DeLand Police arrest DeLeon Springs man suspected in vehicle burglary spree

(DeLand, FL) – DeLand Police have arrested a DeLeon Springs man believed to have been responsible for a vehicle burglary spree that stretched over several months.

Joseph Paul Evans, 28, was charged Friday with 37 counts of burglary of a conveyance and one count of unarmed burglary of an occupied dwelling. He was in the Volusia County Branch Jail at the time of his arrest on burglary case opened by the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.

Detectives had been searching for a suspect who had gone on a vehicle burglary spree across DeLand beginning at the end of May through the beginning of July. The vehicles burglarized were either unlocked or in several cases the windows were broken out of locked vehicles. Some of the neighborhoods include Cascades Park, Crystal Cove, Victoria Trails, Commons and Hills, Bent Oaks and Glenwood Springs.

A major lead in the case came on July 4 when a man matching Evans’s description appeared on surveillance video outside a home on West Minnesota Avenue attempting to break into two locked vehicles. The short video was viewed more than 17,000 times on social media and generated multiple anonymous tips through the DeLand PD’s Crime Watch website with several people identifying Evans as the culprit.

Police Chief Jason Umberger commended detectives for their tireless work on the case and the community for helping nab the burglary suspect.

“This is the first major case that our Crime Watch portal was used by a citizen who provided us information that led directly to the arrest of the suspect,” Chief Umberger said.  “I want to encourage all residents of the greater DeLand area to subscribe to Crime Watch and use it to help us keep our community safer.”

When Evans was arrested by the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office on July 7, authorities found stolen items in his vehicle as well a Marlins cap that matched one worn by the burglary suspect in multiple videos. A subsequent search of his apartment revealed more stolen items, some of which have been returned to their owners.

However, there are still items that remain unclaimed and are pictured below. If any of these items belong to you please contact DeLand PD at 386-626-7400 or stop by the DeLand PD at 219 West Howry Avenue.