Deltona, FL – Tips from the public and a police officer help investigators find the Deltona siblings wanted for stealing cookie money from a Girl Scout last weekend.
20-year-old Nicholas Delbrugge and 25-year-old Ashley Winters turned themselves in around 5:40 PM Thursday, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office. Both have been charged in that incident last Sunday at the Walmart on Howland Boulevard near State Road 415.
A white or Hispanic man allegedly approached the girl’s table outside the store around 3:40 PM that day while she was selling cookies. Deputies say he took a metal box filled with around $200 in cash from the girl and ran towards the parking lot, fleeing the scene in a newer-model gray Hyundai Santa Fe with a North Carolina tag.
VCSO spokesman Andrew Gant says that man is believed to be Delbrugge and that he and his sister were coming back from a planned trip to North Carolina when investigators got the arrest warrants.
“Sheriff’s investigators had been onto them since Tuesday,” Gant added. “A New Smyrna Beach police officer who saw surveillance images of the suspects told VCSO that the male suspect appeared to be Delbrugge, someone he’d arrested in the past.”
It was soon after that when an anonymous phone call from a tipster came in identifying Delbrugge and Winters as the suspects based on the security video photos VCSO sent to the media on Monday, per Gant.
“[VCSO] went to the address where both suspects were said to be living and met with their grandfather,” Gant noted. “[He] looked at the surveillance photos and confirmed the images were of Delbrugge and Winters.”
The victim and Winters’ husband also positively identified both of the suspects in separate photo lineups, according to investigators.
“Winters’ husband contacted the Sheriff’s Office after researching the case online,” Gant stated. “He confirmed that the female suspect in the surveillance image was his wife, the juvenile with her was their daughter, and the Hyundai Santa Fe was their vehicle.”
The victim also told VCSO that a man and woman – believed to be Delbrugge and Winters – had approached her table just before the robbery.
“The female kept asking questions about the cookies,” Gant noted. “The male kept staring at the cash box. Both suspects went inside the Wal-Mart but came back out about a half-hour later. Because of his suspicious actions earlier, the victim held onto the metal cash box, but the suspect grabbed it and took off into the parking lot.”
Delbrugge is charged with robbery by sudden snatching. He’s held on a $25,000 bond at Volusia County Jail as of noon Saturday.
Winters is also charged with being a principal to robbery by sudden snatching. She’s bonded out of VCJ.
VCJ records show Winters has no prior bookings there. Delbrugge has 2 prior bookings, 1 in September 2014 for marijuana possession under 20 grams and the other in February 2015 for battery and drug paraphernalia possession.
Delbrugge and Winters are the children of former Flagler County Schools Superintendent Bill Delbrugge.
Copyright 2016 Southern Stone Communications.