NWGA Scanner | January 15th, 2021

Chattooga County Sheriff helps nab theft suspects after high-speed chase goes into Alabama

Two suspects wanted for theft from “ding-ding” machines at Last Chance Convenience Store on Highway 114 near the Georgia-Alabama line were captured after a high-speed chase started by Chattooga County Sheriff Mark Schrader on Wednesday, January 6th. According to the report, security cameras captured the couple allegedly stealing from electronic slot machines in the store on December 4th. Joshua Scott Hardin, age 35 of Gadsden, and April Lynn Geary, age 42 of Gadsden, entered the Last Chance store with two other subjects. The two individuals served as a distraction for Hardin and Geary to break into several slot machine cash boxes and flee the store. Chattooga County Investigators were able to identify them after posting the security camera pictures to pictures to Facebook. Deputies were unable to locate their whereabouts until Chattooga County Sheriff Mark Schrader received a call on January 6th, advising that the suspects, Hardin and Geary, were back in the county and riding around in the Lyerly area. The sheriff, investigators DTF agents in unmarked units, began patrolling the area looking for the suspects. The sheriff stated that at around 6:30 p.m., he observed the suspect’s older model Dodge Durango pulling off on Norton Road. Sheriff Schrader said when he got behind them to initiate a traffic stop, they took off initiating a high-speed chase. The Drug Task Force Commander Caine Railey and other units chased the vehicle several miles down Highway 114 across the state line into Cherokee County, Alabama. The suspects turned onto County Road 97 back toward Georgia, where they threw a pistol out of the driver’s side window and came to a stop. Chattooga County, with assistance from Cherokee County law enforcement units, took both suspects into custody. A search of the vehicle with K-9 Deputy Robinson and partner Kendy yielded methamphetamine and marijuana. Hardin and Geary were transported to the Cherokee County Jail awaiting extradition back to Georgia, where they will be facing theft by taking, felony eluding, drug, and traffic charges. Geary was booked on charges of unlawful possession of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of marijuana 2nd degree, and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. Hardin was booked on charges of the unlawful possession of a controlled substance, the unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, and escape/fugitive from justice.