THOMASVILLE -- Reports of thefts at the W.R. Milton YMCA began in mid-2004.

A "Y" member was arrested Sunday and charged with a felony. The investigation continues.

Police investigated five thefts in 2003, eight last year and two to date this year. Most thefts involved vehicles parked at the "Y" being entered. A few thefts occurred in locker rooms.

In most of the thefts, keys were taken, vehicles were entered, contents rummaged through and money taken.

On Saturday morning, a woman worked out at the Milton YMCA, 103 S. Dawson St., for a little more than an hour. She placed her car keys in an area where people exercising leave keys.

When the woman got ready to leave, her keys were missing. She found her vehicle unlocked and the keys in the ignition. She also discovered her wallet missing from the car.

The YMCA had installed a video surveillance system. Cameras were trained Saturday morning on the area where keys are kept.

Thomasville Police Department officers watched the video and saw Dwight Livingston Mack Jr., 22, 908 South St., take the keys.

Mack, who was arrested about 4 p.m. Sunday, is charged with one count of entering auto. He was released from the Thomas County Jail on a $3,600, jail records show.

Detective Toby Knifer said he found the woman's wallet in a city trash receptacle about 150 yards from the YMCA.

Capt. Troy Rich, TPD Criminal Investigations Division commander, praised the YMCA's initiative in installing the video surveillance system.

"They finally solved the case for us," Rich explained.

YMCA officials could not be reached for comment Monday afternoon.

"We are still investigating the thefts that occurred in mid-2004 to see if Mack was involved in those," Rich added.

Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 220.

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