The release of the new Air Jordans on Dec. 23 caused a crime wave nationwide, one which didn’t spare Savannah.
Police were called to assist Oglethorpe Mall Security just before 7 a.m. The crowd became unruly and pepper spray was deployed by mall security. The spray disbursed the crowd but also hit a Savannah Police officer.
The Air Jordans were also released at Savannah Mall. Just before 8 a.m., two young men were leaving the mall with their purchases, when they were approached by four men in a white Mazda Protege. The men demanded their new shoes and indicated they had a weapon. The victims complied and the four men sped off.
Police spotted the vehicle minutes later and conducted a traffic stop. One suspect, Tavonte Johnson, 19, jumped out of the vehicle, and fled on foot toward Regal Cinemas. He was apprehended after a short foot pursuit. The other three suspects, James Johnson, 17, Janard Coney, and a 16 year–old juvenile, stayed in the vehicle as they were directed by officers. Both pairs of shoes were located in the vehicle. A pistol and magazine were also recovered.
Both Johnsons and Coney were arrested and charged with armed robbery.
• Four Savannah men were arrested in cars stolen from a rental agency. Police have charged Devontae Hinton, 19, of Woodhouse Lane and Gregory Cooper, 17, of Key Street after finding them hiding under a house near an abandoned car, and Kendrick Lamar Deal, 18, of Westley Avenue and Joshua Tamil Myers, 17, who claims to be homeless, at a hospital where they had driven stolen cars to visit a friend.
So far, police have recovered five of the six vehicles stolen from Hertz Car Rentals in the 1800 block of Victory Drive after thieves broke in and stole keys to all the cars on the lot.
Detectives and officers from all five precincts became involved after an On–Star alert advised one of the stolen cars had been in the Montgomery Crossroad area. Police tried to stop the car but it sped away. Undercover officers followed it through all five precincts until it stopped in West Henry Street lane. Officers chased the two suspects, Hinton and Cooper, on foot and secured the area until the K–9 officer arrived.
When advised that the dog would be dispatched to get them if they did not surrender, both climbed from under the house. Police found keys to the abandoned car and other items under the house.
Deal and Myers were arrested at Memorial University Medical Center after an Islands Precinct patrol officer spotted two Ford Mustangs stolen from the lot speeding near 59th and Cuba streets just after midnight. The officer followed the Mustangs to the hospital where an off–duty officer watched them exit the vehicles and walk into the hospital. They were taken into custody in the hospital.
Hinton, Deal and Myers have been charged with theft by receiving. Cooper was charged with possession of stolen property from an entering auto case. Hinton and Cooper also were charged with obstruction of a law enforcement officer by fleeing and Deal was charged with obstruction by providing a false name. Officers discovered two other stolen cars parked on East 37th and 38th streets.
Detectives continue to search for the sixth vehicle, described as a blue 2011 Nissan Altima with Florida tag 399 LCM.