Car Thief Gets Creative Helping Himself to Vehicles Abandoned After Atlanta Storm — Until Cop Smells Something Fishy

Story by the Associated Press; curated by Dave Urbanski

ATLANTA (AP) — A 34-year-old man is accused of using a tow truck to take cars that were abandoned in Atlanta during the winter storm and traffic jam.

Image source: WSB-TV

Police said Louis Mitchell Jr. was arrested Thursday and charged with auto theft, forgery and other offenses. It’s not clear whether he has an attorney.

Atlanta Police Sgt. Greg Lyon told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Officer Jamael Logan saw an unmarked tow truck pulling a car. The truck fled when the officer tried stopping it.

More from the Journal-Constitution:

The driver and a passenger jumped from the truck as it was still moving and fled on foot, letting the truck crash into a cement barrier on Pullium Street, police said.

More officers and a police dog were called to the location to track down the suspects and were able to find the alleged driver, 34-year-old Louis Mitchell, Jr., at a home near where the tow truck crashed.

According to a report from WSB-TV in Atlanta, when police caught up to Mitchell, he “tried to blend in” while sitting on a couch in a house after he knocked on the door and a teenager let him in.

Image source: WSB-TV

Mitchell stole at least five cars and paid to stash the vehicles in the back of a residence in southeast Atlanta, WSB reported.

The back yard where the suspect allegedly stashed the stolen cars. (Image source: WSB-TV)

Investigators say the tow truck was stolen this month. It was pulling a Toyota that was stranded on Interstate 85.

Here’s the report from WSB