The Bay County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call on December 12, 2011, in reference to the theft of metal from 20703 Front Beach Road, Panama City Beach. Equipment used for the beach re-nourishment project is kept at this site.
Deputies arrived to speak with an employee of Great Lakes Dredge and Dock, the company handling the beach re-nourishment project. He stated the theft had been noticed about 2pm that afternoon when another employee noticed a blue Suzuki 4 door hatch-back passenger car towing a trailer full of metal believed to have been taken from the site on Front Beach Road.
About 500 pounds of metal was missing. About 30 minutes later the Suzuki returned to the site without the trailer and employees were able to determine the license number which was then given to deputies.
While deputies were taking the information, a blue Suzuki fitting the description drove by the parking lot. The employee speaking with the deputy agreed the vehicle looked exactly like the one believed connected to the theft.
A traffic stop was executed on the vehicle and the owner, who was driving the car, stated he did not know anything about the theft of metal but later changed his story and stated he had allowed Nathaniel Lee Johnson to borrow his car and now noticed there was a trailer full of metal parked at his house at 337 Palm Drive, Panama City Beach.
Deputies made contact with Nathaniel Lee Johnson at the home on Palm Drive. Johnson admitted to taking the metal from the site at about 2 p.m. Johnson also admitted he stole from the site once before and that he had gotten about $140 for metal from the most recent theft.
Johnson, DOB 9/13/83, of 337 Palm Drive, Panama City Beach, was arrested and charged with Grand Theft from a Construction Site.