Police Arrest Suspect Accused Of A String Of Car Thefts In Gainesville

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Police say a 19-year-old Gainesville man has a pattern of breaking into vehicles near the Krispy Kreme on Northwest 13th Street and that he has a particular eye for Apple AirPods. 

Jabari Crews currently has four open cases against him. Crews is charged with two counts of grand theft of a motor vehicle, one count of fleeing law enforcement, three counts of unarmed burglary, a count of resisting an officer without violence and a count of petty theft. 

On Oct. 28, police said Crews broke into at least two vehicles at Abundant Grace Church, at 12505 NW 39th Ave. Following confrontation from officers, police said Crews fled the scene and arrived back to law enforcement with his grandmother. Crews told police he had been looking for a ride but later admitted to attempting to steal a vehicle.

Police found Crews’ wallet on the scene.

Crews also broke into a vehicle on Nov. 26, police said, at a townhome behind the Krispy Kreme. According to the arrest report, Crews stole $100 from the vehicle and then went on to steal the car parked adjacent. Crews admitted during police questioning to doing “car hops” in the area surrounding the Krispy Kreme and has found many Apple AirPods from his break-ins. 

Crews had his bond revoked following the theft of the vehicle. On Nov. 30, a Gainesville Police officer spotted the car traveling northbound down NW 13th St. After the police began chasing the vehicle, Crews crashed the car on NW 5th Ave. Police said Crews claimed he had borrowed the vehicle from an individual named “Brian” and had no knowledge that the vehicle was stolen. Crews also told law enforcement that he fled police due to prior charges. 

An incident that occurred on Oct. 20 led to the arrest of Crews on March 1. According to the arrest report, Crews is accused of stealing a SUV from the West20 apartments located at 3527 SW 20th Ave. Police identified Crews as a suspect after his iPhone was paired to the vehicle’s Bluetooth system.

On Nov. 1, Crews was arrested on an unrelated charge of theft. According to police, Crews had stolen an iPad, laptop and Amazon Firestick from his mother, Ursula Crews. When she discovered her items were missing, police said Crews’s mother found the missing iPad case in her son’s dresser drawer. The arrest report states Crews admitted to his mother that he had stolen these items and took them to TB Goods to be pawned. Police said he later denies this and refused to take his mother to the pawn shop to retrieve her items.

On Jan. 28, Crews’ public defender presented a motion for evaluation of his competency due to his diagnosis of autism. The date for the hearing to determine competency has yet to be set. 

The public defender also motioned to reduce Crews’ bond citing an “unaffordable monetary bail” that deprives him of due process. His bond is currently set at $71,000 for the four charges in total. 

The next hearing in Crews’s case is to be held on March 23 at 2 p.m. 

About Kendall Brandt

Kendall Brandt is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.

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