Ocala, Florida — On Wednesday, October 23, 2013 at approximately 3:11 p.m., Ocala Police Department Detectives Michael Bowman and Melissa Buetti arrested the suspect in the Smash and Grab Burglaries that occurred to three Diamond Oil stores in Ocala. During the burglaries, glass windows were smashed out and beer & cigarettes stolen.
The first occurrence was on September 28, 2013 at approximately 11:38 p.m. at the Diamond Oil located at 2375 NE 25th Avenue. The second occurred approximately four and a half hours later at the Diamond Oil located at 3685 SW 20th Street, at approximately 4:00 a.m. on September 29, 2013.
Video surveillance on both was obtained and the suspect appeared to be the same person in both incidents, as well as the same suspect in similar incidents that have taken place throughout Marion County. On October 12, 2013 at approximately 6:40 a.m., the Diamond Oil at 2534 SE 17th Street, was also burglarized by the subject seen in the video stealing a container full of cigarettes and beer. In this third incident, the suspect has a t-shirt over his face that falls down and enables video to capture his face. Video and stills from this incident and the two previous incidents was put out to the public.
On October 23, 2013, Detective Bowman received an anonymous tip via Crime Stoppers advising that the subject pictured in the video from the October 12th incident is a subject named “John” who lives at 505 NE Sanchez Avenue in Ocala. Detective Bowman responded to that location and the suspect was identified by management as Jonathan Wade Whatley,44. Detective Bowman also spoke with Whatley’s employer, who identified the hat, long-sleeve shirt, and dust mask worn in the videos of the first two incidents as clothing items worn by Whatley when working. Whatley was called in from a job site to the business’ office where Detectives Bowman and Buetti, along with members of SDU and UDEST, were waiting for him.
Whatley was taken into custody for the three burglaries, but he refused to speak with detectives.
Whatley was charged with three Counts of Burglary Commercial and three Counts of Petit Theft .
Additionally, Whatley was on Probation for previous charges of Burglary and Dealing in Stolen Property, therefore he was also arrested for the Violation of Probation.
The Ocala Police Department thanks the community for it’s assistance in identifying and locating the suspect in these three cases. Without the cooperative efforts of law enforcement and the community, cases such as this would not be able to to be successfully closed so quickly.