Santa Rosa Beach man James Thomas Ovalle, 27, was charged with burglary, grand theft and criminal mischief this week, in connection to a crime first reported in April of 2019, according to a press release from the Marianna Police Department.

The agency reports that in April of last year officers were called to Marianna Toyota on the report of a vehicle burglary there. Officials say a 2019 Toyota Tacoma had been broken into and the front driver and passenger seats had been removed, as well as the entire steering column.

Investigators gathered evidence and developed Ovalle as a suspect in the case. The agency was able to locate Ovalle on June 15, when they learned he was in the Okaloosa County Jail on unrelated charges. Investigators traveled to Okaloosa County Jail the same day to interview him, authorities said.

“During the interview investigators were able to gather enough information to ultimately charge Ovalle,” the release stated. “During the interview, investigators learned the property was currently at Ovalle’s residence in Walton County. Investigators went to Ovalle’s residence with the assistance of Walton County Sheriff’s Office and recovered the stolen property. Investigators were able to obtain a warrant for Ovalle’s arrest,” the release continued.

MPD Chief Hayes Baggett in the release thanked the WCSO for its assistance in the investigation.

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