POLICE BLOTTER: Thief targets Emerald Grande lightning rods

Staff Writer
The Destin Log

Man admits he stole wiring attached to Grande’s lightning rods

A man admitted he stole copper wiring attached to Emerald Grande’s lighting rods and sold it as scrap to pay for drug purchases.

The man, 38-year-old Joshua Andrew Gauthier, no address listed, was employed as a maintenance man at the development and told an Okaloosa County Sheriff’s deputy he stole small amounts of wiring over an extended period of time and sold it to Big Iron Environmental Metal Recycler in Fort Walton Beach.

A check of a database revealed 11 different transactions at the scrapyard. Gauthier provided his thumbprint and signed all 11 of the transaction forms, lawmen determined.

When they asked him why he stole the wiring, Gauthier said he needed money to pay for his addiction to prescription pain medication, the arrest report indicated. He said he knew it was wrong but he lost all control.

He was charged fraud and dealing in stolen property. His plea date was set for Feb. 4.

Man accused of stuffing speaker in his shorts

If you hear loud noises coming from a man’s shorts, it might be a wireless speaker.

That’s what happened at the Walmart on Emerald Coast Parkway … except for the loud noises part. According to an Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office arrest report, a Walmart employee saw a 27-year-old Valparaiso man stuffing items into his shorts. The employee approached the man, identified himself as security, and asked the man to come to the back of the store so they could discuss the apparent thefts. Instead, the man ran out of the store, got into his car and drove away.

The suspect was later caught and positively identified by the employee.

The man admitted to a deputy he stole a wireless speaker and four DVDs from the store.

He was charged with petit theft and resisting the recovery of property. His plea date is Feb. 11.

Struggle over Budweiser Black Crown results in arrest

A young man didn’t want to give up his Budweiser Black Crown to an Okaloosa County Sheriff’s deputy and now faces a pair of criminal charges.

The incident that led to the arrest of a 20-year-old took place at the corner of Kelly Street and Third Avenue where deputies encountered a group of young people drinking in the street. When they arrived, the group scattered.

One man didn’t run off but continued to walk away from deputies, despite commands to stop. A deputy noted he appeared to be intoxicated.

A deputy tried to take away his beer and the man tried to snatch it back, according to the report. The deputy finally got the bottle, but the man continued to resist and struggled with deputies until they used a takedown technique to subdue him.

He was charged with liquor possession by a person under the age of 21 and obstruction without violence. His plea date was Feb. 18.

Gas station spat becomes batting practice, report indicates

Two men got into an argument at a gas station and one hit the other with a baseball bat, according to an arrest report.

The incident occurred at a Circle K on Harbor Boulevard in Destin, the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office says. Deputies were told that while one man was pumping gas, the other man, 20-year-old Mitchell Joseph Autry of Pensacola, struck him in the shoulder with a baseball bat.

A witness corroborated the man’s story.

Autry admitted getting out of his vehicle with the bat but denied hitting anybody with it.

The report didn’t say what the two might have been arguing about.

Autry was charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and will report to court on March 4.