CONYERS — All five suspects involved in multiple burglaries and attempted burglaries in Newton, Rockdale and Walton counties were apprehended Friday afternoon after leading deputies on a chase down Interstate 20 that ended in a crash with two suspects fleeing into the woods.
The five suspects — whose names were not released as of press time — are believed to have committed as many as 10 burglaries or more in Walton County, along with several in Newton County, authorities said.
Friday’s chase of the suspects began after the Covington Police Department responded to a burglary on Tara Drive early Friday morning.
Capt. Ken Malcom of the CPD said the burglary alarm call came in sometime before 8 a.m. Witnesses reported seeing individuals walking around the residence who also appeared to be looking into a vehicle parked there. When the burglary alarm was set off, witnesses said they saw the individuals leaving the house and got into a white Ford F-150 pickup truck.
Malcom said the witnesses were able to provide a tag number, which came back as reported stolen Wednesday from a Country Walk residence in Newton County that was also burglarized.
“We alerted all law enforcement in the area and short time later an attempted burglary occurred in the Double Gate subdivision in (Newton) County,” he said.
Lookouts for the white Ford F-150 were given by both CPD and the NCSO.
Shortly after the lookout was given, a burglary in progress was reported on Stoneleigh Road in Rockdale County. The description of the suspects and the vehicle were the same as those in Newton County, said RCSO Cpl. Michael Camp.
“One of our deputies spotted the truck getting on I-20 at West Avenue heading eastbound toward Newton County,” he said. “At that point, he tried to pull the vehicle over, but it ran and eluded him.”
A call soon came in that the tuck was seen exiting the interstate at Almon Road in Newton County and then re-entering the intestate heading westbound back into Rockdale County.
“One of our deputies spotted the truck around Ga. Highway 138 and started chasing them again,” Camp said.
The chase continued into DeKalb County when, as they approached the Turner Hill Road exit, the driver of the truck tried to exit suddenly and the vehicle went over the guardrail and into the woods before it came to a stop, authorities reported.
A female suspect and a male suspect were injured at the scene and have been transported to local hospitals. A third suspect, also a female, has been booked in the Rockdale County Jail, Camp said.
He said three guns that were reported stolen in the burglaries were recovered at the crash site.
Two other male suspects ran into the woods. Police from Covington, Newton, Rockdale and DeKalb counties had set up a perimeter and were still searching for the two Friday afternoon, using air support and K9 deputies. Sometime around 2:30, the two suspects were found in the woods, wearing only their boxer shorts, Newton County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Courtney Morrison reported.
One of the males was taken to a local hospital for treatment of minor wounds sustained from hiding in the woods.
“Law enforcement saturated the area and the suspects were located exactly where law enforcement pinpointed they would be,” she said. “We want to the thank the community for all their help in this situation. This is a prime example of the community and law enforcement working together. We have five criminals apprehended and no citizens or officers were injured.”