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Catherine Rodriguez

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Recently, a number of businesses within Walton, Okaloosa, and Bay Counties have discovered skimming devices installed on gas pumps and automated teller machines (ATMs).   In Walton County, a credit card skimmer was found on a pump at a gas station in Inlet Beach.  A skimmer is a device which is affixed to an ATM or gas pump which intercepts and retrieves credit card information.  This information is then used to “clone” credit cards and is either sold or used by thieves to make fraudulent purchases without the owner’s knowledge.


The Walton County Sheriff’s Office is offering the following tips to residents:


  • Before pumping gas, check to ensure the gas pump dispenser cabinet is closed and does not appear to have been tampered with or altered.

  • At gas stations, try to use a pump located closer to the store.  Oftentimes, skimmers are installed on pumps located outside the view of the store employee.

  • If possible, use a credit card in lieu of a debit card so that a PIN number is not utilized and available to thieves.

  • When utilizing an ATM, visually inspect the machine before use for any evidence of tampering.

  • Monitor bank accounts for suspicious activity.  If you believe that your information has been compromised, contact your credit card company and the Walton County Sheriff’s Office.

If a skimming device is located, please contact the Sheriff’s Office immediately at 850. 892.8111.







The Walton County Sheriff’s Office is alerting the public about a suspicious person who is impersonating himself as an Animal Control Officer with the sheriff’s office.

On Saturday, March 28, 2015, around 2:30 in the afternoon, a black male in his 40’s, approximately 6’2”, heavyset, bald head with a scruffy beard, parked an unmarked older model, beat up, white truck at the end of the complainants driveway in Ponce de Leon.  He was described wearing a green shirt that said “Animal Control” and advised he worked for animal control and had a complaint.  The complainant stated to deputies that he was very “pushy” and attempted to push past the complainant to go inside the residence.  When the complainant stated they were going to call the police, the individual went to his truck and spun out at the end of the driveway as he left. 


The Walton County Sheriff’s Office will always drive vehicles that are properly marked and/or wear uniforms that properly identifies them as a member of the agency.  Anyone with information on the identity of the individual described above is asked to please contact the Walton County Sheriff’s Office at 850.892.8111 or Emerald Coast Crime Stoppers at 850.863.TIPS, www.emeraldcoastcrimestoppers.ocm, or Text “TIP214 plus your message” to CRIMES (274637).


On Saturday, March 21, 2015, deputies responded to the home of William Mitchell Golden, 46, of 1892 Flowerview Blvd, Laurel Hill, for an active warrant for failure to pay child support.  Deputies located Golden and a second individual identified as Gregory Parmer, 51, of 6370 CO Hwy 147 Laurel Hill, in a shed located on the property.  Golden was wearing a mask over his nose and mouth, along with safety googles.  Deputies immediately smelled a strong chemical odor in the shed, and saw paraphernalia associated with the use of methamphetamine in plain view.  Investigators with the Walton County Sheriff’s Office Vice/Narcotics Unit arrived and performed a consensual search of the property.  Several used “one-Pot” cooking vessels were found, along with a small amount of finished methamphetamine, Adderall, less than 20 grams of marijuana and a trafficking amount of methamphetamine oil. 



Golden was arrested and charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of a controlled substance without prescription, possession of drug paraphernalia, and trafficking in methamphetamine.  Parmer was charged with possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.  Both were transported and booked at the Walton County Sheriff’s Office Jail.






(L to R: Gregory Parmer and William Golden)







Last night deputies responded to 180 Miami Street, Miramar Beach, in reference to an armed robbery.  Deputies were advised by the victim, 22 year old Christopher Catlett of Hot Springs, AZ, that two men approached him while he was in his front yard and attempted to rob him.  Deputies detained an individual based on a description given by Catlett.  The WCSO K9 Unit responded to the area to begin a track to locate the other suspect, but was unsuccessful.  Investigators advised Mr. Catlett that a full investigation into the matter would be conducted to verify the accounts of his story.  At that time, Catlett became very nervous and had a hard time articulating how the armed robbery took place.  Catlett revealed to investigators that he had fabricated the story because he was drunk.  The male detained by deputies was released.


Sheriff Adkinson stated "This is a serious offense and no joking matter.  A citizen was detained by law enforcement because of Mr. Catlett's deception and he should be held accountable."


Catlett was charged with misuse of 911 and providing a false statement to law enforcement.  He was booked into the Walton County Sheriff’s Office Jail.

Sheriff Adkinson honored a Walton County resident today by presenting Mr. Michael Brower the Florida Sheriff's Association Distinguished Service Award. Sheriff Adkinson stated, "I am very proud to present this award to Mr. Brower who has supported the law enforcement community and FSA over the last 25 years.”



On January 31st, 2015, around 12:15 pm, C W Roberts employee, Mr. Eric Wright, a flag man, was manning a lane closure off SR 20 near Basin Bayou, while his co-workers were laying sod along the shoulder of the road.  A Mercedes, which was stopped at the flag station, was rear ended and then side swiped by a Chevrolet SUV.  The SUV came to a rest in the water on the North side of SR 20 in Basin Bayou.  Mr. Wright made sure all traffic was stopped and checked to see if the woman in the Mercedes was injured.  He notified his supervisor of the accident and without hesitation, swam out to the SUV to help the individual.  When Mr. Wright reached the SUV he was unable to open the door, but instructed the driver to roll down the window.  Mr. Wright pulled the driver through the window and safely got him back to shore.  The driver suffered a medical issue and was unable to tell Mr. Wright if anyone was still in the SUV.  Mr. Wright swam back, went in through the window and searched the vehicle and did not find anyone else.  The driver was treated by EMS personnel on scene and refused transport. 


C W Roberts Safety Director, Ronnie Bell, recalls asking Eric "Why did you do it" and his response was "Mr. Ronnie, that man needed help.”



Sheriff Adkinson stated, “I am extremely proud of this young man and I am proud to live in a community where individuals like Mr. Wright are not afraid to put themselves in harm’s way to help a fellow citizen.”




Pictured L to R: C W Roberts President Bob Flowers, Eric Wright, Sheriff Mike Adkinson and  C W Roberts Vice-President Darryl Carpenter

Within 17 minutes, Deputy Jeff McIntosh was able to locate a 92 year old female utilizing Project LifeSaver equipment.  The caretaker called the Sheriff’s Office around 11:30 am on Sunday, March 15, stating that the 92 year old, who had just become a client with Project Lifesaver five days earlier, had walked away from her Santa Rosa Beach home.  Deputy McIntosh responded to the area with the mobile tracking system and was able to locate her due to the pings that were transmitting from the clients personalized wristband.  She was found in good health, sitting in a vehicle and was returned to her loved ones.  Sheriff Mike Adkinson stated, “Minutes count when it comes to searching for a loved one and I am pleased that we have certified members in our agency to answer the call to locate a missing person in our community.”


Project LifeSaver, was developed in 1999 by the 43rd Virginia Search and Rescue in Chesapeake, Virginia. This technology allows law enforcement and search and rescue teams to use radio frequencies to locate a lost patient. A transmitter – about the size of a watch – is placed on the patient's wrist or ankle. Should the patient wander away, the caregiver notifies 911 and a search is begun immediately.  Enrolled members wear a personalized wristband that emits a tracking signal. The signal is tracked on the ground or in the air over several miles (approximately 1 mile from the air and 5-6 miles on the ground). When caregivers notify the Sheriff’s office that the person is missing, a search team responds to the loved ones area and starts searching with the mobile locator tracking system.


For information on client enrolment, please contact Volunteer Coordinator, Leah Snaith at (850) 892-8186.




The Sheriff's Office is continuing saturation patrols in Miramar Beach with regard to the sexual battery of two teenagers by a white male who jumped out of the bushes wearing a green thong, flip flops, a ball cap and a sweatshirt. The incident occurred last night around 10 pm in the area of South Holiday Road and Scenic Gulf Drive. If anyone knows the identity of the individual in the picture, please call the Sheriff's Office immediately at 850.892.8111 or Crime Stoppers at 863-TIPS.



Deputies are conducting saturated patrols in the area of South Holiday Road and Scenic Gulf Drive in Miramar Beach.  Around 10 pm this evening, a white male jumped out of the bushes wearing a green thong, flip flops, a ball cap and a sweatshirt, approached a group of females who are in their late teens and assaulted two of them.  The male is described to be in his late forties.  If anyone knows this individual, we are asking them to call the Sheriff’s Office immediately at 850.892.8111 or anonymously at or 863.TIPS.




While patrolling west bound on Scenic Gulf Drive on March 11, Deputy Tommy Thillet noticed a maroon GMC Terrain east bound where the driver was not wearing his safety belt.  A female passenger was also seen by Deputy Thillet sitting on a male passenger's lap in the single person front passenger seat. A traffic stop was conducted and a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage was detected coming from the vehicle.  The driver of the vehicle was asked for his license, registration and insurance.  Deputy Thillet asked if anyone in the vehicle was over the legal drinking age of 21 and all the occupants advised they were under 21 years of age.  Upon observing the occupants of the vehicle, Deputy Thillet noticed they were attempting to conceal bottles of alcohol.  At that time, he asked all of them to exit the vehicle.  Taylor Medeiros, 19, Olivia Hosey, 19, both of Mobile, AL and Tristan Campbell, 18, of Jackson, MS, were placed under arrest for minor in possession of alcohol. 


The driver, John Robert Franklin, 19, of Mobile, AL, gave consent to Deputy Thillet to search a bag that was found in the vehicle.  During the search a set of throwing knives, a digital scale, a small empty plastic baggy and a small bag containing a white powdery substance (that tested positive for cocaine) that was tied in a knot at the top was found. Franklin was advised of his Constitutional Rights, agreed to speak with law enforcement and upon questioning he advised the bag was his.  While speaking with deputies, Franklin admitted to purchasing $150.00 worth of cocaine while in town for spring break.  He also told deputies that there was a container underneath the front seat that contained a marijuana pipe and grinder.  A black glass smoking device with what appeared to be burnt marijuana residue, a cigar cutter, along with numerous pills were also found in the bag. 


Franklin was placed under arrest and charged with cocaine possession, two counts of drug possession, four counts for possession of narcotic equipment and minor in possession of alcohol.  All four were transported to the Walton County Sheriff’s Office Jail.