Ride sharing services can be useful for a lot of things — like providing a means of transportation so you don’t have to drive to jail in a stolen car.
Yet that’s exactly what one man did recently when he went to bond out his girlfriend — who had been arrested for driving a different stolen vehicle — from the Gwinnett County Jail, police said.
Duluth residents Derrick Taylor-Canty, 26, and Akhria Cooper, 24, are now both behind bars, having been charged with felony and misdemeanor theft by receiving stolen property, altering serial numbers and several other charges for having four stolen cars in their possession, police said.
The four vehicles were discovered earlier this week after a Gwinnett County Police Department officer stopped Cooper for speeding on Ga. Highway 316, according to Cpl. Michele Pihera, spokeswoman for the Gwinnett County Police Department.
“After making contact with the driver, the officer discovered that the license plate displayed on the back of the Jeep was stolen,” Pihera said. “The driver told the officer that she purchased the vehicle through an ad on a buy/sell/trade website. After the driver was arrested and placed in the backseat of a patrol car, the officers found that the VIN plate displayed in the windshield was fraudulent. The true VIN was found. The vehicle was reported stolen from Thrifty Rental in Tennessee when someone rented the vehicle with fraudulent information.”
Cooper was ultimately taken to the Gwinnett County Jail, where Motor Vehicle Theft Unit investigators called Taylor-Canty to tell him that she was in jail, Pihera said.
That’s when things went south for Taylor-Canty.
“Derrick traveled to the jail to bond out Akhria. While in the parking lot, he called the investigator to inquire about his girlfriend,” Pihera said. “Suspecting that Derrick could also be in a stolen vehicle, the investigators confronted Derrick in the parking lot. The 2019 Infiniti that he was driving also had a fraudulent VIN. The true VIN was found, and investigators learned that the vehicle was reported stolen from Enterprise Rental in Kentucky. He was placed under arrest.”
Not only did police find that Taylor-Canty was driving a stolen vehicle, but they also found two other sets of keys on him, which came from two other stolen vehicles — one of which was at Cooper’s house.
The other vehicle, Pihera said, Taylor-Canty had sold to a buyer in Milton using the title of a different vehicle. The owner, however, had been in a car accident and had left the car on the side of Interstate 85. Police recovered it on Wednesday.
In addition to the theft and altering serial numbers charges, Cooper was charged with speeding, driving without a license, altering a vehicle to conceal its identity, improper window tint and no insurance.
Taylor-Canty was also charged with theft by deception and operating a chop shop.
Pihera said Friday that though Cooper and Taylor-Canty have been charged, the investigation is still active.
“There is a possibility that these two suspects may have victimized others,” she said. “If anyone purchased a vehicle from either Akhria or Derrick, please call Investigator O’Brien at 770-513-5285.”