Police searching for third suspect in carjacking

LAWRENCEVILLE - Police on Wednesday continued to search for the last of three men accused of being involved in a carjacking.

Gwinnett County police filed a warrant for the arrest of 21-year-old Robert Lewis Whitehead of Lawrenceville. Whitehead faces felony charges, including hijacking a motor vehicle, according to Gwinnett police spokeswoman Cpl. Illana Spellman.

Whitehead and two others, Steven Roger Smith, 20, of Lawrenceville and Taron Antwan Utley, 20, of Lithonia, are accused of carjacking a 20-year-old man at gunpoint about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Herrington Woods Apartments at 1112 Herrington Road, Lawrenceville.

It is unknown if the victim knew the three men, according to police.

"I won't be releasing the victim's name," Spellman said. "We want to protect the victim while the other guy's still at large."

Spellman said authorities arrived at the apartment complex and began searching for the three men who the victim said fled in his gold Chevrolet Caprice.

Later that evening, robbery task force officers located the vehicle near Mission View Lane in Lawrenceville.

"The victim was carjacked at the Herrington Woods Apartments and 20 minutes later the robbery task force officer located the vehicle and followed the vehicle on Herrington Road toward Sugarloaf," Spellman said. "They turned onto Mission View Lane, and that's where the encounter between the suspects and the officer was."

As an officer approached the Caprice, Whitehead fled, while Smith and Utley drove forward in the car, accelerating toward police and crashing into a patrol car, Spellman said.

"The suspect in the vehicle charged, or accelerated toward the officer and one suspect brandished a weapon and the officer returned with fire," Spellman said. "No one was injured."

According to Spellman, police and K-9 officers apprehended Smith and Utley, but Whitehead remains at large.

Smith is charged with aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and obstruction of a law enforcement officer. Utley is charged with hijacking a motor vehicle.

Spellman said more charges could be filed.

Police are asking anyone with information about Whitehead's whereabouts to call Gwinnett County Police at 770-513-5000.