40 key fobs, programming device recovered during Coweta County arrests

From left: Dexter Sherrod Pearce and Alece Johna Moman
From left: Dexter Sherrod Pearce and Alece Johna Moman

Credit: Coweta County Sheriff's Office

Credit: Coweta County Sheriff's Office

Two people were arrested Monday in metro Atlanta in what investigators suspect is a multistate car theft ring.

Dexter Sherrod Pearce, 31, and Alece Johna Moman, 20, were taken into custody in Newnan following a brief car and foot chase. They are facing charges of theft by receiving stolen property after Coweta County sheriff’s investigators found about 40 key fobs and a key fob reprogramming device inside their Dodge Challenger, which was reported stolen, authorities said.

Deputies began looking for the pair about 2:30 a.m. Monday when they were contacted by a surveillance monitoring company. A man was seen walking around a car lot in the Southtowne shopping district, Coweta County sheriff’s Investigator Daniel Smith told AJC.com.

No one was at the car lot when they responded, but they saw a man matching the surveillance company’s description outside a nearby O’Charley’s, Smith said. They also spotted a Dodge Challenger that appeared to be circling the area looking for the man, according to the sheriff’s office.

“When they went to go speak to them, they drove over a curb and fled the area, which is when the pursuit started,” Smith said.

The Dodge hit two patrol cars and a commercial mailbox before crashing behind a post office, he said. Its driver, later identified as Moman, was taken into custody.

The other man, who was identified as Pearce, was captured at a nearby business by assisting Newnan police officers. According to the sheriff’s office, he was found with a small amount of drugs on him.

In addition to the key fobs and programming device, Smith said he recovered black clothing, a black hat and tools from the vehicle. The device was traced back to a locksmith in Birmingham, Alabama, which reported it among three similar machines and about 200 key fobs stolen during a recent burglary.

Smith does not believe any of the items found in the car were stolen in Coweta.

“I don’t think they were able to get anything from Southtowne at this point,” he said. “Based on the video and our deputies, we prevented it from happening. I certainly think that was their intention.”

Pearce was wanted for questioning by six Alabama agencies in similar incidents in the Birmingham area, according to authorities in Coweta County. He is expected to face multiple charges there as the investigation progresses, Smith said.

In Coweta, he is facing charges of loitering, possession of tools for the commission of a crime, obstruction and multiple counts of drug possession in addition to the theft charges.

Moman is facing similar charges, as well as numerous traffic violations and charges of aggravated assault related to the car chase.

Both are being held in the Coweta County Jail.

— Please return to AJC.com for updates.

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