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License plate reader alerts GPD to stolen car, resulting in 2 arrests for car theft, drugs, and stolen credit cards

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

Updated on 7/4/22 with correct name of first suspect and updated bail amount.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Conchita Mitchell, 42, and Ronald Dwayne Johnson, 56, of St. Petersburg, were arrested yesterday at the Burger King on Newberry Road in Gainesville after a license plate reader system alerted Gainesville Police Department (GPD) that the car Mitchell was driving was stolen out of St. Petersburg.

GPD officers made contact with Mitchell, who was in the driver’s seat of the vehicle, and Johnson, the passenger, in the parking lot of the Burger King. During a search of Mitchell, methamphetamine was reportedly found in her purse. That led to a probable-cause search of the vehicle, which reportedly found that Mitchell had driver’s licenses, credit cards, and checkbooks from “dozens” of other people.

Mitchell allegedly gave the name “Conchita Garcia” at the time of her arrest “to avoid additional charges” for habitual driving without a valid license.

Post Miranda, Mitchell reportedly said she didn’t know the vehicle was stolen and that she was driving it for her sister-in-law; she also reportedly said that she collected the identification and credit cards while cleaning eviction homes.

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The search of the vehicle also reportedly found a box in the middle console that contained methamphetamine, a capsule containing heroin, marijuana, and several prescription pills. In the same box, officers reportedly found a wallet with various forms of identification belonging to Johnson, along with identification and bank cards for four other people.

Post Miranda, Johnson denied knowing about the narcotics in the box and did not give any explanation for possessing identification and bank cards belonging to others.

Mitchell has been charged with grand theft of a vehicle, possessing dangerous drugs, and unlawfully possessing identification cards for five or more people; she is being held on $40,000 bail on those charges. She was additionally charged with giving false identification to law enforcement, driving with a suspended license as a habitual offender, and driving with a permanently-revoked license; she is being held on$11,000 bail on those charges.

Johnson has been charged with possession of marijuana, two counts of possession of controlled substances without a prescription, and possession of identification information for four or fewer people. He is being held on $35,000 bail.

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 amazing, when criminals are caught, they don’t know anything.

    Just reinforces that old saying, “Criminals are stupid.”

    Unsurprising, many of them find their way to Gainesville.

  • Round them up two at a time can’t stand a thief always has something to do with drug use or sales. Clean the streets up so our future children can grow up peacefully

  • atlasofsurveillance.org: The Gainesville Police Department spent $10,000 on Clearview AI face recognition technology for seven users in 2019.

    The Gainesville Police Department scanned 67,557 license plates in 2019 using Vigilant Solutions automated license plate readers.

    The Alachua County Sheriff’s Office scanned 394,279 license plates in 2019 using Vigilant Solutions automated license plate readers.

    The Alachua County Sheriff’s Office and Gainesville Police Department are two of more than 275 law enforcement agencies with access to the Face Analysis Comparison & Examination System (FACES), a face recognition program maintained by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. Investigators may upload an image to search more than 25-million Florida driver’s license photos and mugshots.

  • The University of Florida Police Department uses automated license plate readers. Vigilant Solutions ALPRs were installed 16 intersections surrounding the University’s campus in 2020

    The Alachua County Sheriff’s Office signed an agreement with Amazon’s home surveillance equipment company, Ring, in 2020 to gain special access to the company’s Neighbors app

    The Gainesville Police Department signed an agreement with Amazon’s home surveillance equipment company, Ring, in 2018 to gain special access to the company’s Neighbors app

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  • Drugs and theft are related? Has legalizing hard drugs in Oregon reduced crime ‚ÄĒ and addictions, there yet?

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