Several people have been arrested in Santa Rosa and Escambia counties in connection with home and automobile burglaries. Pensacola police officials are calling their recent bust a “massive burglary ring” affecting areas between Gulf Breeze and Perdido Key.
Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office investigators say they have arrested six juveniles in connection with car burglaries from Pace to Navarre Beach.
In the most recent arrests, two Milton teens were charged with felony burglary of an occupied dwelling on Tuesday after a stealing a digital camera and watch from a vehicle, according to police.
Sheriff’s office deputies responded to a burglary in progress call Tuesday in the 5700 block of Hermitage Circle, Pace. They said suspects fled the area in a small black, two-door car.
Two juveniles, a male and a female, both 17 and from Milton, later were found at Tom Thumb on Glover Lane in a vehicle matching the description. Police said a bag found in the vehicle contained a hammer, digital camera, two boxes of cigarettes, a man’s gold covered watch and sunglasses.
The female juvenile said some of the items in the bag were hers, but the digital camera and watch didn’t belong to her and probably were stolen, according to sheriff’s officials. Both teens were charged with felony burglary of an occupied dwelling.
On Jan. 13, four male juveniles, ages 15, 16, 16 and 17, were arrested by Santa Rosa deputies for alleged car burglary after police say stolen property was found in their vehicle.
According to police reports, during the evening hours Jan. 13, the sheriff’s office received information regarding suspicious activity in the 7600 block of Gulf Boulevard, Navarre Beach. Deputies were given a description of the suspicious vehicle, which later was found, searched and seized.
The items located in the vehicle were identified as stolen.
All four male teens were interviewed and arrested. The stolen property was recovered and ¬processed as evidence.
This week, Pensacola police say warrants were served on two individuals: John Flynn, 19, and Jo’Kavious Wilson, 18, both of Pensacola. Flynn was charged with nine burglaries and one count of grand theft auto; Wilson was charged in seven burglaries and one charge of grand theft auto.
There is a warrant for Decker Brooks, 21, Pensacola, who police say will be charged with eight counts of burglary, possibly more. Officials are looking for a fourth unnamed suspect.
Pensacola Detective Danny Harnett said the suspects are responsible for more than 50 residential burglaries occurring since August. He said Flynn is believed to be the leader of the group and would commit daytime burglaries by ringing doorbells or knocking on doors. When there was no answer, the door was kicked in.
On Dec. 6, police say Wilson and another suspect named Desmond Phillip jumped into a parked vehicle after being caught at the front door of a home where they did not belong. The pair refused to stop when beckoned by officers. The driver put the car in reverse and accelerated toward a Pensacola police officer, who then fired at the vehicle as it fled. The car turned out to be stolen, according to officials.
That incident occurred on the same day as three other burglaries the suspects were charged with over the weekend.
An earlier vehicle burglary attempt resulted in a shooting, but there has been no arrest to date.
The shooting occurred in December when a Pace man confronted someone trying to break into his vehicle in front of his home on Pembrook Place.
Sheriff’s officials said the victim heard noises outside his home after dark and went outside to investigate. He told deputies he found a man wearing all black trying to burglarize his vehicle. As the two began to fight, a second unknown man approached to help the alleged burglar.
During the struggle, one of the men pulled a handgun and shot the victim. He was struck in the leg and the finger. Reports say both suspects fled the scene. The victim received help from his family, who were home at the time.
Between the two law enforcement agencies, eight people have been arrested and two still are at large. It is unknown if any of those arrested were involved in the Pace shooting.