Police Blotter: 3/28/15

Staff Writer
The Destin Log

Smash and grab car burglars target purses in Destin

The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a rash of “smash and grab” car burglaries that took place in Destin Tuesday evening, March 24. The crimes are believed to have all occurred between four and six p.m. and the thieves targeted primarily purses containing wallets.

The first report involved a car in the parking lot at the Bass Pro Shop in Destin. The owner returned from shopping to find the front passenger window smashed out. While deputies were on the scene, a call came in from two additional victims whose cars parked at Bubba Gumps Shrimp Company restaurant on Emerald Coast Parkway were also vandalized in the same way.

Purses and wallets were taken and a victim learned one of her credit cards had been compromised at a Publix grocery store within five minutes of the theft. Surveillance video captured the images of two individuals conducting transactions for food and gift cards with the stolen card.

A fourth smash and grab car burglary was reported at the Fudpuckers on Emerald Coast Parkway where the victim’s purse was stolen. Anyone with information on the identity of the pair shown above or any of the car burglaries is asked to please contact the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office at 850-651-7400 or Emerald Coast Crime Stoppers at 850-863-TIPS,, or Text “TIP214 plus your message” to CRIMES (274637).

Maryland man accused of fleeing police in high speed chase

A Maryland man is accused of fleeing Fort Walton Beach Police and Okaloosa County Sheriff’s deputies in high speed chases across the south part of Okaloosa County.

Deputies were called for assistance on March 9 around 1:45 a.m. when Fort Walton Beach officers were in a high speed chase with a vehicle across Okaloosa Island, according to the arrest report. Officers terminated their pursuit, but deputies saw the vehicle still traveling at a high rate of speed soon after and attempted a traffic stop.

The driver, later identified as 35-year-old Jeffery Michael Southland, continued on at speeds exceeding 120 mph, the report said. Deputies stopped pursuing the car at the Destin Bridge for safety reasons, but staff at AJ’s Oyster Bar and Marina called soon after, reporting a man who had “entered their parking lot at a high rate of speed” before getting out and walking quickly on U.S. 98.

He was constantly observed by AJ’s staff until deputies stopped him, according to the report. Southland allegedly had “a strong odor of alcoholic beverages coming from his person,” bloodshot, glassy eyes and slurred speech.

The key to the vehicle that was involved in the chase was in Southland’s pocket.

He is charged with fleeing police at high speed.

His next scheduled court date is April 21.

Man accused of burglarizing vehicle

A Destin man is charged with burglarizing a car after allegedly setting off a car alarm and being seen by a witness.

Okaloosa County Sheriff’s deputies were called for the burglary around 6 a.m. on March 13, according to the arrest report. A witness said he’d seen a man run out of the driveway and into a woodline.

The witness gave deputies a description of the man and they searched the woods, where they found 35-year-old Brian Keith Chrismond lying on the ground, the report said. The witness positively identified Chrismond as the burglar.

Deputies also found several items identified as stolen from the vehicle on Chrismond’s person, according to the report.

He is charged with burglary of a conveyance and larceny theft of more than $300 but less than $5,000.

His next scheduled court date is April 21.