Finding those accused of a crime isn’t always easy.
So when a second suspect in a burglary got away from police during a chase, six neighbors called 911 to give Gwinnett County officers his location.
“As officers, we do the best we can with the tools we have to locate and capture suspects,” Gwinnett police spokesman Cpl. Michele Pihera said Tuesday.
A neighbor noticed the basement door open to a house along Garner Creek Drive in unincorporated Lilburn just before 2 p.m. Sept. 20, Pihera said. The neighbor also saw pieces of wood on the ground and heard loud noises coming from house.
The neighbor called the homeowner, who was at work and said the men inside were not supposed to be there.
When officers arrived, two people ran out of the door and were chased through the neighborhood, Pihera said. One of the men was caught and a stolen gun was found in the grass, she said.
A helicopter and canine units were called to help find the second suspect, but when that didn’t work, neighbors took matters into their own hands.
“They told the call-takers that they could see the suspect on or near their properties,” Pihera said. “The officers were getting play-by-play information about where the suspect was running.”
The second armed gunman was arrested a few streets away.
Darrell M. Reese, 17, of Decatur, and Jermaine R. Caldwell, 18, of Stone Mountain, were charged with burglary, possession of a weapon during a crime and obstruction of law enforcement.
Reese was also charged with possession of a firearm by a minor. Caldwell was charged with theft by receiving.
“We don’t take our community support for granted,” Pihera said. “We need our residents, motorists, business owners, and visitors as much as they need us.”