Convicted Serial Burglar Confesses to More Break-in’s


November 4, 2019

Some may remember the picture we posted in March of this year that was captured on the surveillance system installed in Ryan Bell’s new business location on NW 140 Street, the old Deke’s Restaurant. This local business owner made a simple decision to safeguard his own property and installed a state of the art video surveillance system. His photographs flooded local social media and with our citizen’s help, it led to the arrest of Harold William Santry, Jr (8-19-64) of Chiefland.

As a result of Santry’s arrest, the LCSO Criminal Investigations Division was able to secure and serve a search warrant on Santry’s home back in March, which allowed the recovery of a trailer full of stolen property. Detectives knew this wasn’t the full scope of crimes Santry committed and continued to work on this investigation. Months of investigative work combined with cooperative agreements forged between the LCSO, the State Attorney’s Office and Santry’s own defense attorney led to more victims having some of their stolen property returned.


William Santry agreed to a negotiated plea offer to a prison term. A condition of this plea offer was a proffer, or cooperative agreement to assist law enforcement to solve previously unsolved crimes for which he was responsible. Santry went with Detectives to his home and identified another trailer load of property as things he himself had stolen. Over the past 10 years, William Santry perfected his craft and was able to elude detection until photographed by Mr. Bell’s surveillance cameras. Santry did not steal to support a drug habit or to make a profit on his ill-gotten gains. He did it specifically for the thrill.


Detectives worked with Santry for several days before his departure to State Prison. Santry identified property from at least 30 different residential burglaries and thefts which will allow Detectives to return items to their rightful owners. Detectives commented that Santy’s ability to recall what he had stolen and from which homes was astonishing, but they are grateful he was able to do this.


Sheriff McCallum said he is proud of the determination of our Detectives in resolving this case. Closure is most often what victims wish for and this case will give them just that. The hard work of the Detectives and cooperation between the judicial counterparts combined with our community’s willingness to offer tips and other information led to this successful conclusion.