• Property owners reluctant to press charges in Volusia Co. thefts


    VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - Investigators have discovered thousands of dollars in stolen items from various thefts in Volusia County but so far, finding owners to press charges has been difficult.

    The thieves are targeting abandoned buildings and foreclosed homes, stealing copper, but police said many victims aren't getting the police involved.

    Realtor Greg Antonich's Holly Hill property was hit by crooks several weeks ago.

    The thieves stole an air-conditioning motor that costs roughly $600.

    But the thefts aren't enough for many property owners to bother filing a police report, authorities said.

    That means reduced charges or in some cases, no charges against suspects who are apprehended, authorities said.

    The sheriff's office has recovered everything from new cable to new pipes, all suspected stolen property but with no owners who have come forward to claim it.

    And connecting stolen property to its owner is not a simple process, officials said.

    In one case, David and Dwayne Matthews were arrested, accused of selling stolen boat motors. But the owner of the motors didn't even know they were missing until the county tracked him down.

    Several property owners told Channel 9 part of the reason they don't file a report is that they believe there is no benefit. They said they won't get their items back and if the police do catch the crooks, they're unlikely to ever see restitution.

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    Property owners reluctant to press charges in Volusia Co. thefts