Men use spaghetti sauce to try to start fire after burglary, deputies say

Deputies find sauce burning on victim's stove with washcloth on burner

DeLAND, Fla. – Two men are accused of breaking into the home of a man they both dated, stealing several items, then leaving spaghetti sauce boiling on the stove with a washcloth placed near the burner in an attempt to start a fire, according to the Volusia County Sheriff's Office.

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The victim called 911 about 7 a.m. Tuesday because the security cameras in his home on Evergreen Terrace in DeLand detected motion and he believed someone was breaking in because a towel had been placed over one of the cameras, the report said.

Deputies went to the residence and saw a red Lincoln Navigator attempting to leave the area. A stop was conducted and the driver, 28-year-old John Silva, and passenger, Derrick Irving, told the deputy that they had just picked up some clothes from the victim's home, according to the affidavit.

The victim told News 6 that Irving was wearing a bull costume.

The deputy said she could see a marijuana grinder in the center console and a vacuum, window A/C unit, flat-screen television and heater in the back seat. An empty jar of Ragu spaghetti sauce was also on the passenger's seat, the report said.

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Deputies said both men initially denied burglarizing the victim's home, instead saying that Irving told Silva he lived at the home and needed a ride there to retrieve some clothes and other items.

The home reeked of smoke when deputies entered it, according to the report. A pot of spaghetti sauce was found burning on the stove with a white washcloth placed near the burner that had just begun to catch fire, according to the affidavit.

"He was trying to make it look like I left the stove on but who gets up 2 a.m. and fixes sketti," the victim said.

The deputy extinguished the flames then continued searching the home.

Evidence at the scene revealed that Silva and Irving broke into the home, covered the security cameras, stole the items, then put the spaghetti sauce on the stove in an attempt to start a fire so the evidence would be destroyed, according to authorities.

Silva and Irving told deputies that they both had romantic or sexual encounters with the victim in the past.

"It started out as a relationship, that lasted about a week," the victim said. "I've let him use my car for four months, maybe he's angry about that. Or maybe he's angry because I gave him $150 to fix his teeth."

Both men were charged with unarmed burglary, grand theft and arson.

Silva is being held on $25,500 bond and Irving is being held without bond because officials say he violated his probation.

About the Authors:

Loren Korn is a native Texan who joined the News 6 team as a reporter in May 2014. She was born and raised in Houston and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Journalism.