Man arrested in alleged ATM heist

BRASELTON - Braselton police helped apprehend a Hoschton man Saturday suspected of stealing an ATM in Jefferson.

Tauch Sarann, 32, was arrested after leading police on a chase from Jefferson into Braselton after Jefferson police were alerted to a bank alarm about 2:30 a.m., according to Jefferson Police Chief Joe Wirthman.

While on patrol, a Jefferson police officer discovered the ATM missing from the First Georgia Bank on Swimming Pool Road. The officer saw truck headlights next to the bank and noticed the truck was dragging something as it drove off, Wirthman said.

Police caught up with the suspect driving south on Interstate 85.

Braselton police joined the chase and placed stop sticks in the road when the vehicle passed under Ga. Highway 53. An Arcade patrol car suffered tire damage when it hit the stop sticks, police reports state.

The vehicle crossed the median, returned to the northbound lane of I-85, then stopped when Jefferson police pushed Sarann's vehicle into a guardrail, Wirthman said. Police had to use pepper spray to subdue him, Wirthman added.

"When we caught him, there was no ATM in the back of the truck, just straps worn down from the chase," Wirthman said. "We found the ATM out in an empty lot next to the bank. He pulled it off the platform and drug it over the curb into the lot next door. He was alone. I don't know how he would have lifted it into the truck."

Sarann is charged with fleeing or attempting to elude an officer, theft by taking, criminal attempt, criminal damage to property and drugs not kept in their original container. He remains in the Jackson County jail under $102,000 bond.