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SUV theft leads cops on high-speed chase
Jamil Salahuddin

A family from Ludowici stopped in Richmond Hill on Oct. 5, where their car was stolen. RHPD officers located the vehicle and were involved in a high speed chase across numerous counties before the suspected car thief was caught.

Here’s what happened according to the police report:

Bobby and Rashawnda Lewis pulled into Love’s truck stop around 9:30 p.m. to fill their tank and grab a bite to eat at the McDonald’s there.

Mrs. Lewis entered McDonald’s while her husband pumped gas. After filling the tank, Mr. Lewis briefly left their young son and their dog inside their Dodge Durango and both entered McDonald’s to get condiments for their meal.

While both were inside McDonald’s, the couple noticed the brake lights on their Durango light up.

They began to make their way back to their vehicle when they saw their dog being thrown out the car door. The vehicle then moved forward and screeched to a halt. At this point, their son was thrown out.

Mrs. Lewis reportedly ran up to her vehicle and tried to open one of the passenger doors when the driver, a man she did not know, sped off and onto I-95 going south.

The couple immediately called 911.

RHPD Lt. David Hooks responded and spotted the vehicle on the highway. Hooks got behind the Durango and hit the blue lights. The suspect responded by speeding up to begin a high speed chase that included numerous other squad cars from RHPD and other agencies. The chase continued on I-95 southbound through Liberty and MacIntosh Counties until reaching a conclusion in Glynn County.

Stop sticks were used near the 60 mile marker point which successfully flattened one of the Durango’s front tires.

This reportedly did not stop the suspect, who continued driving an additional 25 miles or so until more stop sticks were used at the 38 mile marker point.

The use of the second set of stop sticks was followed by the vehicle wrecking and the suspect jumping out of the wreckage and into the woods.

A foot chase followed which included RHPD K-9 unit Doug Sahlberg and Echo and a K-9 unit from Glynn County.

The suspect was caught and identified as 26-year-old Wilmington, Del., resident Jamil Salahuddin.

Salahuddin was brought back to Richmond Hill for questionikng and then taken to the Bryan County Jail where he is being held on charges of entering auto, theft by taking, driving on a suspended license, attempting to elude authorities and reckless conduct. A bond amount of $8,825 has been set.

No one was injured during the incident.

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