May 7, 2020 10:20:31 AM
Columbus investigators are searching for four suspects accused of carjacking and later crashing the stolen vehicle into a South Columbus church building.
Officers received a call at about 6 p.m. Tuesday from a Columbus man who said he'd offered four men a ride from Walmart on Highway 45 earlier that day, Police Chief Fred Shelton said. In the vehicle, one of the men displayed a handgun and told the driver to give him $20. When the driver told the suspects he didn't have the money, they made him get out of the vehicle and drove away.
Shelton said police located the stolen vehicle at about 3 a.m. on Wednesday on 12th Street South and unsuccessfully attempted to pull it over. About five minutes into the chase, the vehicle crashed into an area church.
Shelton said no one was injured and the suspects fled on foot.
Investigators used surveillance footage from the Walmart parking lot to identify the suspects.
"We have some identification, however we're actively pursuing them, so we're not releasing any names," he said.
The suspects will likely at least be charged with carjacking and attempted robbery, Shelton said.
He advised the public to continue to be cautious and report suspicious activity to Columbus Police Department.
"Continue to be vigilant," he said. "We're out there. If you see crime, report it."
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