New Smyrna Beach, FL – The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office arrest two suspects this morning in connection to a fire that claimed a house in New Smyrna Beach earlier this week.
Deputies have booked 32-year-old Angela Halcomb (left) of Port Orange and 35-year-old David L. Debenedictis (right) of New Smyrna Beach at Volusia County Jail on various charges, including arson in the fire which destroyed a home on Turnbull Bay Road two days ago.
Investigators became suspicious of the fire after firefighters found a safe inside the home that was cut open with a saw, according to VCSO spokesperson Andrew Gant.
“Guns, jewelry and cash were missing from the safe,” Gant noted. “Two trailers were also missing from the property and an industrial grill was missing from a shed.”
— Volusia Co. Sheriff (@VolusiaSheriff) July 27, 2018
Just yesterday, the New Smyrna Beach Police Department found Halcomb in an unrelated stolen vehicle. While removing her from the vehicle, officers noticed a Florida license plate in the back of the car that matched one of the stolen trailers from the Turnbull Bay Road home.
Halcomb was also in possession of several pieces of jewelry when she was arrested, according to Gant.
“There was jewelry sitting on the front passenger seat and a pressure washer in the back of the vehicle,” Gant added. “The owner of the torched home confirmed the jewelry and pressure washer were hers.”
Further investigation into the fire found that Halcomb acted as a lookout while Debenedictis broke into the home, per VCSO.
Detectives believe that Debenedictis injured himself while breaking into the safe and used gasoline he had brought with him to set a fire in an attempt to destroy the evidence.
A search warrant was served after the arrest at a property on Treadway Road in New Smyrna Beach where Debenedictis was believed to be squatting. That’s where VCSO found more stolen property, including a Ford truck, two jet skis and at least three trailers.
Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood says Debenedictis has served time in prison on convictions for armed robbery, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and grand theft.
“This guy is a career scumbag,” Chitwood added. “This guy does not belong walking the streets and I hope and pray that the state attorney and the judges realize that this is an animal who needs to be locked behind bars.”
More charges are expected to be filed by VCSO on Debenedictis after detectives inventory everything on the Treadway Road property.
Photos of the actual house fire/evidence found below are courtesy of NSBPD/VCSO.