flournoy, 18, to the Retreat at Johns Creek apartments on Oct. 29.

“Went there to buy marijuana…and when the person they were buying from showed up, that person displayed a firearm (and) began shooting. Shots were exchanged between the two of them,” said Capt. Chris Byers with the Johns Creek Police Department.

Byers told Petchenik that Muratovic was hit during the exchange of gunfire, and that’s when the alleged drug dealer, Antoine Sims, drove her car to Lawrenceville and burned it with her body inside.

Byers told Petchenik detectives believe Smith and Flournoy had planned to rob Sims.

“His girlfriend was in the car. As far as her involvement, we’re still working on that and can’t comment right now,” said Byers.

Byers said Smith initially told police Muratovic took him to the complex to “surprise him” by buying him marijuana for his birthday.

Police have charged all three men with murder.  

Smith and Flournoy also face charges for criminal attempt to commit armed robbery and aggravated assault.

Sims faces charges for drug possession and distribution in Fulton County, and Gwinnett investigators have charged him with arson and for concealing the death of a person, according to warrants obtained by Channel 2’s Tony Thomas.

Friends have started a Gofundme page for Muratovic’s family. You can learn more here

In a statement on the page, they said Muratovic always had a smile on her face and was compassionate to everyone:

“Kids always gravitated to her and she was a natural with them.  The pain her parents are experiencing is a suffering that no parent should  have to endure.  A mother and father have lost their oldest daughter and a young sister has lost her best friend. No longer will they feel the love in her hugs, see the warmth in her smile or hear the excitement in her voice.  Her parents are so hardworking and came to the United States to give their children a better life. They work tirelessly and always help others from the bottom of their hearts.”  

Warrants issued in slaying of woman whose body was found in burned car

Johns Creek police have issued warrants for the arrest of three men in the slaying of a Lawrenceville woman whose burned body was found in a car.

Police told Channel 2’s Mike Petchenik that Adelisa Muratovic, 21, accompanied her boyfriend, Michael Smith, 20, and DeShaun Flournoy, 18, to the Retreat at Johns Creek apartments on Oct. 29.

“Went there to buy marijuana…and when the person they were buying from showed up, that person displayed a firearm (and) began shooting. Shots were exchanged between the two of them,” said Capt. Chris Byers with the Johns Creek Police Department.

Byers told Petchenik that Muratovic was hit during the exchange of gunfire, and that’s when the alleged drug dealer, Antoine Sims, drove her car to Lawrenceville and burned it with her body inside.

Byers told Petchenik detectives believe Smith and Flournoy had planned to rob Sims.

“His girlfriend was in the car. As far as her involvement, we’re still working on that and can’t comment right now,” said Byers.

Byers said Smith initially told police Muratovic took him to the complex to “surprise him” by buying him marijuana for his birthday.

Police have charged all three men with murder.  

Smith and Flournoy also face charges for criminal attempt to commit armed robbery and aggravated assault.

Sims faces charges for drug possession and distribution in Fulton County, and Gwinnett investigators have charged him with arson and for concealing the death of a person, according to warrants obtained by Channel 2’s Tony Thomas.

Friends have started a Gofundme page for Muratovic’s family. You can learn more here

In a statement on the page, they said Muratovic always had a smile on her face and was compassionate to everyone:

“Kids always gravitated to her and she was a natural with them.  The pain her parents are experiencing is a suffering that no parent should  have to endure.  A mother and father have lost their oldest daughter and a young sister has lost her best friend. No longer will they feel the love in her hugs, see the warmth in her smile or hear the excitement in her voice.  Her parents are so hardworking and came to the United States to give their children a better life. They work tirelessly and always help others from the bottom of their hearts.”  

Major medical breakthrough giving new hope to people with peanut allergies

A major medical breakthrough is giving people with peanut allergies new hope.

In a nearly 2 1/2-year study at 66 sites in 10 countries around the world, oral immunotherapy was shown to desensitize people to peanuts.

At the start of the study, patients showed a reaction when ingesting about one-third of a peanut.

After one year of the oral immunotherapy, doctors said, patients could eat at least two peanuts before having any kind of reaction.

The therapy helped the body build an increased tolerance to the one thing that would give patients a violent reaction.

“This shows that it would require a lot more exposure to cause symptoms if this were to happen while on treatment compared to not being treated,” said Dr. Brian Vickery, director of the food allergy center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

Vickery led the clinical trial of the oral therapy known as "ar101."

A total of 554 people around the world took part in trial, including some from research department of Atlanta Allergy and Asthma.

“Most of the patients seem to get a very good result and are able to eat at least some amount of peanut protein without having that life-threatening reaction,” Dr. Stanley Fineman, with Atlanta Allergy and Asthma, said.

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There’s never been a study of this size done and it certainly holds hope for peanut allergy patients.

Alieyh Cotton told Channel 2's Wendy Corona that her 11-year-old son, Caiden, is severely allergic to peanuts.

“Epipen is very common in our household,” Cotton said. “I’m glad we’re here on the cutting edge of it so that’s exciting.”

Cotton said she would love nothing more than for her son to not have to worry about reading labels someday.

“Just be able to let him relax a little bit, be a kid and not have to worry so much about items on packages,” Cotton said.

“This could be the first, or one of the first FDA-approved treatments ever for food allergy and that is effectively transformative,” Vickery said.

The doctors stressed the therapy is not a cure.

The company behind the study will present its findings to the Food and Drug Administration by year's end.

The FDA has promised to fast-track the immunotherapy, giving it priority breakthrough designation, which could get the therapy option to market sooner.

Dangerous drug on Georgia streets linked to at least 22 deaths

Channel 2 Action News learned a deadly drug combination killed at least 22 people in Georgia since 2017, and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation worries the number could rise.

The GBI said fentanyl fueled fatalities have hammered Georgia for several years now -- often when fentanyl, a potent opioid, is mixed with heroin or put in counterfeit painkiller pills.

[READ MORE: Dangerous new drug on Georgia streets linked to several deaths]

"There are no rules for people who are manufacturing these substances and they can put anything they want to in any white powder that's bought on the street," said Deneen Kilcrease, with the GBI Crime Lab.

But there's a chilling new development. The GBI crime lab has found cocaine mixed with fentanyl in at least two drug seizures; one from metro Atlanta and one from coastal Georgia, opening up a whole new class of drug users to the possibility of death by fentanyl overdose.

"The trend of adding fentanyl to any other drug. The drug on its own (is) terrible, but this is extremely troubling trend that we would like to see end," Nelly Miles, with the GBI, said.

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Miles said the GBI's medical examiner office completed lab reports in 2017 for 17 overdose deaths in counties across Georgia in which cocaine and fentanyl were the only two drugs that turned up in blood work. There were five overdose deaths in lab reports finished so far this year -- for a total of 22 deaths.

Miles said if you add in cases in which cocaine, fentanyl and at least one other drug were present in the system of the deceased, the numbers swell to 48 deaths overall.

She said because those numbers come from blood work, there is no way to know for sure if the cocaine and fentanyl were already mixed when the user ingested them, but the possibilities are frightening

"We don't really know the full extent of the problem," Miles said.

"Whether it's a pill or whether it's a powder, if it's bought on the street, it could be deadly," Kilcrease said.

Latia Perry told Channel 2 Action News she's a nurse who has lived about her whole life in the neighborhood known as The Bluff and has heard word on the street about cocaine and fentanyl for months. 

"We can't afford to lose anymore of my community residents," Perry said.

Miles said she requested a deep dive into the data as a result of a GBI investigation underway in southeast Georgia.

She said on Nov. 8, authorities in Camden County responded to four separate deaths and the possibility of tainted cocaine overdose is part of the probe.

Major medical breakthrough giving new hope to people with peanut allergies

A major medical breakthrough is giving people with peanut allergies new hope.

In a nearly 2 1/2-year study at 66 sites in 10 countries around the world, oral immunotherapy was shown to desensitize people to peanuts.

At the start of the study, patients showed a reaction when ingesting about one-third of a peanut.

After one year of the oral immunotherapy, doctors said, patients could eat at least two peanuts before having any kind of reaction.

The therapy helped the body build an increased tolerance to the one thing that would give patients a violent reaction.

“This shows that it would require a lot more exposure to cause symptoms if this were to happen while on treatment compared to not being treated,” said Dr. Brian Vickery, director of the food allergy center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

Vickery led the clinical trial of the oral therapy known as "ar101."

A total of 554 people around the world took part in trial, including some from research department of Atlanta Allergy and Asthma.

“Most of the patients seem to get a very good result and are able to eat at least some amount of peanut protein without having that life-threatening reaction,” Dr. Stanley Fineman, with Atlanta Allergy and Asthma, said.

TRENDING STORIES:

Romaine lettuce not safe to eat, CDC warns Argument outside restaurant ends in deadly shooting, police say Plane makes emergency landing along highway in Carroll County

There’s never been a study of this size done and it certainly holds hope for peanut allergy patients.

Alieyh Cotton told Channel 2's Wendy Corona that her 11-year-old son, Caiden, is severely allergic to peanuts.

“Epipen is very common in our household,” Cotton said. “I’m glad we’re here on the cutting edge of it so that’s exciting.”

Cotton said she would love nothing more than for her son to not have to worry about reading labels someday.

“Just be able to let him relax a little bit, be a kid and not have to worry so much about items on packages,” Cotton said.

“This could be the first, or one of the first FDA-approved treatments ever for food allergy and that is effectively transformative,” Vickery said.

The doctors stressed the therapy is not a cure.

The company behind the study will present its findings to the Food and Drug Administration by year's end.

The FDA has promised to fast-track the immunotherapy, giving it priority breakthrough designation, which could get the therapy option to market sooner.

Man shot reality star's ex-fianc multiple times as he walked away, witness says

The gunman accused of killing a reality star's ex-fiancé shot him multiple times as the victim was walking away from an argument, according to testimony shared in court.

Michael Williams faces multiple charges in the murder of Sutton Tennyson inside his garage on Nov. 3. Tennyson is the ex-fiance of reality show star Angela Simmons, who is the daughter of Rev. Run from legendary rap group Run DMC. 

Channel 2's Tom Jones  has been following the case since the shooting happened and was in the courtroom for Williams' hearing Tuesday.

Atlanta police Detective Darren Smith testified that a witness told police Williams shot Tennyson.

“Either he was moving or fired into the garage when he fired a second group of shots,” Smith said in court.

Williams’ attorney said he wanted proof Tennyson was walking away, but Smith said the report is not completed yet.

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The contractor who said he witnessed the shooting told police he was discussing a job with Tennyson when the gunman drove up. He said the two got into an argument over money. 

The gunman fired multiple shots before he drove away in a gray BMW. Officers checked tag readers in the area and Smith said they had a hit on the car that was registered to Williams. 

Smith told the court that Williams has killed before.

“He was convicted of a murder and some other weapons charges,” he said.

Williams’ attorney said his client was convicted of manslaughter, not murder. But Judge Holly Hughes said she had heard enough to move the case forward and denied Williams bond. 

Williams faces a long list of charges: malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during a felony and possession by a convicted felon. 

Man shot reality star's ex-fianc multiple times as he walked away, witness says

The gunman accused of killing a reality star's ex-fiancé shot him multiple times as the victim was walking away from an argument, according to testimony shared in court.

Michael Williams faces multiple charges in the murder of Sutton Tennyson inside his garage on Nov. 3. Tennyson is the ex-fiance of reality show star Angela Simmons, who is the daughter of Rev. Run from legendary rap group Run DMC. 

Channel 2's Tom Jones  has been following the case since the shooting happened and was in the courtroom for Williams' hearing Tuesday.

Atlanta police Detective Darren Smith testified that a witness told police Williams shot Tennyson.

“Either he was moving or fired into the garage when he fired a second group of shots,” Smith said in court.

Williams’ attorney said he wanted proof Tennyson was walking away, but Smith said the report is not completed yet.

TRENDING STORIES:

Argument outside restaurant ends in deadly shooting, police say Romaine lettuce not safe to eat, CDC warns Jamal Bryant named as new senior pastor of New Birth

The contractor who said he witnessed the shooting told police he was discussing a job with Tennyson when the gunman drove up. He said the two got into an argument over money. 

The gunman fired multiple shots before he drove away in a gray BMW. Officers checked tag readers in the area and Smith said they had a hit on the car that was registered to Williams. 

Smith told the court that Williams has killed before.

“He was convicted of a murder and some other weapons charges,” he said.

Williams’ attorney said his client was convicted of manslaughter, not murder. But Judge Holly Hughes said she had heard enough to move the case forward and denied Williams bond. 

Williams faces a long list of charges: malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during a felony and possession by a convicted felon. 

Neighbors say coyotes are getting bolder in local park

A warning to families with small children and pets in Cobb County after neighbors say a pack of brazen coyotes have been following people at a popular park.

The Department of Natural Resources told Channel 2 Cobb County bureau reporter Chris Jose that the behavior is unusual.

The incidents have taken place at Riverline Park, which is full of soccer fields, a playground and walking trails that are popular with families in that area.

Neighbors are concerned that the animals are becoming more aggressive.

“They’re wild animals. You just never know what can happen,” neighbor Wanna Sim said.

Neighbors who live near the park shared pictures of at least three coyotes who they say followed a man and his 90-pound dog on the walking trail.

The barking dog didn’t scare the pack away.

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Parkgoers told Jose they’ve seen the coyotes at the park before, but they’ve never been this brazen in the past.

“You just got to be careful,” Sim said. “Usually they kind of stay away. Usually when we do see something, it’s out in the woods or they’re kind of hidden.”

Sim and his family told Jose they’ll keep their 2-year-old Yorkie-Chihuahua mix close by.

Jose showed the pictures of the coyotes to parkgoer Manuela Hernandez.

She said she walks her dog every day on the walking trail at the park.

“It’s kind of scary. But now that we know, we’ll be more careful,” Hernandez said.

The DNR told Jose that the coyotes do not normally approach people, but it is possible. The time of the year doesn’t make a big difference.

According to the DNR, coyotes in urban settings may become more brazen and bolder as they adapt to people.

“I guess I would just keep walking, or walk faster, and just try to get away from them,” Hernandez said.

Officials recommend families to be loud and bold, or throw sticks or clumps of dirt, if coyotes approach and become aggressive.

Sim said he’ll start taking precautions.

“Some of the dogs have been bitten, so yeah, we definitely have to be careful,” he said.

Several subdivisions surround the park. On Friday, neighbors saw the coyotes near the entrance.

Over the summer, neighbors told Jose that a coyote attacked a 90-pound dog.

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