Police: Two thieves caught after getting car stuck in mud



Investigators said a pair of suspected thieves could have gotten away with $30,000 worth of stolen electronics if they hadn't taken a wrong turn and gotten stuck in the mud.

Deputies said 21-year-old Matthew Swaggerty and 20-year-old Timothy Marrison were booked into the Volusia County Jail after they burglarized several cars and houses and even a shed along a quiet street early Thursday morning.

Police said the two stole cameras, computer equipment, power tools, a cell phone, camping equipment and other items worth nearly $30,000. 

But police said their crime spree started to unravel when the two hit a dead end. Police said instead of turning around, the pair drove right though a yard on Pine Meadow Drive in DeBary and onto a sprinkler head.

Lots of gushing water and a big muddy hole later, the men were stuck.

"There was a dead end. They didn't know that and they couldn't turn around, couldn't get away, so they went over my lawn," said witness Hans Kretchmer

He said they tried to get him to pull them out of his yard once they got stuck around 3 a.m.

He refused and went to bed. They tried to get themselves out by ripping off neighbor's fence pickets using Kretchmer's landscaping blocks, police said. Kretchmer said a shovel was also taken from his shed.

"Did you realize they were using your shovel to dig themselves out?" WFTV's Steve Barrett asked.

"No, I found it later. They couldn't use it because it was a coal shovel. It wasn't made for digging," said Kretchmer.  

Deputies said it was the cell phone with a tracking device that the thieves stole that led them to the crime scene.  The tracker showed that the phone hadn't gone far from the victim’s home; it was just a few houses down the street.

A deputy walked down the street around 6 a.m. and found Swaggerty and Marrison trying to get their Camaro's tire free from the mud

Swaggerty and Marrison are charged with burglary of an occupied dwelling, grand theft and burglary of an unoccupied dwelling.

Deputies said both men admitted to committing multiple burglaries in the area.

However, additional charges are expected as investigators determine where other recovered items, such as car parts, a GPS unit, designer sunglasses and unopened bottles of alcohol were taken from.

Investigators believe the pair may be responsible for more break-ins in Orange City and DeLand.

Anyone in the Fawn Ridge, Glen Abbey or Bent Oaks Subdivisions who believe they may be victims is asked to call their local law enforcement agency.