BY JENNIFER CABRERA
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Dequon Chuck Welcome, 25, was arrested yesterday morning after allegedly pulling car door handles at Canopy Apartments. He was also wanted on a felony grand theft charge after allegedly stealing five phones and some cash from people who were playing basketball at Fred Cone Park in June.
Gainesville Police Department responded to a call on Sunday morning reporting that a man was pulling on multiple car door handles. An officer made contact with Welcome, who was walking through the apartment complex and fit the description given by the caller. The officer reported that Welcome was holding a package that did not belong to him, so he took him into custody. A witness at the scene, who was also the original 911 caller, told the officer that Welcome was the person they had seen pulling car door handles. The witness also had a video that reportedly showed Welcome pulling on car door handles.
Welcome also had an active warrant for felony grand theft from an incident in June. The complainants in that case told officers that they had set down their phones and wallets while playing basketball and that the phones and some cash were missing when they finished playing basketball. Welcome allegedly took the phones and traded them for cash at a machine at Walmart, so he was initially charged with five counts each of dealing in stolen property and fraudulently pawning items, but those charges were later dropped; only the felony grand theft charge was formally filed. The phones were recovered, but the cash and phone cases were not recovered.
Welcome has two felony convictions and has served one state prison sentence. He has been charged with one count of burglary of an unoccupied vehicle and one count of felony grand theft. Although the arrest warrant recommended $5,000 bond on the grand theft charge, Judge Susan Miller-Jones released him on his own recognizance with a requirement that he be fitted with a GPS monitor before release.
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.