Five armed suspects were taken into custody on Friday morning after two stolen vehicles led authorities on a multi-county car chase through Cherokee, Forsyth and north Fulton counties.
According to Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Cpl. Doug Rainwater, on Friday morning three suspects – one juvenile and two adult males – were captured at an apartment complex off McGinnis Ferry Road. Two other suspects, one adult and one juvenile, were captured at the intersection of Atlanta Highway and Holcomb Bridge Road in Roswell.
All five suspects were allegedly responsible for a spree of vehicle break-ins that occurred at about 2 a.m. in the Evans Farms subdivision in west Forsyth near the Cherokee County line.
Story continues below
Security camera footage
Before the early morning pursuit began, Rainwater said Evans Farms residents saw two vehicles cruising through their neighborhood and called 911 after a group of males began walking from home to home entering unlocked vehicles.
By the time authorities arrived on scene in the neighborhood, the suspects had fled. But using footage from security cameras in the neighborhood, deputies were able to identify and call out an all-points bulletin on a White Audi SUV, that has been linked to numerous crimes in the metro Atlanta area, and a Mitsubishi Outlander that had been stolen from the neighborhood during the incident.
A short time later, deputies with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office spotted the Audi near the Cherokee County line, and officers from multiple jurisdictions began pursuing both the vehicles along Post Road through Forsyth County.
Rainwater said that the Audi made it as far as Ga. 400 and McFarland Parkway when it was disabled by a spike strip that was deployed onto the roadway. Three males fled from the vehicle to a nearby apartment complex on McGinnis Ferry Road.
With the assistance of a K9 Unit, all three suspects from the Audi were found hiding in different areas of the apartment complex and placed under arrest.
Story continues below
The Mitsubishi Outlander was chased down Atlanta Highway and was finally forced to a stop at the intersection of Atlanta Highway and Holcomb Bridge Road in Roswell. Two suspects in the vehicle immediately surrendered to authorities, Rainwater said.
Four stolen handguns were recovered from the two vehicles, Rainwater said, along with other items that had allegedly been stolen from the 15 vehicles that had been entered in Evans Farms.
Along with the two stolen vehicles used in the chase, authorities also recovered an additional stolen Mitsubishi Outlander, which was left at the subdivision. Authorities believe the vehicle was stolen elsewhere and used by the suspects to travel into Forsyth County.
Like a similar incident that took place in late July where Forsyth County authorities arrested two men after a pursuit in south Forsyth, Rainwater said that incident is part of a wave of vehicle and property crimes targeted at suburban communities in the north metro Atlanta area.
"Every jurisdiction is experiencing this – Cherokee, Forsyth, Alpharetta, Johns Creek," Rainwater said. "People are coming from other areas to north Metro stealing stuff. But now they've cranked it up a little bit; they are using stolen cars, and they are armed."
Authorities don’t yet know where the recovered stolen handguns originated, whether they were stolen from vehicles during the incident or brought to the scene by the suspects, but the fact that so many firearms were involved is worrying, Rainwater said.
"You've got possibly 13-, 15-year-old juveniles armed, coming up here stealing stuff, and that just bothers everybody," he said. "A gun in the hand of a 13-year-old, possibly."
Jobari Wise, 17, of Forest Park, who was allegedly one of the two suspects in the Mitsubishi Outlander, has been charged with fleeing or attempting to elude, reckless driving, failure to maintain lane, driving without a valid driver’s license and other traffic offenses.
Christopher Alexander Avery, 18, of Atlanta, who was allegedly one of the suspects in the Audi SUV, has been charged with felony theft by taking.
Rodney Bernard Ooten, 18, of Atlanta, another suspect from the Audi SUV, has been charged with felony entering autos. Ooten was treated at a local area hospital for a minor dog bite before being placed under arrest.
All three adult suspects are being held in the Forsyth County Jail under no bond.
The two juveniles, ages 13 and 15, have been placed in the custody of the area Youth Detention Center. Rainwater said that no further information can be released on the juveniles, beyond that the 15-year-old is believed to be connected to an Atlanta area gang.
Rainwater said that as their investigation continues, additional charges, including weapon charges will be issued to the suspects.
Jim Dean contributed to this report.