Police trying to solve an armed robbery ended up charging an 18-year-old Gainesville man and finding four stolen vehicles, according to authorities.
Jacob Aviles was charged with armed robbery concerning the Jan. 8 incident at King Food Mart on Athens Street.
Gainesville Police said a man wearing a ski mask and all black clothing showed the clerk a gun and demanded money.
Store owner Muhammad Khan previously told The Times his brother was working the night the man came in and demanded money.
The suspect was handed $150, and he left the store in a black Toyota Highlander SUV.
“Gainesville officers reviewed surveillance footage to get better descriptions of the suspect and suspect vehicle. The license plate of a black Toyota Highlander was partially identifiable in the video and officers quickly provided vehicle descriptions over the radio to local law enforcement,” according to Gainesville Police.
The SUV was found unoccupied off of Patterson Drive, and officers discovered it was reported stolen from Oakwood.
Oakwood Police Investigator Todd Templeton said that car was reported stolen Jan. 2 from a Prestwick Drive address.
“During the investigation, officers were able to obtain surveillance video footage from a nearby neighbor that depicted two suspects entering other vehicles just before the vehicle was stolen,” Templeton wrote in an email.
Since then, Gainesville Police has worked with the Hall County Sheriff’s Office and Oakwood Police on the case and recovered three additional stolen vehicles, a large amount of electronics and two handguns.
A search warrant was executed Wednesday, Jan. 15 off Travis Drive in Gainesville.
Cpl. Jessica Van said evidence recovered during the search led to Aviles’ arrest, and Templeton said it “linked to numerous area theft cases (and) stolen autos.”
“It’s still an active investigation and more information can be provided as updates become available,” Van wrote in an email.
Oakwood Police charged Aviles with theft of the vehicle and another instance of entering auto at a nearby residence on Prestwick Drive, Templeton said.
“Additional charges relating to crimes in Oakwood are expected to be forthcoming. Aviles also faces numerous charges from the Hall County Sheriff’s Office and Gainesville Police Department relating to crimes committed in those jurisdictions,” Templeton said.