• Arrest warrant issued for man wanted after home invasion, police chase and crash

    By: Kerry Kavanaugh


    BUFORD, Ga. - Investigators have identified the suspect they said led police on a chase down Interstate 85 following a home invasion.

    Police said they have issued an arrest warrant for Derrick Jamal Rankins, 22, who they said was driving a relative's car when he crashed on the Buford-Spring connector Thursday and ran.

    They said Rankins broke into a home on Suwanee Trail Drive in Buford, and robbed a 10- and 14-year-old at gunpoint. Their parents were still at work.

    "It's terrifying for him. It's frightening to all of us. I can't imagine. I can't imagine having that happen to my family," neighbor Spencer Treadwell said. "We protect each other. We look out for each other. You know it's a shock, absolute shock."

    Even more shocking, police said Rankins forced the 14-year-old to help load up the family's valuable items into his getaway car.

    "They stayed calm throughout the incident and they were able to provide officers with a good description of the suspect and a good description of the vehicle as well," said Cpl. Jake Smith with the Gwinnett County Police Department.

    Police located Rankins and chased him until he crashed the car in northeast Atlanta on the Buford-Spring connector.

    Rankins took off running, but left behind his getaway car, which belongs to member of his own family.

    "Simply by going to the registered owner from the tag, we were able to talk to her and determine that one of her family members was in possession of her car. That person is the suspect in the robbery," Smith said.

    Police said they recovered a gun from that getaway car but they said Rankins could still have weapons on him.

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