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Gainesville man charged with armed robbery of Walgreens

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Jaquil Chamara Williams, 28, has been charged with armed robbery, grand theft of a controlled substance, and possession of a controlled substance in connection with the February 20 robbery of the Walgreens on NW 43rd Street.

Gainesville Police Department officers responded to the Walgreens at about 8:30 p.m. on February 20 and learned that a black male wearing an orange hoodie, face mask, and black pants entered the front door of the store, went directly to the pharmacy, jumped over the counter, and said to an employee, “I have a gun, give me all the Percocets.” He also reportedly told the employee not to look at his face.

The employee was reportedly unable to get into the safe, so the suspect took about $117 in cash from a cash register, some cough syrup with promethazine, and other medications. The suspect then left through the front door.

Law enforcement is aware of a string of similar armed robberies from pharmacies, including a February 13 robbery in High Springs. Other agencies have identified the vehicle used by the suspect as a white four-door sedan.

Following the Walgreens robbery, an alert was issued for a white four-door sedan, and a K-9 handler observed a white Hyundai near the Home Depot on NW 13th Street and NW 53rd Avenue. She conducted a traffic stop on the car, and it turned into the parking lot of Home Depot, where the passenger, who was wearing an orange hoodie and carrying a backpack, ran into the woods.

Another officer chased the suspect on foot and was able to see the side of the suspect’s face; he reportedly recognized the suspect as someone he went to high school with. The suspect was not captured during the chase because the K-9 bit an officer who was chasing the suspect. The officer was not seriously injured because his vest protected him from the bite.

The Hyundai drove a short distance away and was abandoned near the Subway in the same parking lot.

During a K-9 track, officers found a discarded backpack and an orange hoodie along the flight path of the suspect. Body-worn camera footage from officers who chased the suspect showed that the suspect was wearing similar clothing to the suspect in the Walgreens surveillance video.

A search warrant was obtained for the vehicle, and a pair of gloves matching those shown in the surveillance video were reportedly found on the front passenger floorboard. Fingerprints from the passenger side of the car reportedly matched those of Williams.

A Dollar General bag was also found on the front passenger floorboard of the car with items that were unopened and appeared to be recently purchased. Detectives from Alachua County Sheriff’s Office assisted in canvassing Dollar General stores, and a purchase of those items on February 20 was identified at the Dollar General at 4133 SW 34th Street. Surveillance video showed that the customer purchasing those items resembled Williams, and the customer left the store in a white four-door sedan. The customer was also wearing the same type of black pants with white stripes as the suspect chased by officers near Home Depot and was wearing slides that resembled a pair found in the car.

A search warrant was obtained for the backpack, and an officer reportedly found $116 in cash, a bottle of cough syrup with promethazine, two bottles of Promethazine Hydrochloride, and a partial bottle of Prednisolone.

Williams was taken into custody yesterday. Post Miranda, he reportedly acknowledged buying the items at Dollar General and that he had gotten a ride there from a friend who drove a white four-door sedan. He said he was dropped off to play basketball at 3700 SW 27th Street after the trip to Dollar General, and he changed into shorts at that time and left his black pants with white stripes and his slides in the car. He denied any knowledge of or involvement in the robbery.

In addition to the charges from the armed robbery, Williams had an outstanding warrant for his second failure to appear at a hearing on a charge of driving without a valid license. He has five felony convictions (one violent) and seven misdemeanor convictions (two violent) and has served a state prison sentence for felony battery that ended in May 2022. Judge Susan Miller-Jones set bail at $702,000.

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. 

  • Damn the luck! An officer in pursuit of a criminal recognized said criminal as an old classmate? It doesn’t get much better than that.

    Easy to see who made the better of career choices.

    Start the clock…40…

  • Glad he got that face & neck tat so he can be identified easily…why does he have that chain & cross on in his mugshot? That cross can be sharpened into a shank to slash somebody’s jugular…all that jewelry needs to be removed and given back when he’s released from jail…that’s some sloppy police work at the jail.
    Come on guys…that’s jail admittance 101!

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