50-time felon, released from prison 2 months ago, arrested for multiple business burglaries

Staff report

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Terry Sylvester Johnson, 57, was arrested yesterday and charged with breaking into five different businesses and stealing or attempting to steal money from the cash registers.

On April 23 at about 2:30 a.m., surveillance cameras showed a man arriving at the Latin Food Blessing Peruvian Cuisine restaurant at 7249 NW 4th Boulevard. The man threw a cinderblock through the glass front door, entered, and took the entire cash register and a safe containing cash. The restaurant lost about $1,750 in cash and suffered about $500 in damages.

On April 26 at about 3:40 a.m., surveillance cameras showed the same man throwing a large rock into the glass side door of the Gainesville Wine & Spirits store at 7415 NW 4th Boulevard. The man hopped the counter and tried to steal the register but was not successful; damages came to about $500.

On May 3 at about 3:38 a.m., surveillance cameras showed the same man shattering the glass front door of The Walkabout Shop in the Oaks Mall Plaza. After entering the store, the man dropped what appeared to be a handgun on the floor, took some cash from the register, and kicked the object on the way out; after kicking the object, he stopped and picked it up before fleeing. The damage came to about $500.

On May 3 at about 3:50 a.m., surveillance cameras showed the same man throwing a rock through the glass front door of the Seafood Dock restaurant in the Oaks Mall Plaza. After entering, he encountered an employee who was still inside and fled. The damage to the door is estimated at $500.

On May 10 at about 3:35 a.m., surveillance cameras showed the same man arriving at Pizza Hut at 1204 N. Main Street on a bicycle. The man threw a large rock through the glass front door of the restaurant and tried to open two cash registers before fleeing with one of the cash registers. The cash register is valued at $300, it contained $2 in cash, and the damage to the door is estimated at $500.

A Gainesville Police Department Detective believed the man was staying in the area of I-75 and Newberry Road because four of the businesses were in that area and he rode a bicycle. He obtained surveillance footage from the Circle K at the intersection of Tower Road and Newberry Road, which showed the same man coming to that store to buy cigars after the Oaks Mall Plaza burglaries on May 3. The man walked to the store from the east side of Tower Road, so the detective went to the Motel 6 and other hotels in the area with a picture of the suspect, but none of the clerks said they recognized him.

A GPD Crime Analyst conducted a search in GPD’s database to look for burglars who had used a similar modus operandi and found Johnson, who had been arrested multiple times between 2008 and 2018 for committing similar burglaries.

The detective obtained information about where Johnson’s EBT card was used and found that Johnson had made purchases at the Publix at 1200 NW 76th Boulevard. The detective obtained surveillance footage from the time and date of that transaction and was able to clearly determine that it was the same man shown in surveillance footage from the burglaries.

The detective then went back to the Motel 6 and asked them to check for Johnson’s name in their guest logs; Johnson was found to have stayed there from April 15 to May 6.

Johnson has been charged with four counts of burglary of an unoccupied structure, one count of burglary of an occupied structure, two counts of theft, one count of grand theft over $750, and four counts of property damage over $200.

Johnson has 50 felony convictions (none violent) and six misdemeanor convictions (none violent). He has served nine state prison sentences and was last released on March 11, 2023, after a three-year sentence for eight Alachua County burglary cases with the same modus operandi of throwing heavy items through glass doors. Judge Thomas Jaworski set bail at $400,000.

Articles about arrests are based on reports from law enforcement agencies. The charges listed are taken from the arrest report and/or court records and are only accusations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

  • It’s time to claw back lawyer fees whenever an offender repeats.

    • Do you want to do away with the Sixth Amendment? Write your legislators instead of repeating the same things over and over here. Then we can start convicting people of crimes without giving them any counsel to represent them.

      Until then, even the guiltiest of defendants have a right to counsel, to preserve at least the appearance of court integrity, and those counselors have a right to be paid for their services.

  • Broke deerhound doesn’t get that many chances, no matter how much you paid for him.

  • 50 felonies!!! BINGO!!! We have a winner! Give this man his reparations!

  • This fella is not at all afraid to go back to prison, and why should he be? He will get 3 hot meals a day, free health care, his own room and personal television. He will have daily access to a rec yard where he can play basketball and lift weights and run on the track. He can buy just about whatever goodies his heart desires from the commissary once or twice a week. Now he might even be able to talk on the phone all day at no cost.

  • What does reparations haveto.do with this? I wonder do any of you individuals complain about all the money that goes to bail out these corporations and foreign aid this gives out? How about we cut funds from Ukraine and Israel?? Let’s start there.

  • 50x felon on EBT?🤔

    Nice. I pay out the nose for groceries these days under the wOkE administration.

  • This guy doesn’t deserve to be alive. Any woke behinds out there can dislike this statement as much as you want, but it will never make it anything but a 100% true statement.

  • A 50-time felon, out on the streets and enjoying the EBT lifestyle. Welcome to Ron DeSanctimonious’ Florida! He’s busy passing laws about problems that don’t exist, or picking fights with Mickey Mouse, and meanwhile the state is a festering swamp of street crime.

  • OK, 50 felony convictions. Albeit non-violent he still has issues with self behavior.
    One would think (wishful) that the 8th judicial head prosecutor seeing this young mans record would make a decision after the 20th felony conviction to keep the community safe by keeping this fine democratic citizen in prison for life.
    That my friends is what we get for thinking.

    • Yes BB, this poor guy is trying as hard as he can to tell the SAO and the judges that he wants to spend the rest of his life in prison. So why do we keep forcing him to threaten innocent people, not to mention wasting the limited resources of the courts system, to fulfill his desires?

  • instead of treating mental patients like mental patient you will get this a lot….

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