Police: Suspects may have ties to gang
By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor
Three suspects arrested by the Pelham Police Department Nov. 17 after a brief vehicle and foot chase may have ties to a national crime organization, police said.
Police arrested 20-year-old Covington, Ga., resident Patrick Labell Smith Jr., and charged him with six counts of second-degree theft, seven counts of breaking and entering a vehicle and one count of third-degree theft of property.
Rohn Octavian Hayes Jr., 31, of Gainesville, Fla., was charged with six counts of second-degree theft, seven counts of unlawful breaking and entering a vehicle, one count of third-degree theft of property and one count of leaving the scene of an accident.
Geoffrey DuWayne Green, 27, of Gainesville, Fla., was charged with six counts of second-degree theft, seven counts of unlawful breaking and entering a vehicle and one count of third-degree theft of property.
After investigating the crimes, Pelham police Lt. Pete Folmar said it is “likely” the suspects are involved in the national “felony lane gang,” which, police said, travels the country and breaks into parked cars to steal personal information and commit identity theft against the victims.
“As of right now, we don’t know for sure. But it appears likely that is the case,” Folmar said.
Police said the suspects fled police after they were involved in vehicle break-ins and a hit-and-run on U.S. 31.
At about 2:30 p.m., officers responded to multiple calls of vehicle break-ins a vehicle leaving the scene of an accident near the intersection of U.S. 31 and Cahaba Valley Road.
Police said a “concerned citizen” followed the suspects’ vehicle south on U.S. 31, where the citizen saw the suspects throwing items from the vehicle.
“Officers were able to get behind the suspect vehicle and a brief, low-speed pursuit resulted from the attempt to conduct a traffic stop,” Folmar wrote in a press release. “The suspects lost control of the vehicle near Helena Road and Bearden Road due to the damage sustained during the traffic accident.”