Wanted fugitive arrested after 45-minute police chase - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Wanted fugitive arrested after 45-minute police chase

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(L-R) Dewayne Thomas and Justin Hall. Source: Jefferson County Sheriff's Office (L-R) Dewayne Thomas and Justin Hall. Source: Jefferson County Sheriff's Office

A police chase through several parts of Birmingham ended with deputies arresting two suspects, one of them wanted on more than 30 felony warrants out of Shelby County.

The chase started early Friday morning when Jefferson County Sheriff's deputies tried to pull over a car they suspected was stolen.

"Started out with just an alert patrol deputy that recognized something didn't look right. Found out they had a stolen vehicle on his hands and then these guys started running from them," Chief Deputy Randy Christian with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office said.

The pursuit started near 12th Avenue and 31st Street North in the Norwood community just after midnight.

Deputies chased the suspects for about 45 minutes through north Birmingham, into Kingston and Woodlawn.

"This chase, thank God it happened at midnight, when there was very little danger to the public," Christian said.

As the car fled through Kingston, three of the suspects got out and ran away on foot. They have not yet been caught.

The driver and one other passenger remained in the car, driving through Birmingham into Irondale as both Birmingham and Irondale police officers joined in the chase.

The suspects' car got onto I-20 westbound, heading back toward Birmingham, but deputies surrounded on the Oporto-Madrid Boulevard overpass and forced it to stop. The driver tried to get away by ramming two vehicles that belong to the sheriff's office, but he couldn't escape.

"Once we got them stopped, we realized this was part of a group. We've got an intelligence unit that IDed a car theft ring a couple of months ago and we've spent the last two months trying to round thse guys up," Christian said.

"These guys have a been a menance to this area. They've committed hundreds of car burlgaies, several robberies, several stolen gun cases, drug cases," he added.

Authorities arrested the driver, 19-year-old Justin Hall of Birmingham, and the passenger, 20-year-old Dewayne Deon Thomas of Birmingham. Deputies also found stolen guns, GPS devices and marijuana inside the car, which was confirmed stolen out of Hueytown.

"We think this group, they've loosely identified themselves as some sort of gang. But we're cetain they're  responsible for hundreds of car thefts and burglaries all across Jefferson County ... in cities, out of cities. And we expect to make several cases on them," Christian said.

Hall was charged with two counts assault first degree, receiving stolen property first degree, reckless endangerment, reckless driving, resisting arrest, attempting to elude and unlawful possession of marijuana second degree. He's being held in the Jefferson County Jail on a $96,500 bond.

Thomas was charged with receiving stolen property first degree, unlawful possession of marijuana second degree and resisting arrest. He's in the Jefferson County Jail on a $39,000 bond.

Thomas has had several run-ins with the law before, and has 31 outstanding warrants with the Shelby County Sheriff's Office. He will be turned over to Shelby County authorities once he posts bond.

Thomas is also accused of shooting at a man while trying to steal a car last year and being shot at by a U.S. Marshal during an arrest attempt.

Thomas was charged in 2013 in connection to several car break-ins in the McCalla area.

Christian said considering the history of the two suspects, they will seek higher bonds or no bonds at all for them both.

"Last night was a great arrest," Christian said.

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