COVINGTON, Ga. (FOX 5 Atlanta) - Covington Police said they arrested two men who are part of a nationwide luxury car theft ring, targeting dealerships and rental car agencies for high-end rides.
Officers said their $150,000 undercover bust on Friday morning helped save two luxury vehicles from leaving their city: a 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Track Hawk, worth more than $100,000, and a 2018 Range Rover Sport, worth around $60,000.
Police arrested Jason Tucker, 35, from Michigan, and Shawn Millstead, 22, from the Los Angeles area.
"This is a much bigger operation than just these two coming to a small town," said Captain Ken Malcom, who said police intelligence led authorities to the criminal network.
Investigators said the men went to Ginn Chrysler Jeep Dodge in Covington and attempted to steal the Track Hawk by using a stolen identity in their purchase. The two, police said, arrived at the dealership in the Range Rover; the vehicle was reported stolen from a rental car agency at the Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport.
Police said the employees quickly alerted Covington officers. Friday morning, police said investigators went undercover and posed as employees, and witnessed the men attempt to fraudulently purchase the vehicle.
Police arrested the two men at the dealership.
Investigators believe the criminal network targets small-town dealerships to stay out of the radar of authorities. Detectives will notify federal agents and other police agencies to take down the criminal network.