Deputies search for armed robbery suspects (April 9, 2013)
Authorities have arrested the male and female suspects who were wanted for a week-long, multi-county crime spree, including an armed robbery in Rockdale, following a chase through Walton, Rockdale and DeKalb counties Wednesday.
Police officers were initially called for a shoplifting incident at the Loganville Walmart but the suspect reportedly pulled a gun on a Walmart employee and escaped in a car. The suspects led officers on a chase from Walton County, through Rockdale County and into DeKalb County before wrecking along Pleasant Hill Road near Highway 124 in DeKalb around 3pm.
The female suspect, Amber Michelle Smith, 23, of Loganville, was apprehended at the crash site. The male suspect, Shane Neal Durden, 33, also of Loganville, ran into the woods and was apprehended behind houses in a subdivision between Pleasant Hill Road and Union Grove Road four hours later following a brief foot pursuit.
Authorities from the DeKalb Police Department, Gwinnett Police Department, Rockdale County Sheriff's Office, Walton County Sheriff's Office and the U.S. Marshals Service began a manhunt in DeKalb, using K9 units and helicopters, for the male suspect.
The duo face charges including armed robbery, weapons violations and aggravated assault in several counties, including Rockdale, Walton and DeKalb.
"I am glad that these two dangerous suspects have been arrested before they ended up seriously hurting or killing someone during their crime spree," Rockdale County Sheriff Eric Levett said. "This was a great cooperative effort between local law enforcement and the U.S. Marshals Service to get them off the streets."
On Tuesday, April 2 around 11:40pm, the suspects entered the Flash Foods located at 1477 Highway 138 SW in Conyers and robbed the business. The male suspect held a gun under his jacket and demanded all the money from the cash register. The suspects also stole cigarettes and lottery tickets.
The suspects drove a small, tan passenger car that appeared to be a mid-2000s model Nissan Altima.
After the robbery, the suspects turned left out of the parking lot onto Highway 138 heading north towards Conyers.
The next day, the suspects attempted to cash a stolen lottery ticket at another gas station.
They are also reportedly wanted for an armed robbery at a convenience store, Mr. Jeff's, at a BP gas station on Ga. Highway 81 in Loganville on Tuesday.