An Augusta man who wrecked a stolen Ford pickup while fleeing from deputies Monday could be linked to a series of smash-and-grab burglaries in the area, police said Tuesday.
In less than two weeks starting in late January, police responded to four burglaries at businesses. In each of the cases, a stolen late-1980s to 1990s Ford pickup crashed into the businesses and a masked man tried to remove an ATM. In at least one case, the ATM was removed and dumped behind Tobacco Road Elementary School.
Lt. Calvin Chew said deputies had been told to be wary of large trucks, especially Fords, traveling in the late evenings and early mornings.
About 2 a.m. Monday, a deputy tried to stop a white 1997 Ford F-350 after seeing it run through a red light at Rosier and Windsor Spring roads, but the driver drove off.
The chase continued at speeds up to 80 mph until the driver reached the dead end on Old McDuffie Road, where the truck hit a ditch, went airborne and landed on Bobby Jones Expressway, hitting a passing Chrysler.
Police later discovered that the truck had been stolen from a construction site in the 1900 block of Phinizy Road, near the Charles B. Webster Detention Center. The truck had not been reported stolen at the time of the attempted traffic stop.
The driver, Aloysius Ignatuis Hogues, 41, of Old Waynesboro Road, was booked on charges of theft by taking motor vehicle, fleeing and attempting to elude, and disregard traffic control device.
Chew said investigators are looking at Hogues as a possible suspect in the series of burglaries.