VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - Two people have been arrested in connection with a string of vehicle burglaries after the duo bragged about the crimes on social media, according to the Volusia County Sheriff's Office.
Erik Smith, 20; Markees Shine, 18, and a third man, 19-year-old Carmaine Givens, who has not been arrested, are linked to 15 to 20 vehicle burglaries and three stolen vehicles in an area spanning from Deltona to Ormond Beach since Oct. 30, a news release said.
Deputies said the men used the vehicles they'd stolen to enter neighborhoods to search for unlocked vehicles. Wallets, purses, tools, money, credit cards, laptop computers and firearms were among the stolen items.
The vehicles that were stolen were: a Nissan Altima stolen between Oct. 30 and 31 from Ocean Pines Drive in Ormond Beach; a white Jeep Cherokee SUV stolen from Alamanda Drive in Ormond Beach on Nov. 2; and a 2016 Toyota Highlander stolen from a home on Blackstone Avenue in Deltona.
After the crimes, deputies said the suspects bragged on social media about how they wouldn't be arrested.
“I commend our detectives and deputies for their tireless work to catch these thugs,” Sheriff Mike Chitwood said. “They have put in hours and hours to track down the people responsible for these car breaks. And we expect more charges as the cases continue to be investigated.”
News of the arrests came with a reminder for Central Floridians to lock their vehicles and remove and secure their valuables.
“Help us help you. Be smart and don’t give these thieves the opportunity to steal your stuff,” Chitwood said.
Smith and Shine were arrested Tuesday on charges of grand theft auto, grand theft firearm and vehicle burglary charges. Shine was arrested while entering Seabreeze High School and faces an additional charge of carrying a concealed firearm on school grounds.
Givens is actively being sought.
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