Gregory Wayne Ledbetter, 40, and Beverly Ann Wheeler, 38, were arrested yesterday for stealing several items from Wal-Mart located at 6712 West US Highway 98, Santa Rosa Beach. Both were caught on video surveillance on Wednesday, October 2nd, where Ledbetter was seen taking a Bostich Socket Set out of the box and concealing it in a plastic bag and leaving the store without rendering payment. Wheeler took the socket set from Ledbetter in the parking lot and attempted to return the item to Wal-Mart for money but was denied.
Wal-Mart Loss Prevention also pulled video surveillance of both suspects who broke into a Tahoe in the parking lot on the same day and stole the victim’s purse which was placed underneath the seat. The suspects gained access by breaking the window, causing $300 worth of damage along with the theft of debit cards, $200 in cash and $100 knife.
On Thursday, October 3rd, both suspects returned to Wal-Mart and were recognized by Wal-Mart Loss Prevention. The Walton County Sheriff’s Office was notified and responded to Wal-Mart where Ledbetter and Wheeler were detained and questioned. Ledbetter provided a fictitious name multiple times to law enforcement and denied any knowledge of the previous day’s incident. After reviewing surveillance video, Ledbetter and Wheeler matched the individuals caught on camera stealing.
Gregory Wayne Ledbetter of 7321 Gilbert Road, Panama City is charged with criminal mischief, burglary, two counts of larceny and resisting an officer by disguise.
Beverly Ann Wheeler of 114 Holly Street, Rome GA is charged with dealing in stolen property.
On February 7th, 2013, Danny Lynn Everett, 37, of Pace, traveled to meet a 14 year old girl who resided in Freeport, FL, who he had chatted with online on February 3rd, 2013. The female he was meeting was actually an investigator with the Walton County Sheriff’s Office. During their conversations, Everett made known his intentions of driving to Walton County to engage in illegal sexual activity with her and sent obscene images to the 14 year old. Everett believed she would be alone without parental supervision during the course of the intended acts. Everett drove to a local convenience store in DeFuniak Springs where he had planned on meeting the 14 year old and was arrested. Items were located in his vehicle related to sexual activity, validating his intentions for his victim. Everett was transported and booked into the Walton County Department of Corrections. He was charged with Obscene Communications-Traveling to Meet after Using Computer to Lure Child, Online Solicitation of a minor, and sending obscene materials to a minor.
On October, 1, 2013, Everett plead no contest to Traveling to Meet a Minor For Sexual Favors, Computer Pornography and Using a Computer to Facilitate or Solicit the Sexual Conduct of a Child. Everett was sentenced to 34.5 months to the Walton County Department of Corrections with credit for time served and will be designated as a Sexual Offender.
The Walton County Sheriff’s Office takes a proactive approach into investigating cyber-crimes in our area. There are currently 140 registered sexual offenders/predators living in Walton County. The Sheriff’s Office encourages families to visit www.flsexoffender.net to subscribe to receive e-mail alert notifications when registered sexual offenders or predators move into neighborhoods.
Since January 1, 2013, The Walton County Sheriff’s Office has handled 38 cases involving animal abuse, abandonment and neglect. The Sheriff’s Office has a full time investigator dedicated to these cases. Investigator Breezy Adkinson has over 16 years of law enforcement experience and works extremely close with Walton County Animal Control and Alaqua Animal Refuge. Investigator Adkinson spends a good deal of her time educating owners of domestic pets and livestock on providing medical care, appropriate diet and good living conditions. She follows up on all on-going cases to ensure animal owners are providing the proper care for their animals.
One of the biggest animal cases to date is that of Nancy Payne, 49, who was arrested for 102 felony counts of animal cruelty. This was a lengthy investigation and the Sheriff’s Office greatly appreciates the support of Animal Control and Alaqua Animal Refuge. Alaqua Animal Refuge assisted both agencies by taking in ninety-seven dogs and sixteen horses from the animal cruelty case, which is still ongoing. They have provided protection, shelter and care to these animals. It has been an incredible partnership among the three organizations whose main goal is to care for neglected and abused animals.
In 2013, the Walton County Sheriff’s Office has spent $21,152 dollars in boarding fees and feed and $3,393 dollars for veterinary fees and medicine. The majority of the money has gone to support Alaqua Animal Refuge in helping with the recovery process for the animals involved with the Sheriff’s Office criminal cases.
(Photos L to R: Investigator Breezy Adkinson, Jon Dalton/Animal Control and Laurie Hood/Alaqua Animal Refuge Founder. Second line of photos is of “Noble” who was rescued and arrived at Alaqua Animal Refuge with a significant wound on his leg and is now healed)
The Walton County Sheriff’s Office is pleased to announce its very first Citizen Law Enforcement Academy which will begin on October 10, 2013. For citizens who want a truly eye opening experience about law enforcement, this is where it all starts. Participants will spend about three hours in a class room once a week for approximately 10 weeks. The Citizen Law Enforcement Academy is a great program for any citizen who wishes to learn more about the field of law enforcement and the Walton County Sheriff’s Office. The class is FREE and will take place at the Sheriff’s Office Administration building located at 752 Triple G Road, Defuniak Springs. A background check will be conducted on all participants who sign-up. To sign-up please visit www.waltonso.org and click on the icon “Citizens Law Enforcement Academy”. Forms must be submitted by October 3rd.
Some of the topics that will be covered during the Citizen Law Enforcement Academy include:
- Patrol Procedures
- Arrest Procedures
- Dispatch & 9-1-1
- Crime Scene Investigations
- Criminal Investigations
- Narcotics Investigations
- Traffic & DUI
- School Resource Deputies
- Firearm Safety
- Crime Prevention
- Emerald Coast Crime Stoppers
- Media & Public Relations
- Emergency Management
- Jail Tour
- Defensive Tactics/R.A.D Demonstration
- Aviation Unit
For more information please contact Lt Danny Garner at [email protected] or 850.401.4580.