ALBANY — Dougherty County police have arrested four suspects in a brazen cell phone theft and are confident that they’ll find the one remaining suspect, police officials say.
The victims, two unidentified males, told police they were playing basketball at Robert Cross Park on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive when they were approached by five males they “sort of” knew.
After a short conversation, the males were walking to their car when one of the ballplayers noticed his cell phone was missing from the bench where he had left it. A second man failed to locate his as well, victims told police.
Assuming the phones had been taken by the five males, the phone owners said they approached the group and demanded that their phones be returned. One of the suspects pulled a pistol from his pocket, they said.
“We’re from the West Side,” the gunman was quoted as saying. “We do this.”
According to Chad Kirkpatrick, detective with the Dougherty County Police Department, one of the stolen phones was an iPhone, which allowed police to track the movement of the suspects’ vehicle to the parking lot of Rite Aid Pharmacy, 300 S. Slappey Blvd., where three of the suspects “bailed” from the car and ran on foot. Two of the three were quickly apprehended, and that’s where the situation got really “interesting,” Kirkpatrick said.
Officials say an unidentified witness, driving a pickup truck, decided to help the officers apprehend the fifth suspect. According to Kirkpatrick, when the truck was pulled around to “head off” progress of the fugitive, the suspect slammed into the vehicle, took a moment to recover, then managed to elude capture.
When the driver of the pickup truck reached his home in Leesburg, he found a tee-shirt and a revolver in the back of his truck, police officials said.
“We’re just about certain we know the identity of the fifth man,” Kirkpatrick said. “One way or another, we’ll have him, too.”
Arrested were Antonio Bernard Hicks, 19, who was charged with two counts of theft by taking; Channey Contravius Palmer, 20, charged with two counts of theft by taking; Jaboris Terrell Cato, 17, charged with two counts of theft by taking and one count of obstruction of officers, and Martinez Tavares Lowe, 17, charged with one count of obstruction of officers, two counts of theft by taking and one count of giving a false date of birth.
The four men were transported to the Dougherty County Jail.
The unidentified fugitive will be charged with two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of theft by taking and one count of obstruction of officers, Kirkpatrick said.