Gainesville, FL (March 5, 2020) – According to an online news report posted on Gainesville.com, Sheriff´s Deputies have identified and arrested a man from Gainesville, Florida, who they believe to be an accomplice in 19 motor vehicle burglaries this past January in Gainesville, Florida. The crime spree was perpetrated in Gainesville´s Longleaf Subdivision.
The news report states that the arrest report provided by the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office arrest report alleges the 20-year-old Gainesville man was an active participant in 19 auto burglaries that occurred on a single night.
One of the vehicles burglarized included a marked patrol car. Two automobiles were stolen due to being unlocked, and the keys of the vehicles were found inside the unlocked vehicles. According to the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office arrest report, one of the motor vehicles, stolen on January 3, 2020, was parked inside a garage. The vehicle was stolen while the owners were asleep inside their home.
A previous arrest in this crime spree was made in late January, according to police. This suspect is an 18-year-old man from Gainesville, Florida. He was arrested by Orange County deputies after he was found driving one of the stolen motor vehicles. The man is being held at the Alachua County jail,, and his bail was set at $625,000. Video found on the defendant´s cellphone was taken the day after the crime spree and showed the other defendant inside a motor vehicle in the Longleaf Subdivision according to the arrest report. The physical description of the 20-year-old defendant, who was just arrested, matched one of the three auto thieves seen on the neighborhood´s surveillance footage. The footage from the night of the crime, which made the defendant a key suspect in the crime.
The 20-year-old Gainesville man has been charged with five counts of larceny, 16 counts of unoccupied burglary, two counts of grand theft auto, and burglary of an emergency vehicle.
Florida Grand Theft Auto Law
According to Florida Statute § 812.014(2), grand theft auto is a third-degree felony in the state of Florida. Depending on the facts of the case, law enforcement and state prosecutors may upgrade the criminal offense to either second-degree or first-degree felony grand theft auto. For example, if the value of the vehicle is greater than $20,000 but has a value of less than $100,000, the charge can be upgraded to a second-degree felony. If the vehicle´s value exceeds $100,000, the criminal charge may be upgraded to a first-degree felony. If the vehicle stolen was any type of law enforcement semitrailer truck or if the defendant used the vehicle to commit another crime resulting in property damage, the criminal offense could become a first-degree felony.