INVESTIGATORS CHARGE SEVEN JUVENILES WITH SCHOOL BREAK-IN
Two weeks ago, vandals broke into Deltona Lakes Elementary School and ate pilfered snacks, stole money, rummaged through lockers and scrawled on cafeteria walls and floors. Initially, the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office had few leads. But it was the graffiti that led Sheriff’s investigators to seven juveniles who were arrested Thursday on charges of burglary, theft and criminal mischief. The escapade caused an estimated $2,500 in damage to the school.
Much of the graffiti was either drug-related or sexual in nature. However, the vandals also wrote the name of a boy throughout the cafeteria. Investigators managed to track down the boy and later learned that a teenage girl had a beef with him over a $15 drug rip-off. That girl, 13-year-old Brittney Reep, turned out to be one of the seven culprits linked to the school break-in. One-by-one, Sheriff’s investigators Jeremy Patterson and Heather Welch were able to connect the other suspects to the burglary that was discovered on June 25. The defendants are five boys -- including a pair of brothers -- and two girls, all between the ages of 12-15. Among the incriminating information gathered during the investigation was a statement from a parent of one of the defendants who was unaware of the break-in, but said that he had caught his son climbing through a window at 5 a.m. on June 25 to get into their house after having been out all night.
The investigation also revealed that the group actually broke into the school twice. Some of the defendants managed to get into the school a first time on the evening of June 24. They ate chips and candy and drank soda and chocolate milk. During the second break-in, one of the defendants, Aaron Sumner, used a master key that he had stolen from the school during a burglary a couple of months ago to let the others into a counselor’s office. In addition to the vandalism, one of the defendants -- Tyler Sheaffer -- stole about $280 he found in a cash register in the counselor’s office. Sheaffer, whose younger brother Christopher Sheaffer also was arrested, bought new shoes and gave some of the money to the others. Deputies recovered the shoes as evidence. Another defendant bought a hat, some clothes and candy.
The seven defendants are as follows:
Alexander Casanova, age 14
Robert Miller, age 14
Erica Prohaska, age 13
Brittney Reep, age 13
Christopher Sheaffer, age 12
Tyler Sheaffer, age 14
Aaron Sumner, age 15
Six of the seven are from Deltona. Reep is from DeBary. All were charged with burglary and felony criminal mischief. Additionally, Tyler Sheaffer was charged with grand theft for stealing the money, while the others were charged with petty theft. All seven were transported to the Volusia Regional Juvenile Detention Center in Daytona Beach.