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Sunday, June 26, 2022
Generic Crime
Generic Crime

Gainesville Police arrested an Ocala couple Thursday who traveled to Gainesville to steal a Bobcat construction vehicle.

Chelsey Olivia Jackson

Chelsey Olivia Jackson

Donald Earnest Tanney

Donald Earnest Tanney

Donald Earnest Tanney, 39, was standing on the construction loader and leaning into the cage of the machine at a construction site at 3989 SW 37th Blvd., near Campus Club Apartments, at 5:33 a.m., according to an arrest report. When Tanney saw a GPD officer approaching, he jumped off it and ran to a parked white SUV, according to a report.

“It looked just like mine,” Tanney told the officer as he tried to get in the front passenger seat of the car, according to the report.

His girlfriend, Chelsey Olivia Jackson, 23, was sitting in the driver’s seat, and Christopher Ladon Pope, 24, was sitting in the back seat, according to the report. The car had a trailer large enough to fit the machine in it, police said.

Officers found syringes and a metal spoon with residue of amphetamines in the center console of the car, according to the report. Police said Jackson had 1.7 grams of amphetamines in her left shoe and a key to the machine.

The value of the machine is about $40,000, according to the report. After her arrest, Jackson said Tanney was going to sell the machine for $4,000, according to the report. She said Tanney planned to repay Pope for helping him steal the machine with heroin, gas and money.

Pope was released on scene, said Officer Ben Tobias, a GPD spokesperson. After interviewing Jackson and Tanney, detectives determined Pope was involved and are looking for him to arrest him on a charge of grand theft, Tobias said.

Police arrested Tanney and Jackson on charges of grand theft and drug possession. Authorities took them to the Alachua County Jail where they remain, as of press time, with no bond.

Contact Meryl Kornfield at and follow her on Twitter at @MerylKornfield

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