License plate reader leads deputies to Orlando man suspected in string of gym locker thefts

Suspect faces multiple charges with more pending, deputies say

Thomas Dugan (Volusia County Sheriff's Office)

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – A license plate reader helped deputies track down a man wanted in a string of gym locker thefts across Central Florida, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies said the plate reader notified Volusia County deputies about 62-year-old Thomas Dugan’s vehicle Saturday around 6:30 p.m. A short time later, authorities attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the Orlando man’s Ford F-150 pickup truck.

[TRENDING: Search ongoing for missing Fla. girl | Meet the new Miss Universe | Tiger spotted on front lawn finally located]

Dugan attempted to flee but deputies were able to deploy stop sticks to bring the truck to a halt in a parking lot, where Dugan was arrested on multiple charges related to recent thefts, including the May 11 theft of a backpack from Anytime Fitness in Ormond Beach. Deputies said in that incident, he was caught on video stealing the victim’s bag and using her credit cards at multiple stores in the area.

Dugan is also the suspect in a car break-in on Saturday at Planet Fitness in Orange City, according to the sheriff’s office. Deputies said during that incident, Dugan stole the victim’s keys by cutting the lock off his locker. Once he entered the victim’s car, he stole his credit cards and used them at two stores in the area, authorities said.

According to the sheriff’s office, he’s also believed to be behind a number of other similar cases at gyms outside Volusia County.

Following Saturday’s arrest, Dugan faces the following charges, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office:

  • From the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office: Fleeing or attempting to elude law enforcement, possession of burglary tools, possession of a schedule II substance and possession of narcotic paraphernalia.
  • From the Ormond Beach Police Department: Three counts of illegal use of credit cards and petit theft.
  • From the Orange City Police Department: Burglary, burglary of a conveyance, illegal use of credit cards, possession of a stolen credit card, grand theft and possession of burglary tools.

Additional charges are pending, according to the sheriff’s office.

As of Monday morning, Dugan was being held at the Volusia County Branch Jail on a $32,000 bond.