6 arrested in string of Atlanta carjackings

Police have arrested six men in a wave of carjackings dating back to late December.

The men in custody are linked to three carjackings over the weekend of Jan. 13 and included a shooting in Gwinnett County, as well as three other attacks, Atlanta police said.

“We do believe they’re involved in other crimes that we are actively investigating at this time,” said Lt. Paul Guerrucci, commander of APD’s Homicide Unit, which houses the Complex Case Squad that is contributing to the investigation.

In custody are Ladarious Gibbs, 21, Derek Turner, 19, Brandon Washington, 21, Andre Clark, 24, Raphael Banks, 24, and Ronald Washington, 21.

Atlanta police worked together with metro-area police agencies including the Georgia State Patrol and Gwinnett, DeKalb and Cobb County to bring the men in.

“It’s clear when we deal with violent repeat offenders, they have no boundaries on where they choose to commit crime,” Atlanta Police Chief George Turner said. “We as a law enforcement entity have to work beyond those boundaries as well.”

Clark and an unnamed suspect are accused of being involved in the first robbery on Dec. 29 behind the Cabbagetown bar 97 Estoria.

Police also linked Clark, Gibbs, Brandon Washington and Ronald Washington to a pair of Jan. 2. carjackings in the parking lot of the Fulton County library at 3295 Northside Drive.

Gibbs is also accused of taking a car at gunpoint on Jan. 11 on the Downtown Connector, along with Derek Turner, who is linked to separate carjackings at different locations on Gresham Road on Jan. 11 and Jan. 19.

According to police reports, the two Jan. 11 carjackings were connected to a Jan. 12 auto robbery in the parking lot of a Gwinnett Wal-Mart in which an employee was shot as he walked into the business.

Banks was arrested by state troopers in connection with a Cobb County incident, police said.

Clark, Ronald Washington, Banks and Brandon Washington are being held without bond in the Fulton County Jail.

Derek Turner and Gibbs are being held without bond at the Cobb County Jail.

Guerrucci said police began comparing the locations and circumstances of each of the carjackings to help tie the group together.

“Once we recognized the pattern, we immediately went into action,” he said. “We have a great line of communication with our surrounding jurisdictions. Quick action has resulted based on that communication.”

Derek Turner has been arrested before in Fulton County in 2011 for disorderly conduct, obstruction and criminal trespassing.

Gibbs also has a 2011 Fulton trespassing arrest.

Brandon Washington has arrests in Fulton County for armed robbery, gun possession and gambling.

Guerrucci said this investigation continues, but it was important in preempting possibly more serious crimes by putting violent repeat offenders behind bars.

“These are significant arrests, because carjacking is a violent crime that often leads to even more dangerous crimes,” Guerrucci said. “Getting these men off the streets will make Atlanta, and the metro area, a safer place, without question.”

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