Tan lines, sneakers help deputies ID burglary suspect


staff reports

FREEPORT — A man is behind bars after his tan lines and tennis shoes helped Walton County Sheriff’s investigators identify him as a suspect who stole from two local businesses.

Someone broke into the Black Creek General Store and Black Creek Café in Freeport early on Aug. 15. Surveillance video showed a white man with distinct tan lines and high-top tennis shoes enter the businesses and steal cigarettes, more than $300 from the cash register and other items including a cash register, according to the Walton County Sherif’s Office.

Based on the video, deputies were able to positively identify Lance Johnson, 19, as the alleged burglar, the Sheriff’s Office reported.

A deputy patrolling the area of State Road 81 near Bruce on Aug. 20 noticed Johnson walking along the side of the road. Johnson was wearing tennis shoes identical to the ones the suspect wore in the surveillance video from the Black Creek burglaries, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Johnson ran off while he was being questioned but was caught after a short chase. He later admitted to breaking into the businesses, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

“The quick investigative work by deputies and investigators put this case to rest quickly,” Sheriff Michael Adkinson said. “Good surveillance video is a huge benefit during investigations.”

Johnson was charged with grand theft, two counts of burglary, resisting arrest, two counts of criminal mischief and two counts of petit theft. He was being held in the Walton County Jail on $10,000 bond.