In a convoluted investigation involving at least four different law enforcement agencies, one teen has been charged with motor vehicle theft, charges are pending against a second, and a third was killed.
Evans County Sheriff Randall Tippins said he and others spent more than 12 hours Friday trying to untangle the details of a hit-and-run involving three suspects in a car theft ring.
Arkale Williams, 17, of Daisy-Nevils Highway, was killed when he reportedly abandoned a stolen car he was driving Friday morning. The suspect who reportedly struck him is yet unidentified and still being questioned by investigators, Tippins said. Another teen involved in the theft of five cars is Trevon Shemar Dukes, 17, of Miller Circle in Hagan, who is in custody in the Evans County Jail, charged with motor vehicle theft, he said.
The chaos began around 6 a.m. Friday when Hagan Police Chief Dale Kirkland gave chase to a suspect who was in a stolen car on Firetower Road.
Kirkland said he was unaware of the other two cars ahead of the one he was pursuing. The driver of that car abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot, and was apparently later captured and identified as Dukes.
The two other cars ahead of the one Kirkland followed were also reportedly stolen. Reports stated Williams abandoned the vehicle he was driving and started to flee on foot but was struck and killed by the third, yet unidentified driver.
Tippins said on Monday that officials were "close" to bringing charges against the third suspect.
Apparently the group stole a car in Effingham County and crashed it in Claxton. In Hagan, they stole three vehicles from different individuals, and after the hit-and-run and subsequent crash, the third suspect fled, stealing yet a fifth car that was later recovered, he said.
All five of the stolen cars had keys left inside, he said.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation Region 5 Office in Statesboro is assisting the investigation by processing the vehicles, particularly the one that struck Williams, he said. The Georgia State Patrol is also assisting in investigating the traffic portion of the wrecks, and Hagan police as well as Evans County sheriff's deputies are investigating the car thefts.
Tippins said further charges are expected to be filed this week as the investigation continues.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.