'Cookie bandit' caught after pawn shop burglary

The trail of crumbs led to Morrow

MORROW, Ga. -- A trail of crumbs and crime ended, Wednesday, after an alleged pawn shop burglar was nabbed in Morrow.

Police arrested Juantavius Gardner after he was identified as one of three people involved in a Newton County burglary - with help from a cookie.

It all started to crumble in March when a U-Haul vehicle that police believed had been used to ram into a pawn shop was spotted speeding on Highway 278 in Covington. After a chase, the truck crashed. The suspects fled, but left behind a cookie and a QuickTrip napkin. Police were able to track these items back to a specific store and, with the help of security footage, identified Gardner. 

Weeks later, it was a shopper at Southlake Mall who recognized Gardner, and his distinctive neck tattoo, from a social media post provided by Covington police. So the keen-eyed resident phoned 911 to report the sighting. Morrow police arrived to arrest Gardner, who at first gave a false identity but dropped the act once they used his real name.

Previous coverage:

Covington Police identify 'Cookie Bandit'

Morrow officials said he now awaits transport back to Newton County though two other suspects are still at large.

The three are accused of stealing several guns from Emergency Pawn Shop including AR-15s on March 20.


© 2017 WXIA-TV


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