A DeFuniak Springs Police Officer conducting a business security check noticed something unusual about the Petro Food Mart on U.S. Hwy 90 East early Thursday morning. It was 1AM and all of the lights were off. Knowing that this was not the norm for this business, the Officer continued checking the business and discovered the power meter on the building had been removed and the electrical panel had been tampered with. The Officer, realizing that this was possibly a burglary and the suspect may still be inside, immediately summoned additional Officers and the Walton County Sheriff’s Office to assist in setting up a perimeter.
The Manager of the store arrived a short time later and allowed Officers to search the building, but the suspect was not located. It was determined that the suspect entered the store through a ventilation shaft on the roof at around midnight and possibly left the same way. Video footage at the store showed the suspect disabling a rear camera before tampering with the electrical power. The suspect can be seen on video dropping down into a rear storage room before retrieving items of value. A search of the surrounding area was unsuccessful. Suspect is described as a white male, slim muscular build, with possible brown hair and a small amount of facial hair. He was shirtless, wearing denim jeans, and pointed toe cowboy boots. Anyone with information about this suspect is requested to contact Detective Philip Austin at 850-892-8513. Callers may also remain anonymous by calling the TIPS Line at 850-910—TIPS(8477).