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Jonesboro auto-theft suspect arrested in Florida
Truck taken from library parking lot

By Linda Looney-Bond

lbond@news-daily.com

Authorities in Florida have arrested a 19-year-old Jonesboro woman discovered riding in a truck allegedly stolen from the parking lot of the Clayton County headquarters library. The truck was reported stolen after the owner was robbed of her keys on a nearby trail, according to a police report.

Lakiya Mann was arrested early Tuesday morning in Orlando, Fla., according to Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Kim Montes.

Mann was a passenger in a 2003 Chevrolet Avalanche that had been stolen Monday in Jonesboro, according to Montes.

The driver, a minor reported missing from St. Cloud, Fla., was also arrested.

"A trooper was driving through downtown Orlando, ran the tag, and the tag came back stolen," Montes said. "Something, to him, just looked out of place maybe because it was an out-of-state tag. He located an ID card, and a debit card that matched the victim's ID. That's when they were detained."

Mann was charged with grand theft of a motor vehicle, arrested and booked into the Orange County Jail.

The minor was charged with grand theft of a motor vehicle and driving without a license. She was arrested and booked into a Florida juvenile detention center, Montes said.

Another passenger, Jasmene McDonald, 18, of Kissimmee, Fla., was released without charges, according to Montes.

The truck was stolen just after 11:30 a.m., Monday, from the Clayton County Library System headquarters branch, at 865 Battle Creek Road, according to a Clayton County Police report.

The incident began when an unidentified male, and a woman fitting Mann's description, approached the victim, Armando Gutierrez-Diaz, 35, of Jonesboro, while she and her children were on the Jester's Creek Trail, which has an entrance at the library parking lot, according to the police report.

The male suspect "approached from behind and placed [Gutierrez-Diaz] in a headlock while on the trail," the police report states. He then "placed a knife in front of her and told her to sit on the ground," according to the report.

A female accomplice then went through Gutierrez-Diaz's pockets and took her vehicle keys, the report states. The suspects then fled from the trail, gained entry into Gutierrez-Diaz's vehicle and fled the scene.

A witness told police the two suspects had been seen sitting on a bench at the trail entrance prior to the incident.

Mann had not been extradited to Clayton County on Tuesday, according to Clayton County Police Officer Kevin Hughes.

The male suspect was still at large Tuesday, Hughes said. He was described as tall, with a slim build, and was wearing a white shirt and gray shorts at the time of the incident, according to the police report.

"We do always encourage people to be aware of their surroundings, and we do encourage people to lock their cars, and to be conscientious when they go out there," said Headquarters Managing Librarian Sherry Turner. "I think that goes for any public facility," she said.

Anyone with information in the case is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (404) 577-8477.