INDIANA – Three female gang members suspected in a rash of smash and grab car break-ins, including at least one here in Covington have been caught in Indiana.
According to Covington Police Department Captain Ken Malcom the three, identified as Amber Lynn Dunlap, of Lehigh Acres, Florida, Tiphanie Dawn Sager, of Cape Coral, Florida, and Toni Lynn Huizar, of Fort Myers, Florida, were arrested yesterday by troopers with the Indiana State Police following a chase.
Malcom said the three are members of the Felony Lane Gang and are suspects in a number of car break-ins around the southeast. He said CPD detectives were able to identify them after they broke into a car last month outside of the YMCA on Newton Drive, stole a woman’s purse and went on a spending spree using stolen credit cards.
The CPD investigation led detectives to social media posts where the gang members taunted police to “come and get them.”
“They challenged us to come find them and we did just that,” Malcom said. "We knew that they were unlikely to still be in Georgia and aren’t surprised where they were caught. I’m proud of the work by our detective and intelligence officer that ultimately led to the identification of these perpetrators and their arrest.”
According to a press release from the Indiana State Police, a trooper was patrolling Interstate 70 in Hancock County about 15 miles east of Indianapolis just after 6:00 p.m. when he spotted a white Nissan Sentra allegedly traveling at a high rate of speed.
As the trooper pulled behind the Nissan but before he activated his emergency equipment, the driver made an abrupt lane change from an exit only lane back onto the interstate. The trooper activated his lights but the Nissan failed to stop.
The pursuit continued into Henry County, Indiana and other police agencies responded to assist the trooper. The Nissan was brought to a controlled stop on the interstate with the assistance of the Henry County Sheriff's Office and the Shirley Police Department.
Dunlap, Sager and Huizar were arrested and transported to the Hancock County Jail and the rented Nissan was impounded and searched. Authorities found what was described as a substantial amount of credit cards, check books, social security cards, and identification cards not belonging to the three women in the car. The items were later determined to be stolen.
Indiana authorities also determined that the trio had several felony warrants each from Covington related to thefts here. CPD had issued a BOLO (be on the lookout) for the three Jan. 23 after identifying them.
According to the release, the Hancock County prosecutor will be reviewing the case to determine any charges related to the incident there. Malcom said the three will eventually return to Georgia to face charges in Covington, Athens and probably more places. He said there is no time table for their return.