Police: Convicted felon arrested in two recent vehicle burglaries


Published: Thursday, July 18, 2013 at 11:52 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, July 18, 2013 at 11:52 a.m.

A convicted felon who has done 13 stints in state prison is back behind bars after being charged with two vehicle burglaries, the latest of which involved the theft of an iPod and xylophone from a van in which the front passenger window had been smashed.

Johnny Lee Hill, 54, of 413 S. Main St., was arrested after an Apple iPod found in his possession early Wednesday was linked to a man whose van had been broken into Tuesday morning. The man told the Gainesville Police Department he discovered the van with glass all over the interior and the iPod and xylophone missing from inside.

When Hill was arrested, he was reported to be wearing the same shoes, shirt and hat of a man captured on video breaking into a truck on June 7. In that incident, the man busted out a window of the truck just before midnight in the 400 block of Northeast First Avenue and stole a loaded Kel-Tec pistol, police reported. The burglary was captured by a nearby surveillance camera, which showed the man’s pixelated but recognizable face and his “distinct pair of shoes,” police said.

When questioned about the June 7 burglary, Hill invoked his right to counsel, police reported, but did not deny he was the person depicted in the video.

Police later contacted two people who knew Hill and showed them the video without alerting them who it depicted. Both identified Hill within five to 10 seconds, saying “that’s Johnny.”

Hill was released from prison in January on convictions of grand theft and burglary to a conveyance. Neither the xylophone nor pistol have been reported recovered.

Hill was booked into the Alachua County jail on charges of burglary of an unoccupied conveyance, grand theft, grand theft of a firearm, burglary of an automobile while armed and possession of a weapon or ammunition by a convicted felon. He remained jailed Thursday in lieu of $125,000 bond.

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