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‘HE JUST WENT THAT WAY!’: SO-CALLED ‘WITNESS’ WHO CLAIMED HE SAW FLEEING SUSPECT ARRESTED AFTER DNA MATCH
Mark Grimes was in the area of a December truck break-in, but insisted to deputies he watched the real suspect get away
A “witness” who tried to point deputies in the direction of a suspect in a December vehicle burglary in Deltona was arrested this week after his DNA matched the DNA left at the scene.
The story from 40-year-old Mark Grimes (DOB 3/5/1979) never really added up from the moment deputies encountered him on the night of Dec. 30.
Around 9:30 that night, a man at a home on Merrimac Street reported he caught someone in the act of breaking into his truck. The suspect, his face covered by the hood of a sweatshirt, took off on a bicycle carrying the victim’s camouflage Army backpack that contained an Xbox One, games and accessories. The victim was also missing a box of Newport cigarettes from his center cup holder.
The victim and his girlfriend each chased after the suspect, who ended up ditching the backpack in the middle of the road, where it was run over by a vehicle and the contents destroyed. In the area where the victim’s girlfriend lost sight of the suspect, responding deputies found a bicycle and a sweatshirt.
Grimes turned up in the same area. He claimed the bike wasn’t his, but he’d seen someone riding it, and that he’d tried to help the victims catch him. He gave a detailed story about how the fleeing suspect “darted that way” and got away; he even said he might have recognized him. “There’s a certain house, I can tell you I’ve seen him at. I don’t know if he lives there, but I can tell you where I’ve seen him.”
When deputies searched Grimes’ pockets, they found a bicycle light and a pack of Newport cigarettes. Unfortunately, the victim couldn’t confirm they were the same Newports missing from his truck.
Without a positive ID from the victim, deputies released Grimes from the scene that night.
VCSO detectives later obtained a search warrant for Grimes’ DNA to test against DNA found on the interior underarm, wrist and hood of the sweatshirt. This Sunday, the results came back indicating Grimes was a match.
On Tuesday, his 40th birthday, Grimes was arrested and booked into the Volusia County Branch Jail on charges of burglary and grand theft. He remains in custody today on $10,000 bail.