After recovering touch DNA left on the victim’s doorbell, Volusia County sheriff’s detectives have arrested a suspect in the October 2017 burglary of the New Smyrna Beach-area home of a senior couple.
The Oct. 9 burglary was interrupted by the 81-year-old homeowner who heard the suspect at his home, armed himself with a pistol and fired several shots as the suspect broke through a living-room window. The victim and his wife weren’t injured in the incident.
There were few leads to the suspect’s identity, and several tips didn’t pan out. But detectives knew that the suspect came to the front door and rang the doorbell before he put on gloves and tried to break in through the window. A detective swabbed the doorbell button, and the sample was sent to a lab (DNA Labs International) for analysis.
On Monday, detectives heard back from the lab that the DNA matched 41-year-old Jason Braun (DOB 2/4/1977) of Edgewater, who was already in custody at the Volusia County Branch Jail in an unrelated case. A detective obtained a confession from Braun and served him with an arrest warrant charging him with one count of burglary of an occupied dwelling, carrying a bond of $25,000.
“This case is just further proof that our detectives never give up on a case, and they’ll do whatever it takes to track down and arrest anyone responsible for crime in our county,” Sheriff Mike Chitwood said Friday. “Jason Braun picked the wrong house that day. He’s lucky he wasn’t shot. I hope this was a wake-up call for him and all the other burglars out there who want to test their luck in Volusia County.”
Original Oct. 9 news release below:
Office of Public Affairs & Media Relations
BURGLARY INTERRUPTED WHEN VICTIM, 81, FIRES SHOTS AT INTRUDER
A burglar who tried to enter an Edgewater-area home Monday morning was deterred by several gunshots from the 81-year-old resident who saw him coming through a broken window.
The suspect, who may have been hit or grazed by at least one of the rounds, ran away and sped off in a truck, possibly a white mid-2000s-era Chevrolet Silverado 1500. The suspect was not immediately identified or located. Sheriff’s detectives are investigating.
The incident occurred around 9:15 a.m. Monday at 662 Old Mission Road, where the victim said he was lying in bed and heard someone knocking on the front door and ringing the doorbell. He looked out the window and saw a white male in his 30s or 40s with dirty blond hair, wearing a light blue shirt and khaki pants. Because he didn’t recognize the man, the victim didn’t open the door.
When no one answered, the suspect donned a pair of white gloves and went to the back of the house. The victim grabbed a .22-caliber pistol for protection and then heard his living-room window break. He saw the suspect reaching through the window to clear away the broken glass. Fearing for his safety and the safety of his wife, who was still in their bedroom, the victim fired three to four shots at the suspect, who ran back to his truck. The victim said he fired three to four more shots as the truck sped away.
Anyone with information about the incident or the suspect’s identity is encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers of Northeast Florida at 888-277-TIPS, or westopcrime.com. Crime Stoppers tips remain anonymous and could be eligible for a cash reward.
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