PACE, Fla. (WKRG) — A Milton man was arrested Wednesday after a burglary spree in Pace, Florida. Brandon Harris, 32, is accused of breaking into multiple homes and backyards as he ran from Santa Rosa County deputies at about 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 21.
Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson said Thursday Harris had broken into at least four homes in the Santa Villa neighborhood off Highway 90. Harris had active warrants, Johnson said, and did not want to be caught.
“He’s jumping fences and breaking into houses as he goes,” Johnson said. “We finally corner him inside a home he broke into on Tom Sawyer (Road), and we corner him in a bedroom.”
In a video released by the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office, Harris is seen barricading himself inside a bedroom in a Santa Villa neighborhood home. Deputies bust in the bedroom and said Harris jumped out of the window and continued running. Harris was later caught.
Deputies said he had active warrants for violation of probation, aggravated assault and more. Harris was charged with several counts of burglary and attempted larceny — with seven charges in total.
Johnson said one homeowner shot at Harris during the burglary spree but missed. Johnson encouraged homeowners to use lethal force during break-ins to “save taxpayers money.”
“We don’t know what homeowner — which homeowner — shot at him. I guess they think they did something wrong, which they did not,” Johnson said.
“If somebody’s breaking into your house, you’re more than welcome to shoot them in Santa Rosa County, and we prefer that you do actually. Whoever that was, you’re not in trouble. Come see us. We have a gun safety class we put on every other Saturday. If you take that, you’ll shoot a lot better, and hopefully, you’ll save taxpayers money.”
Philip Marschke was at work Wednesday evening when he got a call from his wife. Harris was in Marschke’s backyard.
“It was terrifying knowing I’m all the way in Pensacola at work, and this is happening,” Marschke said. His daughter was playing in the backyard and ran inside to her mother as Harris charged toward the door.
“She locked the door just in time as he got to the door and started pulling on it,” Johnson said regarding the incident. Harris stood there and looked inside Marschke’s home.
“He like smiled at (my wife) through the window,” Marschke said. “I don’t know if he was trying to reassure her it was ok for him to come inside.”
Santa Villa neighborhood residents commended deputies’ efforts to capture Harris. Harris being held in the Santa Rosa County jail without bond on his active warrants. His bond on the new charges is set at more than $150,000.