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Pursuit of car thief causes school lockdown

By Ed Brock

A suspected car thief ran through two Clayton County schools while police pursued him, causing a lockdown of the schools.

DeMarcus Souder, 18, of Hampton, faces several charges in connection with the incident, including theft by receiving, possession of marijuana, obstruction and disrupting a school, Clayton County Police Capt. Jeff Turner said.

Around 2:50 p.m. Monday Souder was seen pulling up to Lovejoy High School in a car the witness recognized as being stolen from his neighbor. The witness alerted the school authorities and the school resource officer confronted Souder in the hallway. Souder ran out of the high school and into Lovejoy Middle School next door where he briefly hid in a bathroom while police searched for him.

Some marijuana and the keys to the stolen car were later found in a trashcan inside that bathroom.

Souder then ran from the middle school and tried to hide under a motor home in the driveway of a nearby home, but the police helicopter picked up his movements and led officers to his hiding place.

Turner said Souder also resisted arrest and officers had to use pepper spray on him.

No weapon was involved in the incident and due to the actions taken by school officials the students were never in danger, Turner said.