COVINGTON, Ga. - Covington police are looking for a 17-year-old suspected of stealing a customer's credit cards and pick-up truck while that customer worked out Monday afternoon at the Planet Fitness on Highway 278.
According to a Covington Police Department incident report, the victim said he got to the gym around 4:30 p.m. Jan. 6 and parked near the Dunkin Donuts. He told police that when he finished his workout, he noticed his keys were missing from the hook he hung them on in his locker and when he went outside, his brown 2017 Ford F-150 was missing from the parking lot.
CPD Captain Ken Malcom said the suspect had gone into the business and used false information to get a temporary card under the premise that he was going to work out and then gone into the men's locker room where he went through lockers and found keys and credit cards belonging to one of the victim.
"He immediately left and went and bought about $1,000 worth of gift cards from Kroger then took the victim's vehicle, which was a 2017 Ford F-150 and left the location," Malcom said.
Malcom said that when CPD began working on the investigation, they were able to identify the suspect as Tarquinnious Mack of Atlanta. He said Mack is suspected of committing similar crimes in multiple jurisdictions.
"Gwinnett PD, Holly Springs, and Cobb County PD are all looking for the same individual," Malcom said, "This is a serial thief."
According to a CPD press release, security cameras show Mack entering the gym wearing a female wig and walking around not using any equipment. Video also shows him walking toward the victim's truck in the parking lot. Additional video reportedly shows him making the fraudulent purchases at Kroger. According to the release, it's been determined that he is part of a group stealing vehicles from fitness centers.
Malcom said local crimes are not always committed by locals.
"It has been a trend before that the folks doing these types of crimes in Covington are not from Covington," he said," "They're getting off the interstate and looking for easy targets. They're hitting them and getting back.
"And we've had some success before at solving these because of the activity after they steal the items. When they use the credit card, we're often able to get positive identification through video and through good Samaritans contacting us and letting us know who they are. In this particular case, we already know who he is, we'd like to know where he is."
Police are offering a reward for information that leads to an arrest in the case.
"We are offering a reward to anyone that provides us the information that leads to Mr. Mack's arrest," Malcom said.
Authorities describe Mack as a black male, 5'10", 200 lbs. Anyone with any information is asked to contact Captain Malcom at 770-385-2126 or email@example.com, Detective Travis Pierce at 678-625-5562 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Officer Justin Stott at 770-385-2144 or email@example.com.
Tipsters can also go to the anonymous tip form on the CPD website at https://www.covingtonpolice.com/