Burglary suspect arrested in Washington County following hit and run

Steven WatsonA burglary suspect was taken into custody on New Year’s Eve after crashing a stolen vehicle on S.R. 79.

Just after midnight, December 31st, Washington County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a 911 call reporting a burglary in progress on Leavins Road. The caller stated she was woken by a loud bang, which seemed to be coming from outside of her home. As she went to investigate the noise, she found a man who later identified as 49-year-old Steven Watson attempting to steal her vehicle. The caller’s husband then confronted Watson with a gun and demanded that he leave the vehicle.  As Watson fled the property he reportedly pleaded with homeowner’s, stating, “Don’t shoot. I’ve already had a bad enough night.”

During the investigation, footprints led deputies to a second residence nearby where they learned Watson had stolen a truck.

As Watson left the area in the stolen vehicle, he caused an accident involving another motorist, which was traveling on S.R. 79. Shortly after leaving the scene of the first accident, Watson crashed the truck again, fleeing that crash site on foot.

K9 Teams from Holmes Correction Institute and Northwest Florida Reception Center were activated and assisted in locating Watson in the nearby wooded area.

Watson was taken into custody without further incident and booked into the Washington County Jail on the charges of burglary of a conveyance and grand theft of an automobile.

The crashes are being investigated by the Florida Highway Patrol. Additional charges may be pending.

If you have any knowledge of crimes being committed, or tips, please contact the Washington County Sheriff’s Office at 850-638-6111. You may also contact them anonymously by calling 850-638-TIPS (8477) or by email at tips@wcso.us.