Man, 19, accused of burglarizing camper up for sale

Police: Devin Bowman arrested after owner traps him inside camper

By Heather Leigh - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A 19-year-old man was arrested Friday after burglarizing a camper that was for up for sale, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

Devin Bowman was booked into the Duval County Jail on a $5,000 bond.

The camper, which is parked in a lot off Atlantic Boulevard, had been empty up until last Thursday, the owner told News4Jax.

"I found clothing, a used bicycle that was in really bad shape, the cat and a bunch of stuff that looks like drugs and stuff," Riley Burke said. "I had to clean all of that out of there."

Burke said he probably wouldn't have known the new tenants were even there until he drove by and saw two men running in and out of it, one holding a cat. He had a feeling they weren't in the market to purchase.

"It was one of those deals where I didn't really want to get out of my vehicle and walk up there and open the door," Burke said. "I thought if I blocked it that I could, but the police be in control of the situation."

Bowman was arrested. According to Burke, the other man, who Bowman referred to as Jimmy, was able to slip out of the camper before Burke blocked the door.

Bowman told police that he was homeless and needed a place to stay for the night. He said he noticed a message saying, "Open for display, close after." He said the door was open, but now there's a lock on it.

Burke admits he left the door open because he is a trusting person. Two TVs were gone after the ordeal, and he believes the guys stole them.

"I've already forgiven them. I kind of let it go," Burke said. "Of course there are consequences. One of them is in jail and the other one is on the run, because they are looking for the other one."

Burke said that if the men had just asked for help, he probably would have let them stay. Burke has been through hard times himself.

"I try to help people if I can, and sometimes they won't let you do that, but there are people you can and when you're able to do that, it's awesome to be able to help people get back on their feet," Burke said.

It's one reason he intends on reaching out to Bowman when he's released.

He said the camper will remained locked from now on, and if someone is interested in buying it, all they have to do is call.

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