A Portal man on parole for automobile theft and other crimes was arrested Tuesday just minutes after he reportedly stole a car in Portal, police said.
Portal Police Chief Jason Sapp said Garnett Lamar Perry, 38, of Horsefly Road, was found with the car in Metter and arrested after he tried to flee.
Perry, charged with theft by taking motor vehicle and driving while license suspended or revoked, took advantage of finding the victim's car, which had been left running outside Mill Creek Food Mart Tuesday afternoon, Sapp said.
The victim, an employee of Lovett's Auto Sales in Portal, "ran in right quick" to make a purchase, leaving his 1998 Ford Escort running. A witness saw Perry jump in and take off in the car, and knew Perry, Sapp said.
The witness said Perry appeared to be driving toward Meter-Portal Highway. Sapp headed toward Metter and found Perry at a convenience store on Georgia Highway 46 near its intersection with Portal-Metter Highway. Perry appeared to be hiding the car behind an adjacent car wash, he said.
Perry fled when spotted, but Sapp and Metter police apprehended him, Sapp said. Perry "appeared to be intoxicated, had been drinking and did not recall the theft the next day," Sapp said. "He was pretty out of it."
The apprehension of the offender didn't take long, the chief said.
"Normally you don't find them that quick," Sapp said.
Perry was taken to the Bulloch County Jail, where he is being held without bond until parole officers are contacted, a jail spokesperson said Thursday.
According to the Georgia Department of Corrections, Perry was released in October from Central State Prison after serving sentences for burglary and theft by taking in Bulloch County. He was on parole for those crimes as well as several cases of motor vehicle theft and habitual violator charges, along with previous Jenkins County charges of DUI, obstruction, motor vehicle theft, and theft by taking.
Perry has served seven prison sentences for similar convictions since 1997.
Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.