Surveillance video shows person vandalize WJHG equipment, taking stations off air

Published: Nov. 2, 2021 at 11:00 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - WJHG was back on-air Tuesday morning, but the investigation continues. Surveillance video shows the suspect who vandalized vital broadcasting equipment at the station.

The video shows the person severing and removing cables from satellites around 9:30 p.m. on Sunday night. That took WJHG’s eight stations off the air. Just after 9:30 p.m., A WJHG employee noticed signals were out and went outside to check. The employee then found a man he didn’t recognize near one of WJHG’s satellite dishes. The man told our employee he was with Tyndall Air Force Base and was told to cut wires due to a power issue, saying he was tasked because he lived nearby and was with the Navy. The suspect then fled on foot, last seen heading towards Front Beach Road.

“This person knew what he was doing and knew how to disable and make it very difficult to repair the satellite dishes,” said Ulysses Carlini, WJHG-TV’s General Manager. “This is not just a random act of vandalism. The individual was methodical in disabling and strategically cutting cable that linked all of our satellite dishes to our facility.”

Once Bay County Sheriff’s deputies arrived Sunday night, they were unable to find anyone matching the description of the suspect. The WJHG employee said he was a white male, dressed in a dark jacket and camouflaged pants.

“So we are asking for the public’s help. That’s so important that you take action to hopefully avoid another situation like this in the future,” said Carlini.

Sheriff Tommy Ford said they are searching for the suspect. Ford said the suspect could face serious federal charges.

If you have any information, please contact the Bay County Sheriff’s Office. That number is (850) 747-4700.

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