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Man, 21, charged in school burglary over Christmas break

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PALM COAST, Fla. – A 21-year-old Palm Coast man was arrested Thursday in the Christmas vacation burglary of Roma Court Academy, after a detective tracked the suspect using a Vystar bank receipt that was left behind, deputies said.

Markell Devaris Peck, who lists his address as transient in Palm Coast, was arrested and charged with burglary and grand theft in the break-in, which occurred sometime between noon Dec. 25 and noon Dec. 26.

Surveillance video showed a male suspect who might have slept in a laundry room and stolen food and juice in a classroom at the school.

In addition, personal belongings were left there and Christmas cards given to employees that contained money were stolen. A personal tablet and speaker were also taken.

“This is an example of great detective work to solve this burglary,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “I’m very proud of our agency.”

A detective was assigned the case Jan. 3. During the investigation, the detective examined the bank receipt found at the school, and he traced the name and photograph of the person who made the Vystar deposit.

After multiple attempts to locate Peck, the detective made contact at 1:19 p.m. Thursday with Peck in front of 57 Brushwood Lane to interview him.

Peck had a white LG tablet in his possession that matched the description of the one stolen during the Roma Court burglary.

Peck told detectives he did not have a place to stay because he chose not to stay at his mother’s home where she made him follow rules.

Peck said he had been sleeping in the parking garage below Roma Court Academy, but when the weather became too cold, he found an open door to the school on the second floor.

Peck was arrested and transported to the Sheriff’s Operations Center to be interviewed, then taken to the Flagler County jail to be booked.