A pair of cousins are in even more trouble with the law after numerous recordings of phone calls at Volusia County Jail (VCJ) show they and another man planned to break into an elderly man’s home in Iowa and rob him.
22-year-old Jeremy Leister and 25-year-old Jacob T. Locke each face a felony charge of conspiring to commit home invasion robbery in a case that ultimately required the cooperation of six other law enforcement agencies.
“This case was a perfect example of relentless follow-up and great teamwork,” said Captain Scott Lee, head of the Problem Oriented Policing (POP) Unit in the Daytona Beach Police Department (DBPD). “Without the help of those agencies and the Career Criminal Unit of State Attorney R.J. Larizza, we wouldn’t have been able to solve this case. We thank them all for their help.”
Those six agencies are the Daytona Beach Shores Department of Public Safety (DBSDPS), Edgewater Police Department (EPD), New Smyrna Beach Police Department (NSBPD), Port Orange Police Department (POPD), the Volusia Sheriff’s Office (VSO) and the West Union (Iowa) Police Department.
The phone calls between Leister and Locke took place soon after Locke was booked at VCJ on July 11, 2021. He was arrested by DBPD that day on seven different charges after he fled the scene of an attempted traffic stop while in control of a stolen vehicle, striking an officer’s leg in the process. He has been incarcerated at VCJ ever since.
Since Locke has been in custody, he and Leister have been in constant communication with one another through VCJ’s in-house telephone system, which monitors and records all calls placed and received by inmates. Users are warned before each call that those conversations are monitored.
Investigators found 11 different calls placed between July 14 and July 24 where the two discussed a plan to rob the home of an elderly man in Iowa whom Locke had met while involved in a work release program during his stint as an inmate with the Iowa Department of Corrections.
DBPD’s POP Unit eventually developed enough information on this case to obtain a search warrant which was signed by a Volusia County judge on July 31, 2021. That warrant was served by the Southeast Regional SWAT Team – made up of members from DBPD, DBSDPS, EPD, NSBPD, POPD and VSO – at 10:39 that night at a home in Port Orange.
Leister and another person were detained during the search, which turned up the phone used by Leister to talk to Locke along with over 10 grams of methamphetamine and a digital scale with meth residue on it.
Leister was booked the following day at VCJ on the conspiracy charge, where he has remained ever since. He’s also been charged with unlawful possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell.
Leister is held on no bond. Locke’s bond has been set at $1,000,000 after a charging affidavit was filed by POP Unit investigators to add the conspiracy charge.
Detectives are now working to identify a third man who was reportedly involved in the planned robbery. Anyone with information can contact Sergeant Kevin Connelly at ConnellyKevin@DBPD.us or (386) 671-5162.