Walton County Sheriff’s Deputy Fired, Arrested For Stealing And Pawning Knife

| by Khier Casino

A Walton County sheriff’s deputy was arrested Wednesday morning for dealing in stolen property.

The Northwest Florida Daily News reported that Lester Rodgers, 32, is charged with stealing a knife of a friend and pawning it off.

In January 2005, the Walton County Sheriff’s Office hired Rodgers as a corrections officer and became a deputy sheriff in 2007, according to a Sheriff’s Office news release.

Rodgers is terminated from the Walton County Sheriff’s Office.

“This is difficult but the right thing to do,” Sheriff Mike Adkinson said in the release. “The public has to have faith in our profession, and we will hold ourselves accountable.”

Rodgers reportedly stole a Benchmade Infidel knife worth $500 from Donald Hendry McCracken in July when they were at a family gathering.

In October, a man told McCracken that he bought a knife similar to his at a local pawn shop, according to Rodgers’ arrest report.

McCracken found out where the knife was after he entered a business “so he could get the serial number for his firearm that had also gone missing and was last in the possession of Lester Rodgers,” the report said.

In order to learn how it got to the Pawn Plus II in DeFuniak Springs, Fla., McCracken had to report the knife stolen.

McCracken’s theft report as taken by Rodgers at the Sheriff’s Office.

“When Donald (McCracken) told him that he believed his missing knife had been pawned, Lester (Rodgers) admitted to Donald he pawned the knife,” the report said.

Rodgers told McCracken he purchased the knife from a woman McCracken was dating at the time he stole it, the report said.

The woman provided more information about the day in question and denied stealing the knife.

Rodgers signed paperwork after he was arrested to request that his booking photo not be released because he is a law enforcement officer.

According to the Northwest Florida Daily News, officials are permitted by state law to override such requests, but Walton County Jail Administrator Stan Sunday refused to do so.