Three teens arrested after a high speed chase through rush hour traffic have been linked to violent carjackings across the metro Atlanta area.
Police said the chase began on Thursday after the suspects allegedly pointed a gun at a woman at a Fayetteville store.
The car, which had two 16-year-olds and a 14-year-old inside, then led police pursuers through six counties for more than 30 minutes. At one point, the chase went through an Atlanta park.
"The callousness of this whole thing -- not just pointing a gun at somebody, which is in and of itself the dangerous the most dangerous thing that can happen to you -- but also, at the height of rush hour, engaging in a police chase," said Mike Whitlow of the Fayetteville Police Department.
Authorities finally stopped the car after sideswiping it, causing it to come to a halt on a guardrail.
The three teenagers were arrested and have been tied to a string of carjackings in Atlanta, Fulton County, DeKalb County, Coweta County, Henry County, Clayton County, East Point and Fayetteville.
On Wednesday, a 15-year-old allegedly stole an East Point police car and then held a SWAT team at bay for four hours. That standoff ended with tear gas. That teen was reportedly part of the same carjacking ring as the suspects arrested in Thursday's chase.
One local pastor said the incidents should be a reality check. The Rev. Norman Thomas of First Baptist Church said that the crimes are troubling.
"Parents definitely have to wake up," said Thomas.
Thomas, also an elementary school principal, called these crimes troubling and proof that parents need to step in.
"If that's not a clarion call to wake up, if we don't get things in order, our future -- for not only our generation but for the next generation -- is going to go down in turmoil," Thomas said.
Police said that the teens will be charged as adults in the crimes.