for immediate release
October 21, 2004

N E W S   R E L E A S E

The Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office is asking for public assistance as it continues to investigate a string of break-ins at rented self-storage facilities. Two individuals have been arrested, and thousands of dollars worth of property has been returned, but some stolen property remains missing, and some recovered property cannot be returned until the rightful owners are identified.

The two suspects, Douglas Dale Knuth (pictured left), age 35 (9-11-1969); and Roland Joe Kniess (pictured right), age 46 (3-28-1958), are held in the Okaloosa County Jail on multiple counts. The most recent arrests included five counts of Burglary and four counts of Dealing in Stolen Property for each, in warrants Monday afternoon (October 18) at the jail. Additional charges are pending. The Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office has been working in co-operation with the Walton, Santa Rosa, and Escambia County Sheriff's Offices; and the Niceville, Valparaiso, Crestview, and Fort Walton Beach Police Departments.

The two are accused of cutting padlocks to enter rented store-rooms from July until their initial arrest in September, stealing furniture, tools, and other items. Much of the stolen property was sold through second-hand dealers. In some cases, the owners may still be unaware of the theft. Citizens may wish to check any rented storage units that have not been recently inspected for burglary or theft. So far, the break-ins have been reported in Bluewater Bay, Niceville, Valparaiso, Mary Esther, Crestview, and Sandestin.

An item known to have been stolen, but still not located is an antique flip-top cherry wood desk. A photo of it may be viewed at

Among recovered items for which owners have not been located is an antique grandfather's clock bearing a metal plaque that reads "Doll and M.G. Blaylock 1991," plus an antique typewriter, a chandelier, coffee tables and end tables, a ship's wheel, chain saw, and a paint sprayer. Anybody who may be able to match any of this property with its owner, or who may be aware of previously unreported self-storage burglaries should contact Investigator Travis Robinson at the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office, (850) 609-2000.


for more information contact Sgt. Rick Hord, Public Information Officer

(850) 651-7420