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Pair arrested for stealing passenger van in Alachua

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

ALACHUA, Fla. – Alvin Harley Crews, 51, of Macclenny, and Ronnie Ryan Padgett, 18, of Glen St. Mary, were arrested early this morning after allegedly stealing a passenger van from a residence along U.S. Hwy 441 in Alachua. They were also charged with possession of drug equipment, and Crews was charged with cocaine possession.

At about 12:21 a.m. this morning, an Alachua Police Department officer was traveling southbound on Hwy 441 in Alachua when he saw the van traveling 77 mph in a 55-mph zone. The officer conducted a traffic stop and saw Padgett get out of the driver’s side of the van after it crashed into a concrete barrier. Padgett reportedly admitted he didn’t have a driver’s license and that he had marijuana in his pocket and was placed in handcuffs. The officer reported finding a glass pipe stuffed with a Brillo pad and a smoked “blunt” in Padgett’s pockets.

The officer discovered that the van had been stolen from a residence along Hwy 441.

Post Miranda, Padgett reportedly said that the glass pipe was not his and that he had no idea what it was used for. He also reportedly said that the van belonged to his mother’s friend Brian, who dropped it off for the pair to use after Padgett’s vehicle had become disabled on Hwy 441. Padgett reportedly said he was taking the van to get gas for his own vehicle.

The officer discovered that Padgett’s driver’s license has been suspended since December of 2021; Padgett reportedly said he was only driving because his passenger, Crews, was too tired to drive.

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Crews appeared to be sleeping at the time of the traffic stop, and the officer awakened him and asked him to exit the vehicle. The officer reported that he then asked Crews if there was anything illegal in the van or on his person, and Crews said there was not. The officer wrote that he next asked Crews what was in his pockets, and Crews reportedly replied, “That’s a good question” and began emptying his pockets. The officer reported that Crews removed a glass pipe and a container with 20.8 grams of crack cocaine from his pockets.

Crews has been charged with grand theft of a motor vehicle, cocaine possession, and possession of drug equipment. He is being held without bail, pending first appearance.

Padgett has been charged with grand theft of a motor vehicle, driving without a valid license (second or subsequent offense), and possession of drug equipment. He is being held on $27,500 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. 

  • 20 grams almost a trafficking amount which carries mandatory 3 years we don’t need people like that increasing crimes in our community

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