DeLand police search for owners of stolen items after serial burglary suspect arrested

Citizen information leads to arrest of man accused in 37 burglaries

Joseph Paul Evans, 28, of DeLeon Springs.
Joseph Paul Evans, 28, of DeLeon Springs.

DeLAND, Fla. – DeLand police Friday arrested the man they said is behind nearly 40 car burglaries and now are attempting to reunite owners with their stolen property.

Police said Joseph Paul Evans, 28, of DeLeon Springs, is the suspect responsible for 37 vehicle burglaries over the last three months. He was already in jail when he was presented with the new charges. Detectives had been searching for Evans since May when a series of vehicles were targeted in the neighborhoods of  Cascades Park, Crystal Cove, Victoria Trails, Commons and Hills, Bent Oaks and Glenwood Springs.

Police said they were able to make an arrest after receiving multiple anonymous tips through the DeLand Police Department's Crime Watch website. The tips came in after police circulated surveillance video on July 4 taken outside a home on West Minnesota Avenue showing a man attempting to break into two locked cars.

When Evans was arrested by Volusia County Sheriff's Office on July 7, deputies found stolen items in his vehicle and a Marlin's baseball cap matching the one seen in surveillance video of burglaries. More items were found in Evans apartment, police said.

Some of the stolen goods have been returned to their owners, but police said there are still some that are unclaimed. In an attempt to return these items to their rightful owners, the DeLand Police Department posted photos of the items on its website.

Anyone who recognizes their belongings in the photos are asked to call DeLand police at 386-626-7400 or visit the Police Department at 219 West Howry Avenue.

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