Pool heater thieves with caught red-handed in Freeport

3 mins read

FREEPORT, Fla— Two men are facing felony charges following an unusual string of burglaries in Walton County.

Between November 20th and November 28th Walton County Sheriff’s Office received four separate reports in reference to the theft of pool equipment and outdoor patio furniture totaling more than $10,000 in losses.

During the investigation into these incidents, a video was obtained showing two white males driving an older model white GMC Savana utility van utilizing a toolbox to steal the equipment.

Following a tip to Emerald Coast Crime Stoppers, Michael Rice, 41, and Christopher King, 53, were identified as persons of interest.

Police issued the following about the incident:

These guys had us googling what comes after a sequel. Although this isn’t how we pictured the third installment of Home Alone going – here we are. And no, we don’t consider the 1997 hack job a comparable third option.

Two men ( minus the gold tooth and New York accent ) complete with a creepy white van have wreaked some serious havoc on some pools in Walton County over the last couple of weeks or so to the tune of about $10,000. They would have gotten away scot(ch tape) free if not for being caught on video wearing gloves, hats, and everything else trying to disguise their identity. Not movie film.

Video surveillance. This new tech people have at their houses that makes it easy to see if you’re walking off with their pool heater. The only thing that would make this script better? If one of their names was Marv. No dice. Christopher King and Michael Rice are the duo earning the modern-day wet bandits title for this movie. Their nomination for best actor includes multiple counts of grand theft and criminal mischief.

On December 3rd, Walton County Sheriff’s Office located King working in Freeport and conducted a traffic stop for driving with a tag not assigned to the vehicle.

King was interviewed and later admitted to all four crimes. Rice was later arrested and also admitted to participating in two of the burglaries.

Rice is charged with two counts of grand theft and one count of criminal mischief. King is charged with four counts of grand theft, attaching a license plate not assigned to a vehicle, and criminal mischief.

Both men received a $5,000 bond and were released the following day.

Walton County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office and Emerald Coast Crime Stoppers for their assistance during this investigation.

Related News:  Tulsa man charged for child pornography