Cigarette butt leads to arrest after robbery during Hurricane Irma

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Cigarette butt leads to arrest after robbery during Hurricane Irma

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Volusia County Sheriff’s Office
Cassandra Taylor, 32, left, and Oscar Bravo, 25, right, were arrested and charged in several burglary cases in Florida, including one during the Hurricane Irma evacuation last fall. They were caught after DNA testing on a cigarette butt found at a crime scene.

A cigarette butt left at a home that was burglarized during Hurricane Irma led to the arrest of a Florida woman and her alleged accomplice, sheriff officials said.

Cassandra Taylor, 32, was arrested after deputies said she burglarized and ransacked a DeLeon Springs home on Billings Avenue in Volusia County last Sept. during the emergency evacuation caused by Hurricane Irma.

The victim told deputies they’d evacuated their home ahead of Irma on Sept. 9 and when he returned home he found couches in the living room overturned and sliced open, his bedroom drawers opened and several items missing from the house. 

Among the stolen items were six purses, 31 pairs of jeans, six pairs of sneakers, 50 chair covers, a DVD player and a piggy bank full of money. 

Deputies couldn't figure out who committed the burglary until investigators received information during a different burglary investigation that Taylor and another possible suspect may have burglarized the home. 

Investigators recently received DNA results from a cigarette butt found on the bedroom floor, which matched Taylor. 

Sheriff officials said Taylor confessed to the burglary. 

Because the incident occurred during a state of emergency, Taylor faces an enhanced charge of burglary to a dwelling during a state of emergency, as well as a charge of grand theft.

Deputies said Oscar Bravo, 25, was arrested Sunday evening and was also charged with burglary.

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