Two press releases on burglary arrests. One from the Pensacola Police Department, the other from the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office. One an over-the-top political plug, the other a standard law enforcement release. Guess which is which.
PPD Release – notice last paragraph.
Sometimes, it takes determination and good old-fashioned hard work to catch a thief.
That’s exactly what happened Friday (Aug. 1) when Pensacola Police arrested Michael Collins, 31, of 5828 Somerset Dr., Pensacola, and charged him with 11 counts of burglary, eight counts of grand theft, three counts of criminal mischief, and two counts of petit theft.
“We’ve made stopping violent crimes and residential burglaries a top priority,” said Chief Chip W. Simmons. “We identified this burglar and took certain steps to catch him. If not for the dedication of department resources and personnel, we wouldn’t have been able to identify him as quickly.”
The residential burglaries occurred between June 29 and August 1. Among stolen items were jewelry, a laptop, cash, and medications. Collins entered homes through unlocked doors or forced entry, said Lt. Chuck Mallett. The suspect’s vehicle was identified via residential video surveillance.
Estimates are that Collins stole approximately $140,000 worth of property, mainly jewelry, and sold most of it at T&W Flea Market and then used money to pay his probation costs, Mallett said. Collins is on federal probation for a bank robbery that occurred outside city limits.
Simmons praised officers for their hard work on finding and arresting Collins. “This is what we do. More than 30 officers from different divisions within the department worked this case at various times and on Friday, 15 were dedicated to finding and arresting him through surveillance,” Simmons said.
Collins was caught Friday after he burglarized two homes and attempted a burglary on a third. Mallett said approximately $10,000 to $15,000 worth of items have been recovered.
Simmons said he talks with Mayor Ashton Hayward on a daily basis about ways to eliminate violent crime and residential burglaries within city limits. “It’s good to have a Mayor as committed to crime reduction as we are,” Simmons said.
Meanwhile the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office recently busted a regional burglary ring. Sheriff David Morgan – who really talks with his commanders about crime on a daily basis – isn’t mentioned in the press release, nor should he have been:
ESCO Deputies Shut Down Burglary Ring
Pensacola, FL — Investigators for the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office followed a trail of evidence to Decatur County, Georgia this weekend and made four arrests in a commercial burglary ring.
On the morning of July 25, 2014, Escambia County Sheriff Office Deputies responded to numerous commercial burglaries and attempted burglaries. These began with a large commercial moving truck being stolen from the Ellyson Field Industrial Park. An examination of the truck’s GPS data indicated that the vehicle was driven to other nearby businesses where deputies located two other burglaries. A business in the 8000 block of Grow Road was burglarized of copper. A building in the 3000 block of Bill Metzmer Lane was also burglarized. The vehicle had then traveled to the area of Palafox Street and Brent Lane where deputies located another burglary and attempted burglary.
GPS data showed the vehicle traveled to Attapulgus, Georgia, stopped for a period of time, and then traveled back into Florida near the town of Quincy. Deputies there were notified and they located the truck abandoned on the side of the road. Deputies in Decatur, Georgia approached the house where the truck had stopped. As they did so, they observed four males in a vehicle in the front yard.
ECSO Investigators traveled to Georgia. Based upon interviews, forensic evidence and the recovery of stolen items, four arrests were made:
Damarkus Larrell Mathis, 26, Bainbridge GA; Victor Lamar Bodison, 36, Bainbridge GA; Derrick Wilson Hill, 36, Orlando FL; Derrick Joseph Reaves, 24, Orlando FL
Investigators believe these suspects have been responsible for further burglaries across the Southeast and the investigation is ongoing.