Search for suspect in multiple hit and runs leads to multiple arrests
DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - The search for a vehicle wanted in connection with three separate hit and runs in a matter of hours came to an end on Interstate 75 in Marietta on Monday morning.
On Sunday, Marietta police received an alert to be on the lookout for a 2011 Silver Hyundai Santa Fe.
DeKalb County police provided images of the vehicle they were looking for and the Georgia tag number.
Marietta Police Officer Chuck McPhilamy told FOX 5, "DeKalb County police indicated that this vehicle was taken from someone who was actually struck by a vehicle and killed in their jurisdiction."
According to DeKalb County police, the unidentified victim was struck by a vehicle at Wade Walker Park at around 10:45 Sunday morning, and his own SUV, the Hyundai Santa Fe was taken.
Then, a few hours later at around 2:15, police report a family of six was riding bikes at North Dekalb Mall when a vehicle matching the description of the stolen SUV struck a four-year-old. The child was severely injured.
Police tied that same vehicle to a third incident in another jurisdiction that same day.
Vehicle Description: 2011 Silver Hyundai Santa Fe with Georgia handicap tag number: TBV359.
McPhilamy said, "This morning at 6:09 a.m., we had some license plate readers in our jurisdiction that went off indicating that the car was now located in our jurisdiction."
Marietta Police converged on the area and started a search, they located the SUV about 20 minutes later traveling south on I-75.
Officers pulled the vehicle over at Delk Road, took the five occupants in the vehicle into custody without incident, and notified DeKalb County police. "They have since made their way to our department and we are turning over the five individuals as well as that vehicle to them so they can begin their investigation."
Officer McPhilamy says the license plate readers are an invaluable tool for law enforcement.
"We couldn't be happier with the investment the city made with this license plate reader technology and we couldn't be more proud of the officers who went out so diligently and found the vehicle and got everyone in custody safely."
Early in the investigation, police were working to determine a possible motive. They haven't provided any information about the five individuals taken into custody.