Two Florida men are facing charges on suspicion that they broke into the home of a man with whom they had both reportedly had a previous intimate relationship and tried to hide evidence of the event by attempting to cause a fire using Ragu sauce.
A DeLand, Florida, man with a home protected by security cameras received a telephone notification near 7:00 a.m. on Tuesday telling him that his surveillance equipment detected movement inside of his dwelling. A towel had been placed over the lens of one of the cameras which further alarmed him that foul play might be taking place. The man notified the authorities, and Volusia County police dispatched to the location to investigate his report.
As deputies pulled up to the home they allegedly spotted a red SUV driving away from the site. The men inside the vehicle were pulled over before they were able to leave the area, and police found John Silva, 28, driving with a passenger identified as Derrick Irving, 36. Irving was reportedly clothed in a bull costume.
Upon visual inspection of the inside of the SUV, one of the deputies said that she spotted several household items including an air conditioner, a television, and a heater. She also allegedly saw a used jar of Ragu spaghetti sauce, and a grinder meant for use with cannabis in the vehicle.
When the deputies entered to conduct a search of the victim’s home it was reportedly filled with smoke. They saw a pot of boiling tomato sauce on the stovetop with a rag very close to the heat source and had arrived just as the cloth ignited. The fire was put out and upon further inspection deputies determined that Silva and Irving had illegally entered the home and taken the victim’s belongings while using the Ragu sauce to cause a fire to hide the wrongdoing.
When they were questioned both Silva and Irving said that they did not break into the residence because Irving resides there, and he asked Silva to give him a ride so he could pick up some of his belongings. Both men also disclosed that they had prior intimate relationships with the alleged victim.
The victim confirmed that he did share a very short relationship with one of the accused but he was unsure what might have caused retaliatory behavior, as he claimed to continue sharing in a friendship with the man and assisted him with some financial problems, stating, “I’ve let him use my car for four months, maybe he’s angry about that. Or maybe he’s angry because I gave him $150 to fix his teeth.” It has not been disclosed if he confirmed whether Irving was living with him or not.
Irving and Silva were taken into custody and charged with unarmed burglary, grand theft, and arson. Since Irving is on probation and he was found in violation he is being held without bail. Silva is being held in lieu of $25,000 bond.
If you or someone you love is suspected of a theft crime, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.