CONYERS -- Three men suspected of breaking into cars were arrested early Wednesday after they bailed out of their van and ran from a deputy with the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office.
A deputy was dispatched to the Merle Court area at about 3 a.m. Wednesday on a report of a suspicious van in the area. When the men in the van saw the deputy's patrol car they reportedly turned into the Amber Cove subdivision and stopped in a cul-de-sac where they jumped out of the van and ran into the woods parallel to Union Church Road.
Other deputies were called to the area where they set up a perimeter and searched the woods for the three men. After several hours the perimeter was released, but deputies remained in the area to watch for the suspects.
A short time later deputies apprehended two of the men in a subdivision just over the Henry County line. The men were covered in mud and soaking wet. One of the men had a bag on his back that reportedly contained several screw drivers, a knife, a pair of white batting gloves and a ski mask.
A report of a suspicious person in the area -- described as a male wearing camouflage, covered with mud, and breathing heavily -- led deputies to the third suspect. He was also taken into custody.
The suspects were identified as Mark Sawyer Holt, 25, of 2099 Legumin Mill Road, Locust Grove; Anthony Denard Walker, 31, of 323 English Road, McDonough; and Robert Jerald Hartmann, 36, of 641 Garland Road, Locust Grove.
The three suspects were transported to the Sheriff's Office for questioning. Once inside the Criminal Investigations Division, Hartmann allegedly head butted the wall, apparently out of anger, leaving a hole in the wall.
In the meantime, another deputy patrolling on Union Church Road saw a Comcast van with the doors standing open. He contacted the owner, who found that some tools and other items were missing from the van. Other vehicles on the property had also been broken into, according to the report.
Inside the suspects' van, deputies found several tool bags, lawn equipment, a rifle, an empty AK47 magazine and other miscellaneous items.
All three men face charges of entering auto with intent to commit theft or felony, possession of tools for commission of a crime, theft by taking -- felony, and willful obstruction of law enforcement officers. Hartmann faces an additional charge of interference with government property.