Guns, motorcycles stolen from DeLand mayoral candidate

Store owner running for mayor of DeLand on lower crime campaign platform

By Loren Korn - Reporter

DeLAND, Fla. - A store owner who is running for the mayor of DeLand left a campaign appearance after burglars broke into his shop, Pompano Pat's Motorcycles.

The burglars stole guns and bikes and left a big mess behind at the shop located on South Woodland Boulevard Wednesday night.

"They worked quite feverishly. They brought tools and equipment with them. It was well planned out. It was no spur of the moment crime.," said Pat Johnson, owner of Pompano Pat's Motorcycles.

Johnson, who was a former police officer and now running for mayor showed how the crooks by passed razor wire, undid steel bolts, bent the steel and then got in through the insulation. He said they even worked their way through a second set of steel doors just to get inside and steal guns.

"They left a big bag that they planned on carrying all the handguns out with. They left the hammer that they planned on smashing all the cases with. When they got inside, they were like what, no guns," said Johnson.

Johnson said his employees take 45 minutes every night to lock them up in a safe just for this reason.

"They went into the display cases, shook and rattled all the empty boxes, and throw them on the ground," he said. "You can see the frustration and rampant behavior just from the evidence on the ground."

Johnson said the crooks settled for half a dozen hunting rifles worth between $3,000 to $5,000 and two mini bikes that he was fixing up for customers.

Meanwhile, DeLand police collected evidence and looked at surveillance video to try and catch the burglars.

"It's my property, I worked hard to obtain it, so yeah, you feel personally violated," said Johnson.

Johnson said he plans to foot the bill for repairing his store and cover all the items that were stolen. One of Johnson's campaign platform is to lower crime.

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