PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Mike Jones, also known as Panama City’s Salvage Santa, arrived to his storage facility on Monday morning to find the locks cut off and doors open, with an estimated thousands of dollars of toys and bicycles missing from inside.
“This is an out and out burglary,” Jones said. “I mean, they had to cut the locks, get those locks off there and go in there, and deliberately take stuff that they knew was Salvage Santa’s, cause it was in Salvage Santa boxes.”
Jones said approximately 25, 18-inch Kent bicycles were missing, along with cases of footballs, soccer balls, other similar sports equipment, Star Wars collectible toys, Batman toys and several boxes of donations people had sent to him from Amazon.
Jones worked Tuesday morning with the Bay County Sheriff’s Office to begin an investigation into what happened. Jones said the deputies on the case arrived and dusted for finger prints, as well as collected other evidence, in order to start searching for a possible suspect.
Despite the damage done, Jones’ optimistic outlook won’t let the break-in stop him from continuing his Salvage Santa mission.
“We’re still gonna have Christmas,” Jones said. “The hurricane didn’t whoop us last year, I’m not gonna let these bad guys whoop me, that’s for sure.”
Anyone with possible information on the break-in of Salvage Santa’s storage facilities, or potential suspects, is encouraged to call the Bay County Sheriff’s Office at 850-747-4700, or Crime Stoppers at 850-785-TIPS.