Whitehall police arrest repeat offender of stealing cars after pursuit

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Whitehall police officers were assisted by the Ohio State Highway Patrol Thursday afternoon in surrounding a Toyota Camry that had been stolen from Reynoldsburg. Three suspects were in the car at the time.

"It's quite normal in Whitehall to have at least a stolen car apprehension a day,” Whitehall Lieutenant Brian Smith said.

Smith said officers in unmarked cars were staking out an apartment complex where they believed the suspect, Tyler Gates, would appear with the stolen car.

"We have technology, license plate readers, that detect stolen cars. When the stolen cars enter our city, they will alert us to their presence,” Smith said.

Video from an officer’s body-worn camera showed officers attempting to break the windows of the car as it moved back and forth, crashing into the surrounding cruisers and fence, and nearly hitting police.

"Stop! You're gonna get shot! You're gonna get shot,” officers yelled.

Eventually, the suspects attempted to escape by foot.

"That particular situation yesterday was actually extremely dangerous,” Smith said.

An officer can then be heard using his taser to take down Gates. All three suspects were apprehended and taken into custody.

Smith said these types of arrests are common for the time of year.

"I can tell you stolen cars go up in the winter because oftentimes people leave their cars running unattended to warm up,” Smith said.

Which he said is exactly what happened in this instance.

Smith added his officers are constantly working on their skills and techniques to be able to safely take these suspects into custody.

"It's something that we really try to become good at because the public depends on us,” Smith said.

Gates now faces charges of failure to comply with the order signal of a police officer, receiving stolen property and possession of drugs. He is expected to have a preliminary hearing in Franklin County Municipal Court next week.

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