Police: Peachtree City man stole car while high, avoided jail, then stole bike

Credit: Fayette County Citizen

Credit: Fayette County Citizen

A 20-year-old Peachtree City man is accused of stealing a car while high, getting arrested and then committing more crimes the next day, authorities said.

Laderrick Jaquan Barden faces a half-dozen charges after the alleged two-day crime spree, which began about 11:30 p.m. April 22, Peachtree City police Sgt. Chris Hyatt told AJC.com.

Officers spotted the man driving a vehicle without headlights near Ga. 74 and Rockaway Road, Hyatt said. When officers tried to stop the vehicle, Barden allegedly sped off.

The officers decided not to chase and let other law enforcement agencies know to keep an eye out for the vehicle, Hyatt said. Soon after, Fayette County deputies spotted it sitting at a stop sign and confronted Barden.

Peachtree City officers were called to confirm that Barden was the driver who fled from them, Hyatt said. As they confirmed that was true, they learned the vehicle had been stolen that night from a nearby business.

In addition, officers said Barden was “heavily” under the influence of marijuana and prescription drugs, leading to his arrest on counts of theft by taking, DUI, fleeing police and a headlight violation.

However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, Fayette County jail procedures meant Barden was not booked into jail and was instead processed and driven back to his mother's home in Peachtree City, Hyatt said.

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The next day, officers received a call about a vehicle break-in at the city’s post office. The suspect, later identified as Barden, fled the scene before authorities arrived, Hyatt said.

Police found him later that afternoon riding a stolen bicycle, Hyatt said. Officers said Barden initially tried to steal a car but settled for a bicycle at a nearby business to try to make a getaway.

The incident netted him an additional count of theft by taking and an entering auto charge. This time, Barden was booked into the county’s jail, where he remained Thursday afternoon, according to online records.

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