FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WKRN) — An alleged catalytic converter thief is behind bars in Franklin thanks to a coordinated police effort and alert citizens who saw trouble and called the cops.
According to Franklin police, there were as many as five suspects involved in this early morning crime spree, but at least one of the alleged gang, Dannie Bonds, is now behind bars in the Williamson County Jail.
The Rockford, Illinois, man is charged with felony theft and evading.
According to the Franklin Police Department (FPD), the 34-year-old is part of a larger organization that had Williamson County law enforcement on their toes much of the morning on Wednesday, Jan. 18.
Police were first alerted to trouble around 2 a.m. when a resident in an Archdale Avenue apartment complex, just off Carothers Parkway, heard a saw cutting metal. The resident reported to police that he saw a suspect trying to steal a catalytic converter from a parked car.
Within minutes, a BOLO was put out county-wide and Franklin police officers and Williamson County Sheriff’s Office deputies (WCSO) were behind a Dodge Durango with Illinois tags.
At one point, the suspect SUV was driving well over 100 mph, getting off the interstate, and then right back on, trying to ditch both FPD and WCSO units.
At one point, the SUV exited I-65 onto Cool Springs Boulevard.
The deputies gave chase but lost the suspects who doubled back on Carothers Parkway.
Meanwhile, according to FPD, at the exact same time, other Williamson County authorities were chasing a Mercedes occupied by other gang members.
Dashcam video shows this suspect vehicle leading officers on a high-speed chase on I-840 toward the Williamson/Rutherford county line.
At one point, deputies spiked the Mercedes tires, but they got the deputy’s tires, too, forcing the deputy to quickly decelerate and pull to the side of the interstate.
Moments later, pursuing officers found the Mercedes in the median of I-840. Deputies approached cautiously, guns extended, but they soon learned the occupants were gone.
According to FPD, this Mercedes was reported stolen in a Chicago carjacking on Jan. 8.
Also happening around the same time frame, a third vehicle with reported gang members crashed in the Carothers Parkway area.
Police said the suspects, including Bonds, ran on foot.
But thanks to alert citizens, who are notified by an automated system that warns residents about trouble, someone saw the suspects and called the police. That’s when Bonds was taken into custody.
A resident in the Archdale Avenue community, where it all began, said this never happens here.
“I was kind of shocked that something like that would happen in this neighborhood. It’s very, very quiet down here, never any ruckus. You never hear anything. I have never even heard a loud neighbor.”
FPD told News 2 there were as many as five suspects involved. So far, only Bonds is in jail.
Police said there were three suspect vehicles. The gang abandoned two of them, one being the carjacked Mercedes. The Dodge Durango escaped.