CUMMING — Authorities say a flat screen TV protruding from a stolen, open-backed Jeep Wrangler gave two theft suspects away Tuesday afternoon just west of Cumming.
According to the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, James Nolan Burns and Kimberly Renee Hopton led deputies on a chase along Canton Highway that ended in their arrests for burglarizing a home off Drew Campground Road.
Hopton, 40, had no criminal record with the sheriff’s office, according to Robin Regan, a spokesman for the agency. The 37-year-old Burns, however, showed an “extensive history,” including an arrest for aggravated assault when he was 21.
As of Wednesday afternoon, both remained in custody at the Forsyth County Detention Center.
According to Regan, a lookout for a blue Jeep Wrangler went out after deputies responded to a burglary call at the Drew Campground Road home, where the TV was among the missing items.
Later in the day, the matching vehicle and suspects were located at a car wash on Business Drive off Canton Highway (Hwy. 20), between Bethelview and Post roads.
After a deputy approached the vehicle, he saw the TV sticking out of the back, causing Burns and Hopton to “immediately” flee.
They nearly caused a wreck as the Jeep left the highway and came back on while attempting to avoid the officer’s cut-off, Regan said.
The chase east toward Cumming on Chamblee Gap Road ended when deputies searching on foot found Burns and Hopton running away.
The Jeep, which had been reported stolen from Jasper and had a false license plate, was recovered to be returned to its owner.