One Conyers woman's car got a little hotter than she expected after two males attempted to steal it while she left the vehicle running outside her residence Friday.
Brandon Martin, 21, and the other suspect, a 16-year-old juvenile, led deputies on a short-lived car chase after stealing the 47-year-old victim's gray 2006 Dodge Charger around 6:30 a.m. Friday morning.
The woman stated she was letting the vehicle warm up before work and left it unlocked and unattended in the 1500 block of Cherry Hill Road, according to Rockdale County Sheriff Office spokesman Cpl. Michael Camp.
The woman called the RCSO and they eventually caught up with the vehicle. One deputy turned on his emergency lights to get the vehicle to stop, but the vehicle kept moving and turned into the Francis Hollow Subdivision.
Inside the neighborhood, the vehicle drove through three residents' front yards attempting to escape. When one deputy used their vehicle to block the suspects' way, the vehicle turned onto Francis Drive, which ends in a cul-de-sac.
As they approached the cul-de-sac, the two suspects jumped out of the vehicle while it was still in motion. The car rolled into a tree and came to a rest against the front porch of a residence in the 1700 of Francis Drive.
Martin was caught relatively quickly by a resident who lives in the neighborhood. The resident held Martin, who was the passenger, until the deputies arrived at the scene to apprehend him.
According to the report, Martin stated he just got out of jail a few days ago, had no idea the car was stolen and was on his way to the store to pick up cigarettes.
Martin is being held in the Rockdale County Jail. He's being charged with theft by receiving stolen property and obstruction of law enforcement.
A perimeter was set up by the RCSO at Smyrna and Klondike Road down to Flat Shoals Road to catch the 16-year-old, said Camp. The juvenile suspect, who was the driver, was found in a field within the perimeter around 9:05 a.m., roughly a mile away from where he ditched the vehicle.
"He had scratches on his face and clothes were mangled and dirty. It looked like he had been running in the woods," said Camp.
The juvenile was transported to the Rockdale Youth Detention Center.
Camp says that auto thefts like these are more frequent during the winter months but still not that common.
"We see them every now and then," he said.
Still, people should take some precautions when letting their cars warm up early in the morning because they can become easy targets, Camp said.
"Keep an eye on it, or try not to leave it unattended," he said. "If people have two sets of keys, they should lock their doors while the vehicle warms up."