Two Men Charged In Break-Ins Using A Vehicle To Drive Into Stores

By on November 10, 2016 in WNDB News

arrest white male

Deltona, FL-Two men are now charged in a series of business break-ins where a vehicle was used to drive through the front doors of the closed businesses. Deputies arrested 27-year-old Matthew Herndon of Pierson last night and charged him as an accomplice. Another man had been arrested earlier and charged.

Earlier reporting follows:

VCSO has a man in custody that they think is responsible for a string of burglaries where a vehicle was used to ram through the front doors of the closed businesses.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, 28-year-old Justin Maurelis was found early Thursday morning hiding in a water-filled ditch after he burglarized the Saxon Corner Store at 2091 Saxon Blvd in Deltona. Investigators think he’s responsible for 4 burglaries that took place in a 9-day span in DeLand, DeLeon Springs, and Deltona. In all 4 cases, a vehicle was used to smash through the front doors to gain entrance to closed businesses. During the spree, the Hontoon Convenience Store in DeLand, the BJ Phelps Pawn Shop in DeLand, and the Citgo in DeLeon Springs were all hit up.

Early Thursday morning, surveillance video at the Saxon Corner Store showed a maroon minivan back into the store. A man hopped out, grabbed a case of scratch-off lottery tickets, then fled the store.

Deputies arrived on scene around 3:51 AM and started collecting evidence. A few minutes later and FHP reported a maroon minivan had fled from troopers who tried to pull it over on I-4 for speeding.

That minivan got as far as W International Speedway Blvd near Old DeLand Rd before the driver jumped out and ran away on foot. A DBPD K-9 team tracked the suspect through the woods and the K-9 sniffed out the suspect who was hiding under water. He was found around 4:30 AM. The case of lottery tickets were found inside the minivan.

Maurelis was treated for dog bites on his arm and has been charged by VCSO with burglary, grand theft, and criminal mischief. FHP’s charging him with failure to obey a lawful order, obstructing an officer, and driving with a suspended, cancelled, or revoked license.

Maurelis is being held at the Volusia County Jail on $68,000 bond. The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are pending.

Investigators are looking for at least 1 other suspect they believe was involved in some of the burglaries. “We know in some of the burglaries, at least 1 if not more, there were 2 people,” said Gary Davidson, Public Information Officer with VCSO. “We know that from surveillance video from some of the burglaries.”

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Copyright Southern Stone Communications 2016.

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