Miramar Beach, Fla- On August 14, 2017, a thief was caught on surveillance video stealing a golf cart from Camping on the Gulf Campground on U.S. Highway 98 in Walton County.
The victims were out to lunch when they returned around 3pm to find someone had stolen their golf cart. During the investigation video footage shows the golf cart was taken at 1:25pm by a white male. He is seen wearing a red hat, possibly a white t-shirt, shorts of unknown color and light color sneakers. The suspect was last observed heading east on Highway 98.
If you have any information regarding this suspect or have been a victim of a similar incident please call Walton County Sheriff’s Office at (850)-892-8111 or you can remain anonymous by calling Emerald Coast Crime Stoppers at (850) 863-TIPS. Submit a web tip at http://www.emeraldcoastcrimestoppers.com/ or send a mobile tip using the P3 Tips Mobile Application.
For Immediate Release
August 14, 2017
Walton County, Fla— Tuesday marks a painful anniversary for a Walton County mother.
17-year-old Kemberly Ramer went missing 20 years ago on August 15, 1997 from Opp, Alabama.
It is believed Kemberly vanished shortly after she returned home that evening. Her vehicle was found in the driveway and none of her belongings were missing from her residence.
Law enforcement believes Kemberly may have met with foul play. When she was last seen, she was 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighed approximately 130 pounds. She was last known to be wearing clear braces on her teeth and had thick eyebrows.
Both the Opp Police Department and investigators with the Walton County Sheriff’s Office are actively investigating Kemberly’s case.
Anyone with information about Kemberly’s disappearance is asked to contact the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678 (1-800-THE-LOST), the Opp Police Department at 334-493-4511 or the Walton County Sheriff’s Office at 850-892-8111.
For Immediate Release
August 9, 2017
DeFuniak Springs, Fla— Pencils? Check. Paper? Check. Crayons? Check. Markers? Check.
Backpack after backpack Ashley Foushee and Beth Armstrong packed until their backs literally hurt. But, the pain would be worth it for more than 280 students about to embark on another school year in Walton County.
For the third time, Walton County Sheriff’s Office put out the call for help providing less fortunate children what they need to head back to the classroom. The WCSO backpack drive was birthed with the idea that a new bag and some fresh school supplies would give children some much needed confidence heading into the new school year.
Foushee and Armstrong have a combined 15 years at the agency and each year they spend countless hours collecting supplies, organizing applications, and tagging bags for delivery.
“The backpack drive without a doubt would not be as organized or as successful without the help of these two compassionate ladies,” said Captain Angie Hogeboom.
Hogeboom is the Captain over the Criminal Investigations bureau, which acts as ground zero for the effort, with backpacks scattered all over the upstairs offices of WCSO’s North Administration building.
“They genuinely love to help others and were committed to making this event memorable for the children every single year,” said Hogeboom.
Times are tough for many families in Walton County; evident in the applications that came piling in for this year’s drive.
Armstrong knows that all too well, serving as the victim’s advocate for the agency over the past seven years. Many call Foushee a “jack-of-all-trades” in her role of Administrative Assistant for CIB taking phone calls, doing research, and handling any other tasks investigators throw her way.
The community answered the call for help with haste. Several local businesses and community members donated a number of backpacks into double digit numbers with a grand total of 318 bags donated, not including supplies.
“We had so much support this year,” said Sheriff Michael Adkinson. “Everyone made it their mission.”
Typically, Foushee and Armstrong stay behind the scenes making sure the effort runs smoothly. But, this year was the first they delivered backpacks and put a face to so many inked names on applications.
“That’s why we do it,” said Foushee. “It’s the ultimate reward.”
The final tally of students who received backpacks during the WCSO Backpack drive is 284. More backpacks are available for those who need them. Click here to learn more and apply.
For Immediate Release
August 7, 2017
Walton County, Fla— Thursday will mark the start of a new school year in Walton County.
Walton County District Schools will begin classes on Thursday, August 10th. To help ensure a safe start Walton County Sheriff’s Office will be executing Operation Blue Bird.
Operation Blue Bird will run from August 10th to August 25th. The focus is to provide school zone safety for students as they head back to school.
During this operation deputies will run radar and perform traffic enforcement in all school zones. The plan also calls for assistance from the Walton County Sheriff’s Office Posse in the areas of South Walton High School and Emerald Coast Middle School. The DeFuniak Springs Police Department will be supporting us on Walton Road and Florida Highway Patrol is also participating in this operation.
In addition, investigators in unmarked cars have been assigned to specific schools to follow school buses. Their goal is to follow the bus along its route and help enforce any traffic violations that may occur.
“These buses are responsible for transporting this county’s most precious assets,” said Sheriff Michael Adkinson. “It’s our responsibility to protect them.”
Message boards will be placed in the area of Paxton School, Walton High School, Freeport Elementary, Butler Elementary and Emerald Coast Middle School to begin the operation and to educate the public on the ongoing activity.
Things got tough for Mrs. Burgess after the passing of her husband several years ago.
The 63-year-old Walton County resident didn’t have family close by to help her and she had been struggling to live on her own when she called the Walton County Sheriff’s Office for help.
When deputies went to her home on July 16th they discovered she didn’t have any food that was edible, her home was very dirty and in disarray, and she hadn’t been able to bath in some time due to being unable to get in and out of her tub.
The woman had been eating peanut butter and honey.
Deputies contacted the Abuse Hotline and also contacted the Department of Children and Families.
But, that wouldn’t be the only thing deputies would do for Mrs. Burgess.
Walton County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Cory Webster and Deputies Ethan Laird and Kallie Wright would come together that night to turn things around for Mrs. Burgess.
They would purchase food and assist her in cleaning old, rotting food from her refrigerator.
Deputy Laird kept Mrs. Burgess company for several hours while Sergeant Webster and Deputy Wright made the trip to Walmart to buy food. The three would spend time helping clean and dispose of the food that was no longer edible.
“I believe Sergeant Webster and Deputies Laird and Wright went above the call of duty to help Mrs. Burgess in her time of need,” said Lieutenant Ryan Brown. “Needless to say, I am very proud to have them on my squad.”
“Their actions speak volumes about their character and willingness to serve,” said Sheriff Michael Adkinson. “This is what Walton County Sheriff’s Office is about.”
Since that time the Walton County Council on Aging and Department of Children and Families have come in to assist.
The Walton County Sheriff’s Office is currently seeking information on the following subjects wanted out of our jurisdiction;
William Brian Harnish– White male, 38 YOA, 5’7”, 145 lbs., Brown hair, Hazel eyes. This subject is wanted on a Felony Violation of Probation for the original charge of Possession of a Controlled substance w/out a Prescription and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. He was last seen in Walton County Florida.
Brittney Lanell Sanders– Black female, 30 YOA, 5’05”, 150 lbs., Black hair Brown eyes. This subject is wanted on a Felony Violation of Probation for the original charge of Trafficking in Counterfeit Credit Cards and Create, Use, or Possess W/Intent to Use Counterfeit Personal Information. She was last seen in New Orleans Louisiana.
For Immediate Release
August 3, 2017
Santa Rosa Beach, Fla—A man fires a shotgun into a neighboring home with children inside. Now, he’s behind bars at the Walton County Jail.
Ian Thomas Allen, 49, fired a .12 gauge shot gun numerous times from his second floor balcony on 101 Dogwood Street into a neighboring residence during a drunken rage.
The window that was struck at 282 West Grove Avenue is just feet from where two children were asleep in a bedroom.
The incident was reported to WCSO at 8:15am when the residents of the home woke up and noticed the damages to the window. Deputies then made contact with Allen who admitted to firing the shot gun several times sometime between 11pm and midnight while intoxicated.
“There were higher powers at work here protecting those children,” said Sheriff Michael Adkinson. “We are grateful no one was injured.”
Allen was subsequently arrested and charged with shooting into an occupied dwelling and reckless discharge.
August 2, 2017
Freeport, Fla—The Silver Alert issued for 80-year-old Kenneth Garrett has been cancelled.
Mr. Garrett was located safely in Andalusia Alabama. The family is on the way to pick him up.
August 1, 2017
A Silver Alert has been issued for an 80-year-old Freeport man and Walton County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help in locating him.
Walton County Sheriff’s Office is currently on scene on Kylea
Laird Drive in reference to Kenneth Garrett, 80, who has been missing since this afternoon.
Garrett was last seen at 15:30 headed west on State Highway 20 from Freeport driving a white 2011 GMC Sierra, standard cab, with Florida tag Y24MAX. He was last seen wearing a white t-shirt and blue jeans.
The situation has met the criteria for a Silver Alert to be activated.
If you have any information on Grant’s whereabouts please contact Walton County Sheriff’s Office at (850)-892-8111.
For Immediate Release:
July 31, 2017
Walton County, Fla— The Walton County Sheriff’s Office has a message for those vacationing in our beautiful stretch of paradise.
Take your guns with you when you go.
Over the weekend, Walton County Sheriff’s Deputies picked up seven guns found by cleaning crews at rental properties across the county. Since Memorial Day weekend, 20 guns have been turned into WCSO and listed in found property. This is an alarming number for more than one reason.
The first, it’s only a matter of time before a cleaning crew does not discover the weapon left by previous renters. When new vacationers check-in with children in tow the outcome could be tragic.
Secondly, the weapon could end up in the wrong hands and a crime committed.
We are looking at these instances as an opportunity to spread education to those coming to enjoy our beautiful beaches. Please encourage those who rent from you or those you may know coming on vacation to double check for possessions before departing. If you own a gun, LEADS ONLINE is a great resource for storing valuable information about handguns and other possessions in the event it is lost or stolen.
Of the seven guns left from over the weekend, two individuals have reached out to us to be returned. Guns held past 90 days are sent to be destroyed or are used for training purposes.