For Immediate Release: December 18, 2011
The Walton County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) yesterday arrested Arturo Santamaria, 49, of DeFuniak Springs, Fla., for grand theft.
The investigation began Dec. 17 after Deputy Isaac Cosby received information from a citizen advising that someone in a van was attempting to steal an outside air conditioner from a residence located at 123 Honeysuckle Road. While driving to the scene, deputies received further information from the citizen stating that the van was leaving the scene without the air conditioner.
Deputies made contact with the van at the scene and interviewed the driver, Billy Simmons, and passenger, Arturo Santamaria, regarding the allegations. During the interview, Santamaria allegedly stated that he had permission to be on the property and was taking the air conditioner to be repaired. Simmons allegedly stated that he brought Santamaria to the residence to retrieve the air conditioner for scrap metal and assumed Santamaria had permission to be on the property.
Deputy Johnny Whitaker and Lieutenant Donnie Clark arrived to the scene and contacted the owner of the property who stated that no one had permission to be on his property or have access to his air conditioner.
Santamaria was charged with grand theft and criminal mischief, both third-degree felonies. He was booked into the Walton County Jail.