Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office

Sheriff Larry R. Ashley

Alert Citizen Helps Lead OCSO to Car Burglary Suspect & Stolen Handgun


A woman who spotted a man wearing all black sneaking around cars in a parking lot at Belvedere Commons contacted law enforcement, ultimately leading to the arrest of a car burglar who had stolen a handgun, knife, and other items.

An Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office deputy responded to 2000 Principal Lane near Fort Walton Beach around 5:30 yesterday.

The witness reported she had noticed a man wearing a black t-shirt and black shorts acting suspicious in the parking lot.

Another individual on the scene said his Glock handgun, a Samsung phone and tablet, as well as a knife and pack of Marlboro Special Blend cigarettes were missing from his car.

Other deputies in the area spotted a man matching the witness’s description behind 925 Mar Walt Drive and were able to make a positive identification. An article search of the nearby wood line revealed a black t-shirt with a plastic bag inside containing a Glock handgun, the phone and tablet.

A search of the suspect turned up the knife and the cigarettes, along with a used hypodermic needle, which he said he had used earlier to inject heroin.

30 year old Stephen Whitner, address unknown, is charged with burglary, theft, and possession of drug equipment.