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APD arrests metro carjacking suspects who hit in Gwinnett

ATLANTA -- A group of carjacking suspects that hit Gwinnett last month are locked up.

Atlanta police announced on Friday that a joint effort by law enforcement agencies throughout the metro area helped them arrest five men, and an arrest warrant has been issued for a sixth, for six carjackings in the city. The carjackings began in late December and continued into at least the second week of January. One of the Atlanta carjackings led to another carjacking and a shooting in the early morning hours of Jan. 12 at a Walmart store on Rockbridge Road in unincorporated Stone Mountain.

In custody are Ladarious Gibbs, 21, Derek Turner, 19, Brandon Washington, 21, Andre Clark, 24, Raphael Banks, 24, and Ronald Washington, 21.

"These are significant arrests, because carjacking is a violent crime that often leads to even more dangerous crimes," said Lt. Paul Guerrucci, commander of APD's Homicide Unit, where the Complex Case Squad resides. "Getting these men off the streets will make Atlanta, and the metro area, a safer place, without question. We are thankful for the cooperation, not only within APD among our many investigators, but also with our partner agencies across the metro area."

In most cases, the suspects stole a car, credit cards, cash and cell phones, according to an APD report.

The car Gwinnett police previously said was used to drive to the Walmart incident, a 2005 red Suzuki Forenza, was carjacked by Gibbs near Williams Street on Jan. 11, an APD news release said.

In the Walmart incident, two men, ages 20 and 35, were victimized by two black men who stole one man's keys, wallet, and a blue 2010 Honda Fit. The 35-year-old victim, a Walmart employee who speaks Albanian and didn't understand the suspects' demands, was also shot in the back of the leg during the crime.

Guerucci said investigators are also looking at the possibility the suspects may be involved in other armed pedestrian robberies. He said the men face additional charges in Cobb, DeKalb and Gwinnett counties.

Gwinnett Police Cpl. Jake Smith confirmed that the Walmart carjacking was related, but did not know yet of specific charges brought by GCPD.