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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Man catches pair of suspected thieves on his property with trail cameras

A pair of suspected thieves in Eustis were arrested when a man caught them taking items from his property on trail cameras.

Dawn Marie Allen
Dawn Marie Allen

Dawn Marie Allen, 45, and David Eugene Bailey, 49, were arrested on burglary and theft charges this week after being tracked down by law enforcement. 

A deputy responded to a burglary complaint at an undisclosed Eustis residence around 7:13 p.m. Friday, according to an arrest report from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.  

The deputy met with the male victim who advised that on the south side of his parcel of land there was a manufactured home that he grew up in. Due to its poor structural integrity, he now used it just to store items, the report said. 

Sometime prior, the victim had found some juveniles on his property, possibly breaking into the manufactured home. He scared them off and advised that he would be putting up trail cameras. He put three trail cameras up around the manufactured home, and when he came back there to retrieve the cameras, he noticed that two out of three were missing, the report said. 

The remaining trail camera had captured photographs of Bailey and Allen carrying multiple items through the wooded area. The photos had date and time stamps ranging from June 28 through July 4, the report said. 

The victim proceeded to walk the deputy to the south side of his property where they saw the manufactured home and a separate steel-sided shed. He told the deputy that the unknown subjects had broken into the stand-alone shed and stolen two car stereo sets he had stored in there. He then redirected the deputy to the manufactured home where he advised that a hamper of clothing with other miscellaneous items had been stolen from within, the report said. 

Additionally, the victim had an LG washer on the ground just outside of the manufactured home, and some possible drag marks in the sand were seen going from the manufactured home to the east side of his property where his missing trail cameras were set up to capture pictures of who was coming on his property, the report said. 

The deputy then took photographs of the shed and the manufactured home which were later uploaded for evidence. He had the victim provide a sworn written statement which he signed with intent and listed the basic information for the property that was missing, the report said. 

The victim was also given a victim’s rights pamphlet with a case number. He advised that he would follow up upon obtaining the brand information for the trail cameras and car stereos that were missing. A citizen’s link was provided to him for the photographs of Bailey and Allen seen carrying the items on his property, the report said. 

As the investigation continued into Monday, deputies identified Allen. A detective observed her walking down County Road 44A near Lake County Fire Station 21. During a consensual encounter, he obtained a confession from her regarding the crime, the report said. 

Allen revealed that Bailey was the male accomplice. A deputy responded to the residence at 25420 Magnolia Avenue to meet with him, the report said. 

A detective conducted interviews with both suspects. Allen admitted to entering the structure and removing items, while Bailey claimed he only removed items. While on scene, Allen gave the detective some of the stolen property, the report said. 

Allen and Bailey were both subsequently placed under arrest. Allen was charged with burglary to an unoccupied structure unarmed and petit theft. Her bond was set at $11,000. Bailey was charged with possession of methamphetamine and petit theft. His bond was set at $3,500. 

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