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The original item was published from 1/26/2017 9:53:42 AM to 2/26/2017 12:00:01 AM.

News Flash

City Marshal/Police

Posted on: January 26, 2017


Detectives with the Criminal Investigations Division received a tip at approximately 8 a.m. this morning that Ruggirello was located at a residence in DeFuniak Springs. Detectives immediately responded and took him into custody without incident. Ruggirello was booked into the Walton County Jail on several charges including Robbery. "A big thank you to our community for helping us catch this robber and thief. We could not have caught him without the great relationship that we have with our citizens," said Chief Mark Weeks.


DeFuniak Springs Police responded to Subway last Friday night around 9 p.m. in reference to a robbery. An employee reported that a black male subject had demanded money, but did not show a weapon and reportedly stated he would not hurt anyone. The employee went to the rear of the store and called 911. The suspect started to leave, but returned to the register and removed a container with tip money inside. Police began looking for the suspect and gave out a description to other agencies. Officers and Detectives were able to identify the suspect from the employee’s description and video footage. A warrant was requested and issued for 32 year old Karl Eugene Ruggirello for Robbery by Sudden Snatching, among other charges. Ruggirello has since been identified in multiple thefts from other establishments in the DeFuniak Springs area and has pending charges from the Walton County Sheriff’s Office.

The Walton County Sheriff’s Office received a report at approximately 1:30 p.m. today that Ruggirello was spotted near Magnolia Cemetery in DeFuniak Springs. Deputies, Officers, and Detectives responded to the area to set up a perimeter. A massive search covering the northeastern side of the city was conducted that included the K-9’s from the Walton County Sheriff’s Office, Walton Correctional Institute and Holmes Correctional Institute. Air support from the Walton County Sheriff’s Office helicopter was also used. The search was called off around 5:30 p.m. when all leads had been exhausted. DeFuniak Springs Police is requesting the public’s help in locating Ruggirello. Anyone with information is requested to contact Detective Chuck White at 850-892-8513. Callers may also remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward by calling Emerald Coast Crime Stoppers at 850-863-8477(TIPS).
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