3 arrested after PTC car break-ins and chase into Coweta

Screen shot of chase's end provided by the Peachtree City Police Department.

UPDATED for print 12-07-13 — The pursuit of three Florida men in connection to car break-ins Wednesday morning at New Hope Baptist Church South on Ga. Highway 74 near Ga. Highway 85 resulted in their arrest a short time later in east Coweta County. The men are believed to be part of the “Felony Lane” gang that operates in the Southeast and Midwest U.S.

Eugene Christopher Washington, 28, of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., was charged with entering auto, tampering with evidence, identity fraud, financial transaction card theft, less than an ounce of marijuana, aggravated assault, felony fleeing and attempting to elude, driving while license suspended, improper lane change (6 counts), disobeying a traffic control device (2 counts), driving through gore and failure to maintain lane, according to Peachtree City police records.

Ronald Sylvester Washington, 25, of Lauderdale Lakes, Fla., was charged with entering auto, tampering with evidence, identity fraud, financial transaction card theft and less than an ounce of marijuana, according to arrest records.

Calvinlee Christopher Nelson, 30, of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., was charged with entering auto, tempering with evidence, identity fraud, financial transaction card theft and less than an ounce of marijuana, according to arrest records.

Fayette sheriff’s investigator Ethan Harper said witnesses at the church saw a suspicious vehicle leaving the parking lot and observed broken glass from a parked vehicle on the ground. The witness then contacted the owner of one of the vehicles who, in turn, called 911.

Harper said sheriff’s investigators contacted area law enforcement in Peachtree City, Senoia and the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office to be on the look-out for the vehicle.

Peachtree City Police spokesman Mark Brown said officers at approximately 9:30 a.m. received information about a vehicle involved in multiple entering autos that had just occurred at New Hope Baptist Church South, near the intersection of hwys. 74 and 85.

“Shortly thereafter, a Peachtree City motorcycle officer located the suspect vehicle at the intersection of Hwy. 74 and Ga. Highway 54,” Brown said. “A traffic stop was attempted and the suspect fled from the officers on Hwy. 54 into Coweta County.”

Harper said some items were thrown from the suspect vehicle during the pursuit.

Brown and Harper said the suspects and vehicle were located in the NCG Cinemas parking lot on Hwy. 54 just west of Peachtree City. The men were ordered out of the car at gunpoint and were taken into custody, Harper said.

Though they were hemmed in and apprehended in the cinema parking lot, Harper said that location just inside Coweta would have been about as far as the Florida men would have travelled because there was a “wall of Coweta deputies” positioned less than an quarter-mile to the east at Ga. Highway 34 and Fischer Road.

Harper said the men from the Ft. Lauderdale area are believed to be affiliated with the “Felony Lane” gang.

Operating out of the Ft. Lauderdale and Miami areas, the gang has been involved in vehicle break-ins in several Southeast and Midwestern states for more than 10 years, Harper said.

The gang specializes in quick smash-and-grab vehicle break-ins in the parking lots of gyms, daycare centers, churches and parks, Harper said. Gang members look for items such as purses and wallets lying in plain sight. They smash the window while avoiding touching the vehicle and leaving fingerprints, said Harper. Once the item is secured, gang members discard everything except checks, cash, financial transaction cards and cards with photo identification, Harper added.

Harper said the gang uses the stolen photo card to match with a woman who looks similar to the woman on the ID, a woman who is willing to work with the gang. The accomplice is often taken to a hotel, provided with drugs and given a wig that matches the hair style of the woman in the photo ID, Harper explained.

Once in disguise, the accomplice while using the stolen photo ID will attempt to cash a check stolen from a different woman. The gang’s name is taken from another aspect of their method of operation — using the outside drive-thru lane at banks to make identification of the disguised driver more difficult for tellers to determine when a stolen photo ID is presented with the stolen check, said Harper.

“The gang has many crews who spend weeks traveling in Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and into some Midwest states,” Harper said.

Harper advised motorists never to leave purses and other valuables in plain sight when a vehicle is unattended.

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Original online story— The pursuit of three suspects in connection to car break-ins Wednesday morning at New Hope Baptist Church South on Ga. Highway 74 resulted in their arrest a short time later in east Coweta County.

Peachtree City Police spokesman Mark Brown said officers at approximately 9:30 a.m. received information about a vehicle involved in multiple entering autos that had just occurred at the New Hope Baptist Church on Hwy. 74 South near the intersection with Ga. Highway 85. 

“Shortly thereafter, a Peachtree City motorcycle officer located the suspect vehicle at the intersection of Hwy. 74 and Ga. Highway 54,” Brown said. “A traffic stop was attempted and the suspect fled from the officers on Hwy. 54 into Coweta County.”

 Brown said the suspects and vehicle were located at the NCG Cinemas on Hwy. 54 just west of Peachtree City. 

Peachtree City officers and deputies from the Coweta and Fayette counties took the suspects into custody. The three as yet unnamed suspects were turned over to the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office and are in the process of being positively identified, Brown said, adding that  multiple felony and traffic related charges are pending. 

cats119
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Please move.

Please go ahead and move rather than just threaten it. But when you get there and find that the problems are not any different there then they are here, please let us know what a mistake you made. Crime is everywhere. We cannot prevent it. So lets learn how to live despite it rather than keep running. The strong take a stand. The weak run. Having grown up in a city that was larger in my childhood than Atlanta metro is even now, I learned this at an early age.

kerrimay
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I hate to say it but....

the genie is out for good. I'm not optimistic about our chances of returning to what we once were. My house will be for sale in early 2014 and we're headed to Coweta. I never thought I would say those words.

Spyglass
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You really think that is better?

Good luck with that. GBI website is your friend. Across the board Fayette us safer, go see for yourself...you can check any county in the state. I just compared Fayette to Coweta....

If you are going to move, then MOVE. A small beach town sounds nice to me, not the traffic and congestion of Coweta.

PaperbakWriter
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You're Mistaken

Traffic in Coweta isn't that bad, if you know where to live and shop. Heck, I'd rather be in Hwy 34 traffic than Hwy 54 traffic by Walmart in PTC. And as for crime, all Cowetans know that the violent crimes usually occur...hate to say it...in the ghettos near Downtown Newnan. There are isolated events, of course, of assault and drug offenses but most shootings, robberies, etc. happen there; and they are their own victims, so there's that. Overall, Coweta isn't as bad a place to live as I once thought it would be when I was a PTC teen.

Better access to I-85 too

Spyglass
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I prefer either area to the Northside..

i will add that I rarely encounter traffic on the Parkway..or on the cart paths:)

moelarrycurly
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On a closer look at that photo

seems to me one of the perps is lying face down, shirtless, with elbow in the air and the back door open.

Let's add a couple more of this nation's future leaders. See the article below in the AJC tonight.

http://www.ajc.com/news/news/duo-jailed-in-alabama-linked-to-local-break...

Snow Bunny
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It almost ended a couple of

It almost ended a couple of minutes earlier when the suspects nearly hit my car as I was coming out Wal-Mart center.

moelarrycurly
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Biker Cop

at 54/74. Perfect spot for one. Good work. Great work by all to not let these creeps get away. A church parking lot on a weekday? Really?

Sheriff Babb and staff, please anoint these 3 to the true meaning of prayer.

God Bless our law enforcement.

G35 Dude
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Can the Genie be put back?

We do seem to have good law enforcement. Yet it doesn't seem to be deterring crime. Not sure what it's going to take to return Fayette County back to it's good ole days. Maybe it's just a case of not ever being able to put the genie back in his bottle?

AtHomeGym
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G35 & 'The Genie'

Agree that we have very good law enforcement in FC but that is different from crime deterrence or prevention. When you discover how to change the culture of those most likely to engage in crime, then and only then will you be able to put the Genie back in the bottle! The state of our economy surely doesn't help but attitudes of individuals are learned both at home and school. And idle minds tend to lean toward mischief!

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