A 13-year-old boy was captured by police for his role in helping three other unknown suspects break into cars parked at local inns Saturday morning.
A loaded 9-mm semiautomatic gun was found on the boy, according to police. The handgun was reported stolen from a vehicle out of Cobb County.
The boy, who lives in Atlanta, hasn't given police much information since he was apprehended. His mother told police that she unaware of her son's actions and, as of late, he had been "hanging out with older guys," according to the Conyers Police Department (CPD).
Around 4 a.m., a high-speed chase ensued in Conyers at the Holiday Inn, 1302 Green St., Conyers, after the four males fled the parking lot in a Ford F-150 truck once one of the detectives patrolling the area spotted them. The truck was also reported stolen out of Cobb County.
"Obviously they've been doing this in other places," said CPD spokesperson Kim Lucas.
The chase spilled out on I-20 westbound lanes and lasted for about 20 miles before the suspects exited the highway onto Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Atlanta. Once off the interstate, a detective performed a precision immobilization technique (PIT) maneurver, when a police car abruptly turns a fleeing suspect car sideways, on the vehicle which was successful.
All four occupants then jumped out of the vehicle and beginning running on foot. K-9 units from the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office (RCSO) were also pursuing the suspects and were deployed to catch the suspects.
Only one, the 13-year-old, was caught and sustained a bite injury to his leg. He was transported to a hospital for treatment. Once he was cleared, he was sent to the Rockdale Youth Detention Center.
The other three suspects are still at large.
Police have obtained surveillance video footage of the suspects committing the entered auto thefts, says Lucas. The footage was captured in the parking lot of the Hampton Inn, 1340 Dogwood Dr., Conyers, moments before the thefts at the Holiday Inn occurred.
In total, the suspects "forcibly" broke into 22 vehicles at the Hampton Inn and 5 vehicles at the Holiday Inn using a screwdriver.
"It probably would've been more if the detective didn't spot them when he did," said Lucas.
CPD has been dealing with an abnormally high rate of entered auto thefts over the past few months. Lucas says the number of crimes have nearly tripled the per month average in May and June.
In majority of the crimes lately, car doors were being left unlocked and suspects were flipping door handles to see which cars were open.
"This was different," said Lucas noting the guys were using an object to break into the cars. "This just shows we're not dealing with one individual or one group. We're dealing with several individuals or groups. It's widespread. "
But, since Saturday, there hasn't been a single entered auto theft reported.
"Knock on wood (that continues)," she said.