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Police: Operation Thunder a big success | News

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Police: Operation Thunder a big success
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ATLANTA --  Law enforcement officers across Metro Atlanta are calling Operation Thunder a huge success.

The three-day, multi-jurisdictional crackdown ended Saturday night.

Preliminary numbers from the Atlanta Police Department show 686 traffic citations, 178 arrests including 19 felonies, 15 pounds of marijuana seized, 61 DUI arrests and the recovery of three stolen vehicles.

Harris Blackwood, the director of the Governor's Office of Highway Safety, attributed the large number of arrests and confiscations to a new computer system the state is trying for the first time.

"It is a new initiative called Data Driven Approach to Crime and Traffic Safety," Blackwood said. "Our enforcement locations were strategically selected in areas where traffic violations and crime are a common occurrence. The results speak for themselves." 

Not everyone cited came through the checkpoint. 

Late Saturday night, Lt. Wes Wilburn with the Georgia State Patrol said a driver decided to go around officers on Connolly Road. Officers chased him for roughly two minutes before the driver lost control out of a curve, veered off the road and collided into a telephone pole.  The driver and two passengers were thrown from the car and taken to the hospital.

Blackwood said seizures included heroin, crack cocaine, marijuana and associated cash.

One routine traffic stop for a cracked windshield and safety belt violations turned up 15 pounds of marijuana and $5,000 cash.

Additional arrests included an armed robbery suspect and several other fugitives, a motorist caught with counterfeit IRS refund checks and a suspect wanted on a Secret Service warrant.

A warning to drivers--though "Operation Thunder" is over, authorties have begun their seasonal "Click It or Ticket" campaign.

"We aren't going to be giving warnings. Buckle up or pay up," said Blackwood.

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