VCSO: Bathroom brass bandit busted

Douglas Garner, 36, of Deltona

Douglas Garner, 36, of Deltona

A man who stole several pieces of toilet plumbing from public restrooms in DeBary is in custody today after Volusia County sheriff’s detectives identified him as the person selling brass toilet fixtures to a Sanford metal recycler.

Douglas Garner, 36, of Deltona, was arrested Thursday evening and charged with two counts of dealing in stolen property as well as two counts of narcotics possession, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving with a suspended license. Garner told the investigating detective that he’s a former plumber.

Three times in January, deputies responded to public parks in DeBary after receiving reports of stolen bathroom plumbing. Two of the incidents were at Lake Monroe Park, with another case occurring at the DeBary Splash Pad. In all, 16 brass plumbing fixtures were stolen from toilets and urinals in men’s and women’s restrooms. Total loss and damage was estimated at about $3,600.

It didn’t take long for detectives to contact a metal recycler in Sanford that had recently received toilet plumbing. In fact, Garner had seven transactions in January involving brass toilet fixtures.

A detective recovered some of the plumbing Garner sold and presented it to the Volusia County employee who was assigned to repair the bathrooms. He confirmed that they matched the stolen pieces.

Fingerprints from the transactions at the metal recycler came back to Garner. So did fingerprints left on the pipes left protruding in the bathrooms at Lake Monroe Park.

Garner was charged in the Lake Monroe Park cases, and additional charges are pending in the case at DeBary Splash Pad.

Garner’s arrest was the second recent notable arrest in a significant theft of brass in Volusia County. On Wednesday, 21-year-old Anthony Markgraf of Paisley was charged in the theft of about $62,500 in sprinkler heads from a DeLand-area fernery. The interruption in water destroyed an estimated $30,000 in ferns that were part of the major Valentine’s Day crop.

In addition to his charges in the DeBary cases, Garner is also being charged in an unrelated car break case reported Jan. 26 in Osteen. In that case, Garner stole and cashed a $402 money order that was in an unlocked vehicle. In that case, he’s charged with burglary of a conveyance, grand theft, dealing in stolen property and theft of a credit card.

As of Friday afternoon, Garner was in custody at the Volusia County Branch Jail on $35,000 bond.

 

— Andrew Gant, Volusia County Sheriff's Office

 

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