SERIAL BURGLAR NABBED WITH SHIRT FULL OF CIGARETTES
DELTONA, Florida — Volusia County Sheriff’s Deputies say that Newport cigarettes seemed to be Miguel Ortiz Morales’ preferred brand and a convenience store on Deltona Boulevard seemed to be his favorite place to pick up several cartons. The problem was that the store was closed when Morales did his shopping.
He was arrested early Tuesday morning when Volusia County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a business burglary and found the glass front door smashed. Morales was discovered about a half mile away with several packs of Newports tucked under his shirt. He admitted the break-in to investigators, and also confessed to two previous burglaries to the same store. His drug addiction is what drove him to commit the crimes, he explained. Morales (06/16/71) was charged with burglary, criminal mischief with property damage and petty theft for the Tuesday incident. He was transported to the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach. He will face additional charges for the previous burglaries.
Deputies responded to an activated business alarm at the Citgo at 785 Deltona Blvd., Deltona. When they arrived on scene at about 2:30 a.m. they found that the front door’s glass had been smashed with a large stone. The only merchandise missing from inside were several packs of Newport cigarettes. This was similar to a March 14 burglary of the same store when four cartons of Newports were stolen and a March 8 burglary when cartons of Newports were stolen along with a couple of other brands.
Deputies canvassed the area and found Morales at the intersection of Belltower Avenue and Hummingbird Street. Stuffed under his shirt were 11 packs of Newports. Morales initially said that he had just bought the cigarettes from someone, but deputies didn’t think that was likely given the early morning hour. Morales finally told investigators that he was addicted to cocaine, but didn’t have the money to buy it. This motivated him to steal the cigarettes, which he then traded for drugs. He told deputies that he was glad he was caught because his addiction was controlling him and something bad could have happened.