Cops: Fleeing suspect stole multiple cars, caused several crashes trying to escape

It all started when a man, who had just been arrested, managed to escape, then stole a squad car and several other vehicles while trying to get away.

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -- A wild, hours-long chase ended at a busy Gwinnett County intersection, after an escaped suspect stole multiple vehicles then crashed into several others trying to escape.

According to the Gwinnett County Police Department, the "significant event" ran throughout the Norcross, Tucker and Duluth areas, and finally came to an end around 3 p.m. at Peachtree Industrial Boulevard and Campus Drive on Thursday. 

Around 1:15 p.m., police said the suspect stole a box truck near Jimmy Carter Boulevard and Britt Road in the Norcross area and hit a number of other cars near a Walmart. Police said a witness followed the suspect and relayed his location to dispatchers. Eventually, police said two witnesses were able to catch up with the suspect and lay on top of him until police arrived.

While the suspect was handcuffed in the backseat of the patrol car as police interviewed the witnesses, he was somehow able to squeeze through the cage window, hop behind the wheel of the cruiser and take off. 

 

 

At some point, the suspect abandoned the police cruiser at the Heritage Golf Links and hopped into a Ford F-150 parked at the maintenance building. After a while, police said he abandoned that vehicle too, and stole a Chevy pickup truck from the parking lot of a Taco Bell on Jimmy Carter Boulevard.

Police were able to track the movement of that pickup truck thanks to the owner's tablet inside the vehicle. They were finally able to catch up to the suspect and perform a PIT maneuver, causing him to crash.The officer who performed the pit maneuver was not injured. 

 

 

11Alive SkyTracker was over the scene around 2:30 p.m. where the truck had overturned.

PHOTOS | 11Alive SkyTracker over the scene

Police were able to catch and arrest the suspect, who we're told was wanted out of Forsyth County for unrelated crimes. He's now recovering at Gwinnett Medical Center. Throughout the chase, police said the suspect caused up to eight other crashes, including at a Walmart in Duluth.

Initially, both directions of Peachtree Industrial were closed, but by 5 p.m. all lanes had been re-opened. However, significant delays are still expected.

Check 11Alive's traffic page to find routes around the incident.

© 2017 WXIA-TV


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