Three Arrested for Burglaries to Two Bay County Businesses

June 06, 2024

BAY COUNTY, FL - (May 28, 2024) Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford today announced the arrest of Christopher Brown, Cedric Vondo, and Leon Rowe Jr. for the burglary of two Bay County businesses.

On February 16th, 2023, the Comic Emporium, located at 635 US-231, Panama City, and PCB Gold & Coin, located at 11939 Panama City Beach Parkway, were both burglarized within an hour of each other. Both businesses were victims of a smash-and-grab style burglary in which the front door to the businesses were smashed in and the business ransacked. Merchandise stolen from the stores had a combined value of $50,000. Within two months of the incidents in Bay County, several other coin stores in the southeast region of the United States had reported similar smash-and-grab burglaries.

After a year-long joint investigation with the Panama City Police Department, Spanish Fort Police Department, and the Iberville Parish Sheriff's Office, three subjects involved in these offenses were identified. Investigators used surveillance footage, investigative techniques, and information gathered through numerous interviews to determine Christopher Brown, age 38, Cedric Vondo, age 35, and Leon Rowe Jr., age 29, all from Maringouin, Louisiana, were involved in the burglaries.

In February of 2024 warrants were obtained for Christopher Brown. On April 24th, 2024, BCSO Investigators traveled to the Baldwin County Jail in Bay Minette, Alabama, to interview Cedric Vondo and Leon Rowe Jr. They are currently incarcerated for the April 2023 coin store burglary that occurred in Spanish Fort, Alabama. During these interviews, one of the defendants confessed to committing the burglaries with the other two co-defendants.

On May 23rd, 2024, Christopher Brown was apprehended on his outstanding warrants in Baton Rouge, Louisiana by the United States Marshalls Task Force and is currently awaiting extradition back to Bay County. Brown, Lowe, and Vondo were charged with two counts of Burglary of a Dwelling Causing Damage over $1000, Grand Theft 10 to 20 Thousand Dollars, and Grand Theft 100 Thousand Dollars.

Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford would like to thank the Panama City Police Department, Spanish Fort Police Department, Iberville Parish Sheriff's Office of Louisiana, and the United States Marshall's Task Force for their assistance in the arrest of suspects responsible for a string of organized burglaries throughout the southeast region of the United States.