CHIPLEY — Two Graceville men were arrested on charges stemming for two residential burglaries in east Washington County, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office reported on Thursday, April 11.


CHIPLEY — Two Graceville men were arrested on charges stemming for two residential burglaries in east Washington County, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office reported on Thursday.



Arrested were Justin Matthew Ducker, 26, of Graceville, in connection with charges of armed burglary (2 counts), grand theft of a firearm (8 counts), grand theft of a vehicle and felony criminal mischief; and Ronald Vito Palumbo, 60, of Graceville, in connection with charges of armed burglary (2 counts), grand theft of a firearm (8 counts), grand theft of a vehicle and felony criminal mischief.



The Sheriff’s Office received information about a burglary that had occurred on Lovewood Road in which several items had been stolen including firearms, jewelry and electronics.



 Later, officers responded to another burglary call at a residence on Barber Road.  When officers arrived they found several firearms as well as a 4 wheeler had been taken from the property.



As a result of a month-long investigation, investigators were able to identify two men they say were involved in both burglaries and recover several items.



 “Plan to "burglarize" your house yourself,” said Sheriff Bobby Haddock. “You'll discover any weaknesses in your security system that may have previously escaped your notice.”



Most home burglaries are done by amateurs, the sheriff said.  Putting into place simple precautions can often thwart thieves.



·         Lock up your home, even if you go out only for a short time. Many burglars just walk in through an unlocked door or window.



·         Change all the locks when you move into a new house.



·         Your house should appear occupied at all times. Use timers to switch lights and radios on and off when you're not at home.



·         Before turning your house key over to a professional house cleaner for several hours, make sure the person is honest and reputable as well as hardworking. Check all references thoroughly. If the house cleaner is from a firm, call your local Better Business Bureau to check on the firm's reputation.



·         Don't leave notes for service people or family members on the door. These act as a welcome mat for a burglar.



·         If the entrances to your home are dark, consider installing lighting with an infrared detector. Most thieves don't want to be observed trying to get in a door.



·         Talk to your neighbors about any suspicious people or strange cars you notice lurking about.



·         To keep your tools from being stolen, paint the handles. Thieves avoid items that are easy to identify.



·         Do not list your full name on your mailbox or your entry in the telephone book. Use only your initial and your last name.



·         Photograph all items of value including firearms, jewelry, electronics, etc. 



·         When appropriate, make a record of corresponding serial numbers, make, model, and value. 



Sheriff Haddock asks that anyone with information on illegal activity contact us at 638-TIPS (8477) or by email at tips@wcso.us.