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Thursday, May 19, 2022

Suspected burglar arrested after store owner recognizes him

Handcuffed inside a police car, a Gainesville man kicked through a back seat window Easter morning.

Moments earlier, Billy W. Weaver yanked his arms every which way as Gainesville Police officer Steven Carter escorted him to the car. Hitting a police officer was no big deal, Weaver said, according to an arrest report.

Weaver, 38, was booked on charges of burglary, resisting an officer and two counts of criminal mischief. He caused about $800 in damage, police said.

Weaver broke into Southern Scooters and ATVs, located at 4306 NW 13th St., at about 4:40 a.m. Sunday, police said. He hopped a fence behind the store, climbed a barrel and pried off the metal frame of a back window to get inside. Then he pulled open the roll-up door in the back, police said.

When the door opened, an alarm went off.

By the time officers arrived, Weaver was gone. Carter and the store’s manager, David Willis, watched a surveillance video that showed Weaver walking through the shop looking at saws and scooters.

While the officers stayed at the store, Willis walked about a block south to grab coffee at a Sunoco gas station convenience store. Inside, Willis saw a man who looked just like the one in the surveillance video. The man was wearing the same clothes, police said.

Officers drove to the store, but Weaver said he wasn’t leaving. Carter grabbed him and pulled him toward the police car. Weaver tried to break free, so Carter pressed him against the hood of the police car and handcuffed him, according to the report.

Inside the car, Weaver rolled on his back and kicked through the window. He continued kicking, so three officers held him down while one of them strapped his arms and legs together. On the way to jail, police said, Weaver broke the straps off twice.

Weaver was held at the Alachua County Jail on a $25,000 bond Monday.

Contact Tyler Jett at

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