Man arrested after robbing Walgreens, then running into home and holding occupants hostage


Franklin Delano White, Jr., 40, was arrested yesterday on charges of robbery with a firearm, burglary of an occupied structure, false imprisonment, battery, obstructing justice by intimidating a witness, and resisting an officer without violence.

At about 2:00 p.m. on January 31, an employee at the Walgreens at E. University Avenue and Waldo Road reported that a man had taken a greeting card, written a message in it, and handed it to the employee. The man asked the employee to read the card, which said, “I have a gun give me the money and I won’t hurt you.” The employee gave all the cash from the cash register to the man, who then left the store. The employee told a Gainesville Police Department (GPD) officer that he believed the man was the same one who had robbed that store in September 2021.

The man then jumped fences and attempted to get into several houses, leaving his blood on the exterior of multiple residences. When he reached a house about 3 blocks away on NE 14th Street, he pounded on the front and then the back door. When a resident opened the back door, he allegedly shoved his way past her and entered the residence without her permission.

The man, later identified as White, then allegedly locked the door behind him, trapping the victim and her juvenile son inside. The woman reported that she tried to escape multiple times by running toward the doors, but White allegedly blocked her with her body. At one point, she nearly opened a door, but White allegedly pulled her back inside and then pushed her to the floor. The victim had injuries consistent with her account.

GPD officers saw blood on the front door of the house and began trying to contact the resident by phone. White allegedly would not let her answer her phone, took the phone from her, and shut it off. The victim began yelling that she was trapped inside with the man. Officers eventually had to force entry on the front and back doors of the house to rescue the victim and her son.

White allegedly ignored commands to get on the ground and shut the door to keep the victims hostage. He reportedly refused to cooperate with detectives and said he did not understand his Miranda rights. He reportedly had $237 cash in his pocket at the time of his arrest and was later positively identified by the store employee as the man who had robbed Walgreens.

White was previously arrested September 12, 2021, in relation to a similar incident on August 28. An employee at the same Walgreens reported that a man took a greeting card off the shelf, asked for a pen, and wrote a message saying he had a gun, didn’t want to hurt her, and wanted all the money from the register. The clerk gave him all the money from the register, then he successfully demanded the cash from a second register, then left the store.

Shortly after that robbery, a woman reported that she had been sitting in a vehicle on the side of the road on NE 13th Street when a man got into her car and offered her $1,000 for sex. She reported that he told her, “I just did something bad.” She waved down a passing police officer, at which point the man fled into the woods but dropped his phone. The officer noted that the screensaver on the phone appeared to be the same person he had just observed on store video at the Walgreens. The second victim was able to identify White in a photo line-up, but the Walgreens employee was not able to identify him in a photo line-up as the man who had robbed the store.

White was initially held on $250,000 bond, but on October 25, his attorney asked that he be released on his own recognizance because charges had not yet been formally filed. The motion said that the State Attorney’s office had no objection to his release from custody, and White was released the next day. Charges were dropped on November 8.

White has been charged with robbery with a firearm, burglary of an occupied structure, false imprisonment, battery, obstructing justice by intimidating a witness, and resisting an officer without violence. He is being held on $130,000 bond.

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. 

  • He must have thought he was in San Francisco. We’re getting there but still a year or two out. By that time, not only will city leadership buy his lunch, they’ll also pay for the Uber to the restaurant.

  • Had bond of $250K on first robbery. Much worse crimes the second time and bond is $130K? It’s ok Mr Criminal. Even if your convicted, Commissioner Ward will send a letter to the Governor requesting clemency on your behalf. That’s a true story. Bank robber; clemency and recruitment to be the Police Advisory Committee Chair. This town is so screwed up.

  • Robbery with a gun? Start talking “10,20,life”!
    What if that was you & your families house that
    Got home invaded by this criminal?

  • It’s hard to identify criminals if they were wearing
    A face mask during the crime…that’s why they conceal
    Their faces, to protect themselves from being identified,
    Not to protect you..

  • We need to fill the jails and keep creeps in there longer, give jail and prison guards all a 50% raise. Anyone with common sense can see the lawyers and judges just want job security, and keep ramping up crime rates to assure that. Including Brandon’s illegal migrants out joy riding on our unfamiliar roads without drivers licenses.

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