CRIME

You can now go online to report vandalism, theft in Okaloosa County. Here's how it works.

Northwest Florida Daily News/USA TODAY NETWORK

SHALIMAR — The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office is now offering the option of online reporting for minor crimes that don’t involve a known suspect or firearm.

Residents can go to https://www.sheriff-okaloosa.org/ to report missing or lost property, criminal mischief to public or private property, vandalism, auto burglary, petit theft and identify theft. The option can be found under the quick links tab.

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Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office Investigations Capt. David Allen demonstrates how to use the new online reporting system in a video. Residents can go to sheriff-okaloosa.org to report missing or lost property, criminal mischief to public or private property, vandalism, auto burglary, petit theft and identify theft.

The new reporting system is designed to increase efficiency for both residents and sheriff's deputies, Investigations Capt. David Allen said in a video. Dispatchers will give callers reporting a crime that falls into the categories the option to make the report online.

“It increases efficiency and time management on both sides,” Allen said. “For the citizens, it’s much more convenient for a minor crime, but also for the deputies.”

As soon as the report is made, it will be sent to Allen and a criminal analyst for review. The report will then be forwarded to the appropriate district or to investigations.

Online reporting should only be used for non-emergencies.

“I’ve found that reporting it online takes roughly about 15 minutes or less to complete,” Allen said. “If you do want a deputy to respond, a deputy would respond. But this gives you the opportunity to do it from the convenience of your house.”