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Covington car theft suspect nabbed in PCB

Updated - The Covington Police Department has announced the arrest of an Atlanta teen suspected in a January theft of credit cards and a truck from a local gym after the case was featured on the television show “Live PD”.

CPD Captain Ken Malcom said 17-year-old Tarquinius Mack was arrested in Panama City Beach, Fl. Sunday.

Mack is suspected of walking into the Planet Fitness in Newton Plaza on Highway 278 Jan. 6 and using false information to get a temporary pass. He then allegedly went into the locker room and stole credit cards and a set of truck keys.

Authorities said he then went to the Kroger in the same shopping plaza and bought $1,000 worth of gift cards before stealing a 2017 Ford F-150 and leaving the area.

According to a press release from Malcom, Mack’s case was featured on the A&E television show “Live PD” Friday night. Malcom said CPD had been working with the show and after the segment aired, the detective working the case began to get additional tips.

“Detective Travis Pierce began getting additional tips immediately after the segment aired,” Malcom wrote in the release, “We knew that Mack had been traveling  to several states in the eastern portion of the country and that this segment could be prove to be helpful to law enforcement in getting additional credible tips to catch this suspect.”

Malcom told The Covington News that detectives had been tracking Mack’s movements by following his social media. He said Mack had been tracked to South Carolina, Ohio, and Lexington, Ky. where another theft at a Planet Fitness occurred.

"Our victim's vehicle was recovered in Atlanta about a month ago, but Mack had continued committing other thefts in several other states until Sunday," Malcom said.

According to the release, CPD has been working with Conyers police and had attempted to locate Mack during a joint surveillance operation in Atlanta working with U.S. Marshals and the Newton County Sheriff’s Office.

Locally, in addition to Covington, Mack is the suspect in thefts several metro Atlanta jurisdictions including Gwinnett County, Cobb County and Holly Springs.

Malcom said Monday afternoon that Mack was arrested at a hotel after authorities located a car reported stolen from Tennessee. 

Malcom also said that Mack had stolen credit cards from an area fitness center and that his arrest was unrelated to the appearance of the case on the TV show. There is no word on when Mack will return to Covington to face charges.