Chase puts Hephzibah schools on lockdown

Police arrested three men after a burglary attempt turned into a vehicle pursuit Friday, forcing two Hephzibah schools to go on lockdown.

Jakota Little, 28, of Augusta; David Corey Lawrence, 29, of Augusta; and Dechan Antonio Newton, 24, of Augusta, were charged with criminal attempt burglary, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and two counts of burglary each, according to a statement from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.

About 1:03 p.m., deputies were called to the 5100 block of Henderson Road in reference to a burglary in progress.

Upon arrival, deputies learned that the three suspects had fled the scene in a blue Toyota Corolla.

When deputies later spotted the suspects’ vehicle, they were led on a brief chase that ended when the suspects abandoned the car on Brothersville Road before running in the direction of Hephzibah High School, according to the statement.

Carol Roundtree, the assistant superintendent for student services, said as a result of the incident, Hephzibah middle and high schools were shut down merely as a precautionary measure.

None of the three men entered either of the two schools on Friday afternoon. Lawrence and Newton were apprehended immediately.

Little managed to reenter the Corolla and lead police on a second chasebefore crashing near Highway 88 and Jones Street, according to the statement.

The suspects have also been linked to two other burglaries in the area.

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