110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
Three men arrested in window-smashing burglary at DeLand convenience store
Police canines bite two suspects
By Jen Horton
posted Jan 28, 2014 - 12:52:32pm
The alarm went off at Mohammed Rahman's DeLand convenience store just before 3 a.m. today, Jan. 28.
Rahman lives in Port Orange. By the time he arrived at his Mobile Food Mart at 701 W. New York Ave., $20,000 in damage had been done.
Someone, he said, had smashed the front plate-glass windows. Rahman found two large rocks inside the store and believes they were used to break the glass. The windows will cost about $1,000 each to replace.
Once in the store, the burglars stole cigarettes, lottery tickets and cash, Rahman said. He said they went for the expensive stuff.
Several racks were emptied of glass pipes and tobacco accessories. Two cash registers were destroyed.
That was bad.
The mess was worse. What didn't go into the thieves’ bag was damaged. In the store Tuesday morning, a heavy smell of chemicals permeated the air as Rahman, members of his family, and his employees cleaned up. The burglars had dumped racks of engine oils, spilling them and creating the pungent odor. They destroyed shelving that held food and other goods, and knocked over displays.
The shelving replacements alone will cost thousands of dollars, Rahman said.
He has owned the store for only two months.
Police arrested three men and charged them with the burglary; some of the merchandise was also recovered.
Rahman thinks there may have been more than three people involved, judging by the damage to his store.
As for the recovered items, he can't resell them.
More than 40 cartons of cigarettes, and all kinds of small cigars were taken, he said, and what has been recovered can't be sold again since it was removed from the store. It's all a loss.
Within 30 minutes of the alarm going off, the DeLand Police Department arrested Casey Vanloo, 21, Fernando Gutierrez, 25, and a 16-year-old boy. All three were charged with burglary of an unoccupied structure resulting in more than $1,000 in damage, which is a felony, as well as possession of burglary tools and resisting an officer without violence.
Vanloo and Gutierrez were also charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
DeLand Officer Thomas Gillan got to the store after the alarm went off at about 2:48 a.m., and saw a person jump out of a shattered window. He gave chase, and noticed a second man also running from the store.
The Sheriff’s Office helicopter, Air One, and K-9 units responded to help locate the men who ran from the building.
Gutierrez was arrested in the backyard of a house at the corner of Stone Street and Howry Avenue. Police said he failed to respond to officers’ requests that he stop, and was bitten by a police dog.
He had in his pockets, police said, change and single dollar bills.
Vanloo and the 16-year-old ran in a different direction and hid in a field off High Street, police said. The police dog located them, and bit one of the men.
Vanloo was wearing socks on his hands, police said.
Police said the 16-year-old told officers that he, Vanloo and Gutierrez had been "chillin” at a home in the Sha-De-Land trailer park, and talking about being broke. The older men talked about going to the convenience store, the boy told police.
Officers reported that the boy also told them Gutierrez trashed the store and broke the cash registers, and that Vanloo stayed outside as a lookout.
Vanloo has no prior arrest record in Volusia County, according to the Volusia County Department of Corrections online records. He remained in custody on a total bond of $4,250 as of today, Jan. 28.
Gutierrez was arrested in Volusia County in 2012 for charges of possession of marijuana and paraphernalia, according to the online records. He remained in custody today, Jan. 28, and no dollar amount was listed for his bond.
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