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Grocery store robber arrested
Mark Harper

A suspect who robbed a Publix grocery store Monday was arrested early Thursday morning thanks to the work of Rockdale County Sheriff's Office investigators and help from DeKalb Police.

Mark Eugene Harper, 52 of Lithonia, was arrested and charged with robbery.

On Monday, April 15, at around 3:30 p.m., an unknown black male suspect entered the Publix located at 2880 Highway 212 in south Rockdale County.

The suspect, described as wearing a white jacket, brown pants and glasses, approached the customer service desk and robbed the clerk. He was able to get away with an undisclosed amount of cash and leave the store.

Deputies and investigators responded to the robbery call and began processing the scene. After speaking with several witnesses, investigators were able to determine that the suspect left the store as a passenger in a taxi. Within just a few hours, investigators were able to track down the taxi.

After speaking with the taxi driver and backtracking to where the suspect was originally picked up from a hotel in DeKalb County, where he was checked in under his name, and investigators were able to identify the suspect as Mark Eugene Harper.

A robbery warrant was issued for Harper's arrest on Tuesday. Harper was arrested by DeKalb County Police on the active robbery warrant when officers had contact with him at approximately 4 a.m. on Thursday. A deputy with the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office then met with the DeKalb officer and transported the suspect to the Rockdale County Jail.

"Deputies and investigators did a great job to identify the robbery suspect so quickly. The investigators moved on this case and took the warrant as soon as he was identified, which allowed Harper to be arrested by neighboring DeKalb Police just two days after the robbery," said Sheriff Eric Levett. "Rockdale County citizens can rest assured that this is exactly the type of swift response and apprehension that they can expect on all such violent crimes. The suspect is now exactly where he should jail, behind bars."

Harper is currently being held in the Rockdale County Jail, facing a charge of robbery and does not currently have a bond.