Police nab man accused of thefts

WINDER - A 17-year-old Braselton man was finally in custody Monday afternoon after eluding police for more than six hours following an early morning automobile crash.

According to Lieutenant Todd Druse of the Winder Police Department, Waylon Robert Westbrooks of Kirby Circle was the main suspect in a series of overnight car break-ins on Buena Vista Street and St. Ives Circle and had also been identified as the perpetrator in an early Monday morning vehicle theft.

Druse said Westbrooks first stole a .45 caliber handgun from one of the unlocked cars he broke into and then allegedly took a 2006 F-150 pick-up from a Shenandoah Lane address. Then around 4 a.m., he was involved in a motor vehicle accident with the truck in Jackson County on Interstate 85. According to a Georgia State Police spokeswoman in Athens, both Westbrooks and the other driver were seriously injured in the crash.

Westbrooks then allegedly fled the scene of the accident on foot to a nearby driveway where he stole another vehicle. According to Druse and his conversations with Jackson County Sheriffs officials, it was a fair amount of blood leading from the accident scene to the driveway that alerted police to Westbrooks' latest crime. Westbrooks was then apprehended around the noon hour in Commerce after a pawn shop owner noticed the injuries Westbrooks had sustained and phoned police.

According to Druse, Westbrooks will be charged in Winder with three counts of illegally entering an automobile and one count of theft by taking a motor vehicle. Druse said Westbrooks would also face charges in Jackson County, where he is being held at the jail. Druse said police were unaware of any motive Westbrooks may have had but that they suspected alcohol might be a factor.