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Thieves Turned $5 Bills Into $100 Bills

ALPHARETTA, GA -- Alpharetta police and the Secret Service are trying to figure out how long three suspects they arrested were spending counterfeit $100 bills at Atlanta area malls.

Police arrested the suspects in the parking lot of North Point Mall on December 31st. They were called by loss prevention officers at Macy's. When police searched a car the suspects were in they found several items that were purchased with fake money. Police said most of the items were clothing.

"They would go to the store, pass the counterfeit money off, buy a small item and then return later in the day to get cash back based upon a receipt," said Alpharetta police officer George Gordon.

Officer Gordon said the suspects took legitimate five dollar bills and dipped them in chemicals to wash off the dye. "And then they would imprint it with a one hundred dollar bill imprint," he said.

3 Metro Atlanta Men Charged with Felony Forgery

ALPHARETTA, GA -- Three Metro Atlanta men are behind bars, accused of trying to pass counterfeit money at North Point Mall.

On Dec. 31, Alpharetta Department of Public Safety officers were dispatched to the Macy's at North Point. Upon arrival, they found two men sitting in a Mercedes in the department store's parking lot.

As the officers approached the car, both suspects took off on foot. One was quickly captured and taken into custody. The other continued running and was stopped by taser.

A third man was also captured and arrested.

All three suspects were in possession of counterfeit $100 bills. They also had a large number of legitimate $1, $5, $10 and $20 bills. Investigators believe the suspects used counterfeit money to purchase items, then return them for cash refunds.

Police also found Iraqi currency and a loaded .45 caliber handgun in the suspects' car.

"Opportunist" Preyed On Careless Shoppers

ALPHARETTA, GA -- Police believe they have solved dozens of auto break-ins with the arrest of a Decatur man. They say he targeted hotel guests and shoppers during the holiday shopping season.

An observant Alpharetta police officer on patrol at 4 am Tuesday saw a suspicious car pulling out of the La Quinta Hotel on North Point Drive. "He observed a green Buick leaving the parking lot that had no tag lights," said Officer George Gordon.

Gordon said the officer smelled marijuana when he pulled the car over. When the driver, Ronnie Wallace, age 20, showed the officer the marijuana in the center console, the officer arrested him. After a search of Wallace's car police recovered numerous stolen items, including a 9mm handgun, a shotgun with interchangeable barrels, GPS devices, a watch, an I-Pod, satellite radio and numerous electronic equipment.

A Mother's Gift

ALPHARETTA, GA -- With every Christmas, four-year-old Luke Kim remembers more and more about the holiday.  That's what his parents are banking on -- because every Christmas could be his mother's last.

Right after Kimberly Kim and her husband Jin had their son, she was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or ALS.  It's more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease, an autoimmune disease where the body attacks it's own nervous system. 

"Over time the nerves to your muscles die. It's been a gradual decline with Kim and she's already lived four years longer than the first doctors predicted," Jin Kim said.

Within months, ALS rendered Kim's hands inoperable and she was unable to continue working as a software developer.

Deal Doubtful About Removing Toll

ATLANTA --Moments after touring the Coca Cola bottling plant and receiving one of its commemorative inauguration bottles,  

Governor Elect Nathan Deal took the fizz out of some legislators' fight to bring down the toll on GA 400.

Deal campaigned on the issue promising to discontinue the toll plaza if elected.  Now he says the issue may be beyond his control.

"I am being told that the State Tollway and Road Authority has already started selling the bonds. As you know it is not an issue I supported, but apparently it has been finalized," Deal said. 

Last week, some heavy hitting legislators from North Fulton County sent a letter to the governor-elect and Georgia's Department of Transportation, which oversees SRTA, urging the state to stick to its original promise of pulling the toll plaza once the highway was finished.

'Bad in Plaid' Named Crummiest Christmas Photo

ATLANTA -- A photo tagged "Bad in Plaid" has been named Metro Atlanta area's crummiest Christmas Photo by voters on the social networking site, Atlanta.MomsLikeMe.com.

The weeklong vote ended Sunday at midnight and took place after dozens of submissions in the site's Crummy Christmas Photo 2010 Contest

Georgia Football State Championship Recaps

ATLANTA -- The dust has settled on Georgia high school football season and only five teams claimed a state championship.

Class AAAAA: Brookwood 52, Colquitt County 38

Jamaal Cole ran for three touchdowns, Andre Sims had an 87-yard kickoff return for a score and Brookwood defeated Colquitt County 52-38 to win the Class AAAAA state championship Saturday night at the Georgia Dome.

Nick Tompkins had 144 yards rushing and scored twice for the Broncos (14-1). The teams combined for 993 yards from scrimmage, with Colquitt County (9-6) amassing 609 yards and 38 first downs.

It was just the second AAAAA title not won by a team from south Georgia since 2003 and gave Brookwood its second state championship. The Gwinnett County school also won a state title in 1996.