UPDATE #1: Suspect Arrested After Stealing Multiple Vehicles and Causing Several Hit & Runs
Update #1, 08/04/2017: The suspect’s name is Joshua Scott Jones (age 22). Preliminary reports suggest that he may be released from the hospital today (unknown time). He has not been booked into the Gwinnett County Jail yet.
When officers were originally dispatched to the initial hit and run call, the suspect was driving a white box truck. That box truck was stolen from the QuikTrip at 2040 Beaver Ruin Road in unincorporated Norcross at around 12:45pm. The driver of the box truck parked his vehicle in the back of the business. He left the vehicle running and the doors unlocked while he took products inside the convenience store.
When the driver walked back out to his truck, he found it missing.
After the suspect’s initial series of hit and runs, the box truck was recovered at 2649 South Royal Atlanta Road in Tucker. After the officers inventoried the truck, the victim took possession of the vehicle and drove it away from the scene.
The stolen F150 from the golf course was returned to the owner undamaged.
The DeKalb County Police Department will be writing the police report for the stolen patrol car.
Original, 08/03/2017: (Norcross, Georgia) A man has been arrested after committing multiple hit and runs and stealing at least 4 vehicles, one of which is a Gwinnett County Police patrol car.
At about 1:15pm, a West Precinct officer was dispatched to a hit and run traffic accident at Jimmy Carter Boulevard and Britt Road in unincorporated Norcross. The suspect fled the scene in a box truck toward DeKalb County. One of the witnesses followed the suspect giving our dispatchers updates on his location. There were reports that the suspect was striking other vehicles as he was fleeing.
Eventually the suspect was detained by two witnesses at South Royal Atlanta Drive near Mountain Industrial Boulevard at 1:26pm. When the officer arrived, he found 3 men on the ground. The officer drew his Taser. He eventually learned that two witnesses were holding the suspect down on the ground until the officers arrived to the scene.
The suspect was handcuffed behind his back. He was placed in the backseat of the patrol car while the officer began investigating the situation. He learned that the suspect had an outstanding warrant through Forsyth County (unknown charge).
As the officer was walking back to his patrol car, he saw that the suspect had maneuvered his hands to the front and squeezed through the window of the cage of the patrol car. The suspect jumped into the driver’s seat and drove off with the patrol car at 1:57pm.
The movements of the patrol car were being monitored by the dispatcher in the 911 Center. She was able to give the responding officers real-time updates on the location of the car. The patrol car was found abandoned on a nearby golf course (Heritage Golf Links) at 2:06pm. As officers began saturating the area, they were told that the suspect had stolen a Ford F150 pickup truck from the maintenance building.
The suspect drove to the Taco Bell parking lot at 5518 Jimmy Carter Boulevard and stole a blue and silver pickup truck. After stealing the pickup truck, he fled to the north into the city of Duluth. It was reported that he committed several hit and runs in the Walmart parking lot on Pleasant Hill Road before traveling back southbound on Peachtree Industrial Boulevard. Because a tablet (or other electronic device) was left in the stolen pickup truck, the victim was able to give updates on the suspect’s location.
While the officers were attempting to locate the suspect on the ground, the Gwinnett County Police helicopter was monitoring the suspect’s moves from the air. When the suspect was just south of Technology Parkway South on Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, an officer caught up to the suspect and performed the PIT Maneuver. The truck swerved and eventually flipped onto its side in the median at 2:36pm.
The officers immediately called for an ambulance. The suspect was still handcuffed when he got out of the overturned pickup truck. He was conscious and alert. He was taken to Gwinnett Medical Center escorted by a police officer.
Right after the crash, both sides of Peachtree Industrial Boulevard were closed.
As of now, we believe the suspect committed about 6-8 hit and runs, though this number may change. The officers also believe that the box truck that he was in originally was a stolen vehicle. In all, 4 patrol cars were damaged during this criminal event.
The roadway was reopened around 5pm.
Once the suspect is discharged from the hospital, he will face multiple criminal charges for hit and run and stealing motor vehicles.
As of now, his name is being withheld.