SANTA ROSA COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Five arrests have been made in a joint operation by the Okaloosa County and Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Offices and the Fort Walton Beach Police Department in connection with more than 60 “smash and grab” car burglaries.
The Okaloosa County Sheriff Office had 47 smash and grab car burglaries reported during one daytime shift alone. In four of those cases, firearms were stolen from the vehicles. In addition, the Fort Walton Beach Police Department had at least 14 similar car break-ins, with one firearm stolen.
During the investigation, the OCSO developed information on a possible suspect vehicle, a 2006 Chevy Impala. An address for the registered owner came back to a location in Navarre. The Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office located the vehicle at 1859 Prado Street. Deputies and officers from all three agencies responded and detained five individuals 19-year-old Ladaria McCoy, 22-year-old Deshaun Davis, 17-year-old Jyran McCoy, 17-year-old Jermaine Jones, 15-year-old Elyssa Massey who are now in custody, facing multiple counts of car burglary and armed burglary.
OCSO investigators say on August 19th between 1:30 and 3:30 a.m., Ladaria McCoy drove the other four co-defendants around to various locations in south Okaloosa County to commit smash and grab car burglaries. The goal was reportedly to get money and property for Ladaria McCoy to get back to New Orleans.
All five stolen firearms were recovered. The investigation is continuing.
OCSO Major Eric Aden says, “This type of solid inter-agency cooperation is a win/win for our citizens and visitors alike. These individuals were looking for quick cash and guns but our strong local partnerships between citizens, businesses, and law enforcement worked to put an end to their crime spree.”
Fort Walton Beach Police Chief Robert Bage adds, “This case was resolved expeditiously because of the excellent partnership and coordination among our three agencies. Working together results in positive outcomes for our citizens. I would like to remind everyone to always remove valuables from vehicles and to lock vehicle doors to help prevent crimes like these.”