Team Work Identifies Burglars

May 2, 2024

Levy County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a multiple burglary complaints in the Fanning Springs Annex in this past month. Homeowners reported unidentified person(s) forcibly entered their homes and stole jewelry, tools and other valuables.

Detective Corporal Danny Griffeth, supervisor of the Crime Scene Division, responded to collect evidence on several of these cases. Her investigative efforts recovered home surveillance footage of a suspicious vehicle leaving one of these scenes. She was able to identify the type of car and alerted the Patrol Division on April 24th that this vehicle was a vehicle of interest in the burglary investigations.

Deputy Joe Wilber was conducting saturation patrol on April 26th in the Fanning Springs Annex searching for the vehicle described by Corporal Griffeth. He located the vehicle and attempted to make contact with the driver to identify him. This driver fled but not before Deputy Wilber was able to get the tag number and a description of the driver. The tag number identified the owner of the vehicle as Riley Watkins (6/8/2004) of Bronson.

Detective Cody Weaver was assigned to continue these investigations. He discovered that Watkins recently pawned property in Gainesville that matched the description of property stolen during these burglaries. Deputy Dakota Dowling was familiar with Watkins and knew her boyfriend. He knew the boyfriend, Arthur Jones (4/28/98) of Bronson, was known to frequent several locations in the Fanning Springs Annex and went to locate him. Jones matched the description who fled from Deputy Wilber. Jones also had an active warrant for his arrest for DUI.

On April 27th Deputy Dowling located Jones standing in a yard in the Fanning Springs Annex. Jones immediately fled inside a home when he saw Deputy Dowling. Additional LCSO deputies arrived to assist and Jones was taken into custody.  A witness was identified who provided corroborating information further strengthening the burglary investigation cases against Jones.  

Detective Weaver located Watkins April 30th and took her into custody.

Both Jones and Watkins have been charged with burglary and grand theft. Watkins is being held on a $75,000 bond and Jones is being held on a $400,000 bond at the Levy County Detention Center. This investigation has not been closed and more charges are expected to be filed in the near future.

Detective Weaver believes additional victims have not been identified and other witness could provide information to solidify this case. Anonymous tips can be made to Crime Stoppers at 1-877-349-8477 or you can contact Detective Weaver directly at 352-486-5111 ext. 364.