A conversation with a store clerk has led to the arrest of a burglary suspect. On the eve of February 6th or early morning hours of February 7th, 2015, patrol deputies responded to a car burglary involving a stolen iPod Touch, a Garmin GPS and two pairs of sunglasses. The incident took place outside a home on Tradwinds Drive in Santa Rosa Beach. In a separate incident, the breaking of a car window was reported to the Sheriff’s Office by the homeowners who lived next door. A deputy who was conducting a neighborhood canvass stopped at the Exon Gas Station located off 30A West and Highway 98 and spoke with the store clerk to see if they were aware of any suspicious activity. During the conversation, the store clerk mentioned that an individual was in the store between 1 am and 3 am on February 7th and that the individual stated he had stolen an iPod and GPS out of a vehicle and attempted to break a window out of a second vehicle. The deputy got a witness statement from the clerk and video from the store security camera of the suspect showing the store clerk what appeared to be an iPod Touch. All the information was turned over to Sheriff’s Office investigators who were able to get positive identification of the suspect through a photo lineup and witness statements.
Brandon Bautista, 18, of 52 Shelter Cove Drive, Santa Rosa Beach, is charged with burglary of an unoccupied conveyance, larceny and criminal mischief. The investigation is continuing and additional charges are pending.