UPDATE: Press Release from the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office
During the last few months, the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office has received an unusually high amount of daytime burglary reports. These have occurred throughout the county. The areas included Navarre, Gulf Breeze, Pace and Milton. During the incidents, doors were kicked in and only specific items were stolen from the properties. These burglaries all had the same MO and occurred during the same time frame. Other jurisdictions reported similar types of incidents. There were several specific indicators which lead to these cases being tied together. That information may become available in the future as these case remains under investigation.
On Jan. 14., several daytime burglaries occurred in Santa Rosa County. We received a call from a watchful citizen who provided information about a burglary in the Navarre area. That information was quickly relayed to all of the deputies which were on duty via radio transmission. A deputy in the Midway area received the information and located a suspect vehicle. The vehicle was a 2002 Grand Prix, dark blue in color with multiple occupants.
The Deputy had sufficient information to conduct a traffic stop. The suspect vehicle refused to stop and a pursuit began. The pursuit lasted for a short period of time due to an approaching school safety zone in the city of Gulf Breeze. The pursuit was immediately terminated for public safety reasons. The vehicle fled the area and no one was injured.
At this time, Santa Rosa County deputies were able to identify several suspects in this case. The vehicle was subsequently located. After collecting evidence from the vehicle, it was seized and now sits in a secured facility at the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office. The driver of the vehicle was positively identified and has active warrants. There are other suspects involved in this case and arrests are anticipated in the very near future.
This case remains under investigation. There are certain facts about this case which are still being investigated. In the interest of justice, public safety, and Florida State Statue 119, we cannot release all of the facts of these cases at this time.
The Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office confirms it’s actively investigating residential burglaries in the Navarre area. “We aren’t able to release specific details because it’s an active investigation,” said Rich Aloy, Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office spokesman. During the past six months, 42 residential burglaries have been reported in the Navarre area. “Generally burglars operate during daytime hours seeking dwellings that are unoccupied,” Aloy said.
“There is a quite a difference between burglarizing an unoccupied dwelling, which is a third degree felony and an occupied dwelling which is a first degree felony,” said Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office Captain Robert Johnson. “The penalty is much more severe for the first degree felony, so they try to avoid occupied dwellings” he added.
Read more in the January 23 issue of Navarre Press or subscribe online.