Several people have been arrested in Santa Rosa and Escambia Counties for home burglaries and automobile burglaries. Pensacola Police officials are calling their bust a "massive burglary ring" affecting areas between Gulf Breeze and Perdido Key.
Santa Rosa Sheriff's investigators say they've arrested six juveniles for car burglaries from Pace to Navarre Beach. One vehicle burglary attempt resulted in a shooting, but no arrest to date.
The incident 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 man unknown approached to help the first man.
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.
Last week, Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s deputies arrested six juveniles as suspects in two separate vehicle burglary cases.
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.
On Tuesday in the 5700 block of Hermitage Circle, Pace, deputies from the Sheriff’s Office responded to a burglary in progress call. The suspects fled the area in a small black 2-door car.
Two juveniles, a 17-year-old male and 17-year-old female, both from Milton, were later found at Tom Thumb on Glover Lane in a vehicle matching the description.
A bag was found in the vehicle containing 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 were probably stolen. 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 car burglary after stolen property was found in their vehicle.
According to police reports, during the evening hours on Sunday, 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. It was later 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, Pensacola and Jo'Kavious Wilson, 18, Pensacola. Flynn was charged with nine burglaries and one count of grand theft auto; Wilson was charged in seven burglaries and one charge grand theft auto. There is a warrant for Decker Brooks, 21, Pensacola. He will be charged with eight counts of burglary and 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 2012. 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.
In all - between the two law enforcement agencies - eight people have been arrested and two are still at large. It is unknown if any of those arrested were involved in the Pace shooting.