Three men accused of stealing lottery tickets from convenience stores in Warner Robins and Perry led authorities on a chase down Interstate 75 early Wednesday.
The suspects fled 84 miles, traveling on rims at one point, from the Scottish Inn at Exit 121 in Unadilla to mile marker 37, where the 2015 Dodge Dart they were in came to a stop, according to Perry police.
Ricky Lamar Thomas, 20, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida; De-Andre Rashad Walker, 20, of Hollywood, Florida; and Keshawn Donta Wilson, 20, of Hollywood, Florida, were each charged with two counts burglary in the second degree and tampering with evidence, according to a police news release.
Thomas, the driver, was also charged with reckless driving, three counts of aggravated assault on a police officer and fleeing in an attempt to elude, police said.
Between 3 and 3:30 a.m. Wednesday, a large number of lottery tickets were taken from the Shell gas station at 12005 Watson Blvd. in Warner Robins and the Texaco gas station at 203 Gen. Courtney Hodges Blvd. in Perry, Perry police Capt. Heath Dykes said.
During the investigation, police discovered some of the stolen lottery tickets were cashed in at a Flash Foods in Unadilla. While obtaining video evidence in Unadilla, detectives spotted the suspects’ vehicle -- seen on surveillance footage from the burglarized stores -- at the nearby Scottish Inn, Dykes said.
When Perry detectives and Dooly County sheriff’s deputies began to approach the hotel room, the suspects jumped in the Dodge Dart and fled to the interstate, trying to run over three investigators in the process, Dykes said.
Dooly deputies and the Georgia State Patrol pursued the suspects, with speeds reaching 120 mph at times. Authorities threw “stop sticks” around Exit 56, which popped the front tires. It kept going until the rims gave out, Dykes said.
“The front end was dragging,” he said.
No one was injured. A Dooly County sheriff’s vehicle was damaged, along with a Georgia State Patrol car.
Additional charges are expected from other jurisdictions. Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact Detective Jason Jones at 478-988-2833 or 478-988-2824.
To contact writer Jennifer Burk, call 744-4345.