Covington Police charge teens after 75 reported car break-ins


COVINGTON, Georgia. – Police say they believe two Covington teenagers were part of a group that entered and stole more than 70 vehicles across the county earlier this month.

Tremayne Hill, 18, and Mekhi Nickols, 18, both from Nixon Circle in Covington, were being held at the Newton County Detention Center today on charges relating to a wave of thefts from vehicles inside from the city.

Nickols is charged with 19 counts of entering vehicles with intent to commit theft and one count of vehicle theft. He was being held without bail. Hill is charged with two counts of entering vehicles with intent to commit theft.

Other charges are possible for committing the same crimes, spokesman Captain Ken Malcom said.

Malcom said Covington Police Officer Wesley Couch observed two individuals at the intersection of Floyd and Mill Streets all wearing black clothes on Sunday, September 19 at around 3 a.m. Couch conducted field interviews with the two individuals and one, Hill, was arrested on charges of using false names.

“The second subject was positively identified by the officers as Mekhi Nickols,” said Malcom. “These two people fit the description of people who have entered approximately 35 vehicles within city limits and more than 40 other vehicles outside city limits in recent days.”

Covington Detective Sgt. Slade McCullough, Julie English and Mark Joyner continued the investigation and determined that Hill and Nickols were part of a group involved in a recent spate of thefts that included a Ford Edge earlier this month.

Hill and Nickols were being held in the Newton County Detention Center on charges.

“This is an ongoing investigation and additional charges are expected,” Malcom said.

He said the Newton County Sheriff’s Office was investigating additional cases of auto entry outside of city limits.

Nickols and Hill are accused of being linked to a series of vehicle thefts and break-ins in and near a Covington neighborhood over the three-day Labor Day weekend.

Four vehicles were stolen and 12 vehicles entered over the weekend earlier this month, Malcom said.

He said police recovered two of the four stolen vehicles, including a stolen Chevrolet Silverado from Ashley Drive and the stolen Ford Edge from Dearing Street, from the Covington Housing Authority apartment complex on Alcovy Street.

At least three offenders passed through Covington Place and neighboring neighborhoods where they entered several unlocked vehicles and took various valuables. All of them appeared to be young men and “maybe teenagers,” Malcom said.

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