Two Cousins Charged With Planning Out-Of-State Robbery Over Jail Phone

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Daytona Beach, FL - Two cousins—one of whom was already in jail—are now facing charges after numerous phone recordings show they and another man were planning an out-of-state robbery.

A report from the Daytona Beach Police Department (DBPD) says 22-year-old Jeremy Leister and 25-year-old Jacob Locke each face a felony charge of conspiring to commit a home invasion robbery against an elderly man in Iowa.

Investigators say the case required the cooperation of six other law enforcement agencies, including the police departments of Daytona Beach Shores; Edgewater; New Smyrna Beach; West Union, Iowa; and the Volusia Sheriff's Office.

“This case was a perfect example of relentless follow-up and great teamwork,” said Captain Scott Lee, head of the DBPD Problem Oriented Policing (POP) Unit. “Without the help of those agencies and the Career Criminal Unit of State Attorney R.J. Larizza, we wouldn’t have been able to solve this case. We thank them all for their help.”

The phone calls between Leister and Locke took place soon after Locke was arrested July 11. Earlier that day, Locke was charged seven times by police after he fled the scene of an attempted traffic stop while in control of a stolen vehicle, striking an officer’s leg in the process. He has been in custody since the incident.

The pair had kept in constant contact with one another through the jail's in-house telephone system, which monitors and records all calls placed and received by inmates. Users are additionally warned before each call that their conversations are being monitored.

Investigators eventually uncovered 11 different conversations carried out by the cousins between July 11 and July 24 where the pair discussed a plan to rob the home of an elderly man in Iowa whom Locke had met while involved in a work release program during his stint as an inmate with the Iowa Department of Corrections.

The POP Unit eventually had enough evidence in the investigation to obtain a search warrant which was signed by a Volusia County judge on July 31. The same warrant was served on a home in Port Orange around 10:39 that night.

Investigators say Leister and another person were detained during the search, which turned up the phone used by Leister to talk to Locke, along with over 10 grams of methamphetamine, and a digital scale with meth residue on it. 

Leister was booked the following day on the conspiracy charge. He was also charged with unlawful possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell.

Both cousins remain in custody at the Volusia County Branch Jail. Leister is held on no bond while Locke's bond was increased to $1 million after a charging affidavit was filed by investigators to add the conspiracy charge.

At present, detectives are working to identify a third man who was reportedly involved in the planned robbery. Anyone with information can contact Sergeant Kevin Connelly at ConnellyKevin@DBPD.us or (386) 671-5162.

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