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***Update: The second suspect in this case, 25-year-old Oscar Bravo (DOB 7/16/1992) was taken into custody Sunday evening and is facing the same charges as Taylor: burglary to a dwelling during a state of emergency and grand theft.
DNA LEFT BEHIND ON CIGARETTE BUTT; SUSPECT ARRESTED IN BURGLARY OF HOME EVACUATED DURING HURRICANE IRMA
A cigarette butt left at a house that was burglarized and ransacked during Hurricane Irma led to the arrest Sunday of a DeLeon Springs woman who broke into the home when the victim evacuated for the storm.
Cassandra Taylor, 32 (DOB 3/19/1985), is well known to Volusia County sheriff’s detectives who are familiar with past burglaries in the DeLeon Springs area. She was arrested Sunday at the Volusia County Branch Jail, where she was already in custody in a separate case.
Another arrest is possible in the case, which was reported on Sept. 12, 2017. The victim told deputies he evacuated his home on Billings Avenue in DeLeon Springs on Sept. 9. When he came back, he found the couches in his living room tipped over and sliced open, his bedroom drawers open, and several items missing from his house. The stolen property included purses, 31 pairs of jeans, 6 pairs of sneakers, 6 purses, 50 chair covers, a DVD player and a piggy bank full of money.
There were no suspects. But on Jan. 10, detectives investigating a different suspect in a different burglary in DeLeon Springs got some information that led them to Taylor and another possible suspect.
Also in January, detectives got back DNA results from the cigarette butt found on a bedroom floor. (The victim said no one in the home smokes.) The DNA matched Taylor, who ended up confessing to taking part in the burglary.
Because the burglary occurred during an officially declared state of emergency, Taylor faces an enhanced charge of burglary to a dwelling during a state of emergency, a first-degree felony, as well as a charge of grand theft.
Administrative offices: West Volusia 386-736-5961 Daytona Beach 386-254-4689 New Smyrna Beach 386-423-3352
Non-emergency dispatch numbers: DeLand 386-943-8276 Daytona Beach 386-239-8276 New Smyrna Beach 386-409-8276 Osteen 407-323-0151