A carload of suspects reportedly caught doing a bit of unauthorized, early-morning Christmas shopping in Peachtree City on Wednesday picked perhaps the worst possible getaway route and were nabbed by Peachtree City Police, Tyrone Police and Fayette County Sheriff’s deputies.
According to Peachtree City Police Lt. Odilia Bergh, the excitement began just before 5 a.m. when officers received a burglary-in-progress call and charged toward the Simply Mac store at The Avenue, which is located at the intersection of Highways 54 and 74. The driver of a stolen Jeep Grand Cherokee had backed the vehicle through the store’s entryway, and when a police officer arrived on the scene, the vehicle and its occupants sped back out of the building and toward a parking lot exit onto Hwy. 54 eastbound.
A portion of the officer’s in-car camera footage, which has been posted on the police department’s Facebook page, shows the Jeep being chased east toward the Hwy. 74 intersection where the pursuit continued northbound toward Tyrone.
Bergh said the northbound pursuit “resulted in the suspect’s vehicle crashing into the tree line off of Crestwood Lane in Tyrone”.
Bergh said two suspects, 21-year-old Dontavious Stephens and 26-year-old Frederick Lee Hammonds, both from Atlanta, were taken into custody at the crash scene, but a third fled on foot. A few hours later, around 8 a.m., that third suspect was spotted as the passenger in another vehicle leaving the area.
“These two individuals were then pursued by Tyrone and Fayette County Sheriff’s officers and subsequently wrecked close to the BP gas station at Hwy. 74 approaching the overpass at I-85,” Bergh said.
That third suspect was identified as Johntavis Bailey, 24, of Atlanta. His would-be getaway driver is 24-year-old Laquantis F. Huey of Atlanta, and she was also taken into custody.
Bergh noted that spike strips were successfully thrown in front of the vehicle Huey was driving to slow it down and safely keep it from entering the nearby Interstate on-ramp.