BY JENNIFER CABRERA
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Mijael Linares-Jimenez, 35, was arrested last night and charged with the theft of two scooters.
The first victim reported that his scooter was stolen on June 20. The second victim reported that her scooter was stolen on June 23. The license plate reader database was checked for hits on the second license plate, and it showed that the same person had been driving the scooter all over southwest Gainesville since June 24. The man riding the scooter had several distinctive features, including facial hair; a ponytail/man-bun; and Adidas shoes with a “very unique” green, white, and black design.
On July 2, the second victim saw her scooter at the Walmart on SW 42nd Street and called 911 while watching the scooter, which was parked outside the store. When Gainesville Police Department (GPD) officers arrived, a man was reportedly riding away on the scooter, right past the responding officer. The officer followed the scooter until it entered an apartment complex and disappeared around a building. The scooter was then found, parked, and was retrieved by its owner. Walmart surveillance video reportedly produced good images of the man who had ridden the scooter, including his face and the same unique shoes.
On July 8, a GPD officer who had viewed the Walmart surveillance images reportedly saw a man matching that description riding a different scooter on SW 34th Street. The officer ran the license plate and determined that the scooter was the one reported stolen on June 20. The scooter driver reportedly made evasive movements, including driving between lanes, but was eventually cornered in a parking lot and arrested.
The driver was identified as Linares-Jimenez, and he was reportedly wearing the shoes that were seen in the surveillance images on the license plate reader cameras, traffic light cameras, and at Walmart.
Post Miranda, Linares-Jimenez reportedly said he had bought the scooter on July 7 for $150 from an unknown person in an unknown location. However, the officer wrote that license plate readers had shown that Linares-Jimenez had been riding the scooter for at least a week. Linares-Jimenez reportedly eventually admitted that he knew the scooter was stolen. When he was informed that he was also the suspect in a second scooter theft and was shown the pictures from Walmart, he reportedly said “Everything is true” regarding both scooter thefts and that he was stealing scooters for reasons related to “survival.”
Linares-Jimenez has been charged with two counts of grand theft and is being held on $10,000 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.