SAVANNAH, GA. (February 17, 2014): An alert off-duty officer and coordination between Metro Police and Georgia state troopers on Sunday morning led to the arrest of a Savannah man less than 24 hours after the car he was driving was stolen in a robbery.
Derrick Leonard Middleton, 24, of the 700 block of West 47th Street, was arrested after he lost control of the car on Interstate 16 and then lost a foot race with troopers and Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police just after 2 a.m.
He was charged with two counts of theft by receiving stolen property by Metro Robbery Unit detectives and speeding, no permit, reckless driving and fleeing to elude police officers by the Georgia State Patrol. Middleton has a history of arrests by Metro police dating to 2007.
The silver 2008 Honda Element he was driving was stolen from a 31-year-old Savannah woman when she approached her house on West Hall Street and was confronted by a gunman who robbed her of her keys and purse about 3 a.m. Saturday.
An off-duty SCMPD officer in his personal vehicle on Interstate 16 recognized the Honda by its Virginia license plate Sunday and alerted police. Troopers and uniformed Metro officers followed the Honda back towards Savannah and attempted to stop it with stop sticks.
The driver eluded the sticks but crashed into a guard rail before attempting to run from the officers. Police saturated the area while troopers and Metro officers chased the suspect, catching him 75 yards into a wooded area.