4 charged with taking Christmas gifts in home burglary

A police pursuit of a suspicious vehicle led to the arrest of four people charged with stealing holiday gifts, some still in Christmas wrapping paper, from a Hall County home, authorities said.

The incident began about 3 p.m. Thursday when Hall County Sheriff’s investigators spotted a red Honda passenger car with two men inside on Atlanta Highway near Williams Street in Gainesville.

The car allegedly matched the description of a vehicle spotted in a recent burglary in the 4000 block of Old Cornelia Highway.

When deputies attempted to stop the car, the driver tried to flee, said sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Stephen Wilbanks.

The pursuit continued onto Candler Road, then Old Candler Road and Monroe Drive. It ended when deputies deployed spike strips near Monroe and Athens Street to deflate the suspects’ tires. No one was injured during the pursuit.

The 22-year-old driver, Victor Ignacio Barragan of Flowery Branch, faces multiple charges, including aggravated assault on a peace officer, authorities said.

“During the course of the pursuit, he tried on multiple occasions to cause the lead pursuing investigator to crash,” Wilbanks said. “He would brake, try to crash into him (and) at one point drove into the oncoming lanes of traffic on a divided highway trying to get investigators to pursue him into oncoming traffic and cause crashes there.”

Barranger also was charged with 27 traffic offenses, the most serious being driving under the influence of alcohol and marijuana – deputies recovered an open container of beer from his car – and reckless driving and fleeing/attempting to elude, Wilbanks said.

The driver and his companion in the car, Frank Anthony Jaworski, 32, of Gainesville were both charged with burglary, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

A follow-up investigation led to a home on Laura Lane in Gainesville, where deputies arrested two females: Amy Rider, 20, and a 16-year-old juvenile whose name was not released because she is a minor. Each also was charged with burglary.

Investigators recovered from the car and the Laura Lane home property what appeared to be Christmas gifts, some still wrapped in gift paper, stolen in the burglary. The items included clothing, children’s toys and electronics.

The incident remains under investigation.