DEBARY, Fla. (FOX 35 Orlando) - The Volusia County Sheriff's Office says of a man claiming to be a good Samaritan has been arrested.
Deputies were searching for a man on a bicycle whom they say had just broken into Christian Ellin’s truck in front of a home on Merrimac Street in DeBary. A man, later identified as Mark Grimes, approached deputies and told them that he had just seen the suspect running.
“I saw him heading towards Normandy, and I flagged him down,” Grimes can be heard telling deputies on body camera video.
“So your fingerprints won’t be on that vehicle, correct?” the deputy asked.
“My fingerprints. Maybe the sweater, cause I just accidently picked it up. You can check it whatever you want,” said Grimes, referring to a sweater that had been found next to a backpack taken from the truck.
Grimes seemed to cue in on the deputy’s suspicion and tried to convince the deputy that he is the good guy.
“I flagged him down three times. I have no reason,“ he explains.
Moments later, the deputy in charge is heard talking to another deputy.
“He didn’t see him ditch the bike. He saw him take off on the bike, but the bike is here and the bike light is in his back pocket,” the deputy said.
He also noted that when Grimes emptied his pockets, he had a pack of Newport cigarettes inside -- the same brand of smokes stolen from the victim’s truck. The deputy then made it clear to Grimes that he had better be telling the truth.
“If it is, and you been around here stealing, I don’t play, and I will do everything in my power to put you in jail as long as possible,” the deputy said.
The Sheriff's Office sent some evidence to the crime lab for DNA testing. Two months later, investigators say DNA linked Grimes to that truck break-in. The deputy kept his promise. Grimes is now charged with burglary and grand theft.
The victim learned the hard way why it is so important to always lock your vehicle. He got his backpack back. It was found in the middle of the road, but it had already been run over. His Xbox one, some games and accessories were ruined.