BY JENNIFER CABRERA
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Jared Robert Johnson, 33, has been charged with petit theft, organized dealing in stolen property, and providing false information on a pawn transaction form; he was already in the Alachua County Jail following his arrest on December 30 on a Putnam County warrant for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
A Gainesville Police Department (GPD) officer reported that on December 17, Johnson and his brother, Justin A. Simmons, 31, entered the Oaks South Pawn Shop, where they are well-known to staff as frequent customers. On that date, Johnson completed a pawn transaction and then stayed in the store with his brother, looking at the merchandise. Johnson appeared to target a Dell laptop computer valued at $300, and when employees were busy with other customers, he allegedly took it from a shelf and slid it up his shirt. Johnson and Simmons then allegedly walked out to their car without paying for the laptop.
The officer reported that the two were apparently unaware that a store surveillance camera was pointed directly at the section of the store where laptops are displayed; that camera reportedly provided “crystal-clear” videos showing Johnson taking the laptop. There is also a surveillance camera on the exterior of the business, and that camera reportedly showed Johnson, in the passenger seat of a vehicle driven by Simmons, take the laptop from his shirt while Simmons watched. The two then drove away.
The officer checked other items pawned by Johnson and reportedly found that two days later, he sold the same laptop computer to Value Pawn, attesting on the pawn transaction form that he was the true and rightful owner of the laptop. He received $50 cash for the laptop.
Simmons reportedly returned to Oaks South Pawn Shop on December 27, and employees asked him to return the laptop or face prosecution. When the laptop had not been returned by December 30, the shop reported the theft to GPD.
The laptop was reportedly inspected at Value Pawn on January 3, where it displayed Oaks South’s business screen-saver when it was powered up.
Johnson has two felony convictions and an active out-of-county warrant. He was sentenced to a year of probation in 2021 for stealing 8 liquor bottles from Tailgate Beverages over a period of two weeks. Judge Susan Miller-Jones ordered him held on $25,000 bail.
A sworn complaint has been filed against Simmons.
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.