ETOWAH COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — Several suspects are in custody after a series of car break-ins in Etowah County led to a man being shot at in his neighborhood as he pursued the suspects.
On July 23, six people who were a part of a larger group broke into several cars across different jurisdictions, according to the Etowah County Sheriff’s Office. Etowah County Sheriff’s Office (ECSO) investigator Jeff Riggs said they stole items that was in unlocked cars, namely guns and money.
According to Jacksonville State University’s campus police chief, whose car was robbed, the females in the group were the lookouts and the males did the stealing.
“It had been going on in the area for two weeks,” he said. “Gadsden alone had 30-40 break-ins during that period.”
According to Attalla Police Chief Dennis Walker, at around 9 p.m. on the night of July 23, a resident on Stewart Avenue in the Camp Sibert neighborhood was sitting in his garage when he saw a white Ford Explorer go by with its lights turned off.
Knowing about the ongoing break-ins, the man decided to follow the car in his ATV, police said. Walker said the neighbor came upon the group trying to break into a car nearby and attempted to block them in.
The robbers went around him and he continued to follow, at which point the individuals in the Explorer began shooting at him. The ATV was struck, but the neighbor took cover and was not injured.
Attalla Chief Investigator Doug Jordan said they received a call from the neighbor that night, detailing a description of the driver and giving a partial license plate number. The robberies continued – with several residents calling 911 – while authorities in the area began to look for the Explorer.
During this time, the group stole a Chevy Cobalt, which was located by deputies and eventually pulled over.
Kristen Ramsey, 21, from Leeds, was the alleged driver. She was charged with attempted murder and a probation violation; She is being held at the St. Clair County Correctional Facility.
Ladondrick Hughley, 19, of Gadsden, was charged with auto theft. Kimberly Stephens, 18, of Leeds, was charged with breaking and entering.
Two of the shooting suspects, both juveniles, were charged with attempted murder and breaking and entering.
As of Wednesday, according to ECSO Sheriff Jonathon Horton, the sixth member of the group, a juvenile, is not in custody. More charges are pending.
After interviewing the suspects individually, police found that some of the members of the group were originally from Birmingham.
Horton said he would like to thank the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office, St. Clair County Drug Unit, Attalla and Leeds Police department for their “tireless work and help” in these cases.
“This was just good old fashioned police work, where several agencies come together, share information and work together to solve cases,” Horton said in a statement.