4 stolen cars recovered, couple arrested after Gwinnett traffic stop

What started as an average traffic stop for speeding resulted in two arrests and the recovery of four stolen cars, Gwinnett County police said.

A motorcycle officer stopped 24-year-old Akhira Cooper, of Duluth, on the suspicion of speeding Jan. 22. When the officer ran the license plate on the Jeep that Cooper was driving, it came back as stolen, police said. The car had been reported stolen from a Thrifty Rental in Tennessee after it was rented with fraudulent information and not returned.

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Cooper was arrested and taken to the Gwinnett County Detention Center. After Cooper was booked, motor vehicle theft investigators called Cooper’s boyfriend, Derrick Taylor-Canty, and told him Cooper was in jail.

Taylor-Canty went to the jail to bail Cooper out, and called investigators when he was in the parking lot, police said. The investigators suspected Taylor-Canty could also have been driving a stolen car, so they confronted him in the parking lot. They found the 2019 Infiniti Taylor-Canty drove to the jail had a fraudulent VIN, and the real VIN had been reported as stolen from an Enterprise Rental in Kentucky, according to police. 

Taylor-Canty was arrested and officers found two other sets of car keys on him. Those officers went to Cooper’s apartment in Duluth and found a 2013 Lexus that had been reported as stolen to the Atlanta Police Department. Investigators later learned that Taylor-Canty had sold a stolen Acura to a buyer in Milton in August 2018. 

Cooper has been charged with felony and misdemeanor counts of theft by receiving stolen property, altered serial numbers, speeding, driving without a license, acquiring license plate to conceal identity, improper window tint and driving without insurance. Taylor-Canty has been charged with felony and misdemeanor counts of theft by receiving stolen property, altered serial numbers, theft by deception and operating a chop shop. Both are being held without bond.

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Surveillance video captures the suspect in action on Berkley Road in Duluth last month.

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